Corporate Services Assessment

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Efficient and timely enabling services, such as those provided by the Corporate Services Sector of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) are a key success factor in the delivery of the Agency’s mandate. But how do you know if the internal services you provide are well known? What about ease of use? And most importantly, are they meeting the needs of the end users? The Vice-President of Corporate Services had all of those questions and the team designed a clear path to getting those answers by asking the users!

To this end, Corporate Services conducted an assessment of its services across the entire organisation by conducting one-on-one interviews and division meetings. The assessment included Human Resources, Finance and Administration, Information Services, Communications, Access to Information and Privacy, and the functions of the Corporate Secretariat. A sampling of 29 face to face interviews and 5 department meetings with regional staff yielded more than 1500 comments and recommendations, as well as specific and measurable indicators of user satisfaction. With such a wealth of information, the Corporate Services Management team was able to conduct an in-depth analysis of the services and craft an action plan. The plan created targeted specific aspects of services that required enhancements and also recognized the aspects of services that worked well and should continue in their current form.

The resulting report and action plan were shared across the Agency and will figure prominently as a 2018-2019 priority-setting tool in Corporate Services. Specific actions and timelines have been proposed and employees can easily track and monitor the progress made against the plan.

Highly relevant user feedback, combined with good statistical data, effective goal setting and action planning, have allowed the Corporate Services Sector to chart a clear path for continuous service improvement focussed on the user-experience. Corporate Services has also given itself an easily replicable tool that can be used periodically to measure success.

Concrete actions have already been taken from the action plan and some improvements are already in place, with more to come in the near future. Open lines of communications between end-users and service providers ensure that feedback is collected quickly and course corrections made when needed. The results have been a better engagement of the user base, more effective planning and prioritizing, evidence-based decision making about Corporate Services and increased transparency in the conduct of continuous improvement activities. All of this is expected to lead to better services that are clearly user-focussed.

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