Brisbane City Council is Australia’s largest local government in both population and budget. Brisbane Council governs 1,338 square kilometres and a budget of over $2.9 billion.
The Development Assessment (DA) branch is achieving business excellence through maintaining a consistent focus on performance improvement in the face of significant challenges such as new legislation, severe weather events and skills shortages. They are able to do this through a sustained strategic commitment to continuous improvement in partnership with key stakeholders. The journey commenced in 2009 when the then Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Newman, declared that Brisbane would become “the most effective and timely assessment agency in Australia”. In response to this challenge, DA Branch transformed itself from a paper-based, methodical organisation and a “one size fits all” approach to a streamlined, e-enabled business that makes decisions based on risk, embraces innovation and partners with industry to delivery city wide outcomes.
DA Branch has not only maintained the transformational changes implemented over the last six years, but has continued to actively pursue opportunities for further improvement. There is now an embedded culture of “how can we do this better?” supported by a systematic approach to strategic planning and ongoing data, research and reporting to identify opportunities as they arise. The continuous improvement approach adopted by the DA Branch incorporates processes to identify and implement both planned and emerging improvement initiatives. Both of these processes are driven by a dedicated Business Performance and Improvement (BPI) Team. The BPI Team continuously monitors qualitative and quantitative data collated through regular data gathering and reporting activities. When a potential issue or opportunity is identified, a business analyst from within the team is allocated to explore potential improvements.
The effectiveness of the DA Branch approach to business excellence is evident in the outcomes and results being achieved at both a Branch and an individual initiative level. In the face of significant legislative changes, staffing shortages and an industry boom, processing times, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction have remained high. Due to this success, Brisbane City Council is being recognised for a Business Excellence Award in the Australian Business Awards 2016.
The Australian Business Awards are the regional chapter of an integrated, hierarchical leadership program conducted on a national and international level. Eligible organisations from each region are invited to participate in the international chapter of the program at The World Business Awards. Conducted annually and currently in the second year of its international launch, The World Business Awards seeks to engage with the world’s business, innovation and technology leaders through a global recognition and knowledge building initiative that is underpinned by the program’s established framework. The program engages with organisations worldwide to benchmark the full spectrum of their products, services and initiatives and to review their business performance. The cycle culminates in the recognition and celebration of organisations that implement world-class business initiatives and industry leading products and services on a prominent and far-reaching scale. All entries must be entered in the regional chapter where the organisation is based.
Organisational participation includes private companies, publicly listed companies, multinational subsidiaries, not-for-profit organisations, non-government organisations, educational institutions, franchise systems, partnerships, government departments, government agencies, local government and statutory bodies operating in Australia.
Initiatives can include but are not limited to projects, programs, processes, systems, technologies, developments, ventures and undertakings.
Entries are assessed utilising a robust and dynamic framework to ensure that the assessment process is pertinent and objective. The World Business Awards Framework (WBA Framework) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world class performance standards. The Framework consists of specialised assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the award categories. The criteria and sub-criteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organisations.
Organisations that participate are provided with the unique opportunity to benchmark themselves against the top performers globally. The recipients are acknowledged for their achievements and recognised as the elite of their industry earning a place amongst a distinguished group by having their products, projects, initiatives, contributions and achievements recognised on a prominent and far-reaching scale. The program provides the ultimate platform for building knowledge, increasing brand awareness, equity, loyalty and retention through increased exposure, recognition and prestige. This establishes a valuable resource that can be used extensively to create opportunities for publicity, positive organisational profiling and heightened brand awareness within the respective industries both nationally and internationally.