Council efficiency programmes- the cult unleashed
January 17, 2011 13 Comments
Like many councils, the one I work for is using very expensive consultants to deliver an efficiency programme. Because I won’t be here when the programme really kicks in I’m able to observe it from afar and from what I see it’s a bit like joining a cult.
I’d hate to diss the actual programme in question so I’ll make up my own and use that as a stand-in. I’ll call mine something like, ooh I don’t know, Council Reorganisation and Performance Programme. CRaPP for short.
So the CRaPP consultants are brought in to deliver some CRaPP training. The programme started in industry so its links to local government are pretty tenuous but let’s not dwell on the negatives. I attended a CRaPP training session (three line whip) where we were taught how to become one with the CRaPP. Actually in the session I attended they forgot to explain one of the most important principles and referred to it in its acronym for about an hour so we didn’t have a clue what was going on. Apparently no one either cared enough or was brave enough to ask what the hell they were talking about.
Anyway, CRaPP (I’m loving this) is an input/ output model and to demonstrate this we all had to make paper aeroplanes. I was in charge of folding a piece of paper in half and passing it to my neighbour who was in charge of folding the top corners in. Our paper aeroplanes failed to make the grade and were rejected. The lesson being that we neeed to… I can’t remember actually, I was trying to cut my wrists with my paper aeroplane while thinking that I could have been in a school doing some proper work.
Anyway, the idea is that everyone has CRaPP notice boards and CRaPP work areas and that we chant to the CRaPP gods every Monday morning while sacrificing a small child on the bonfire of our dignity. I may have made the last bit up but you get the picture.
Out of an office of ten, there will be only three left come the end of March but they are already being drawn deeper and deeper into the CRaPP. They have to attend meetings and training session with CRaPP Champions and they’re expected to apply CRaPP to every minute of every day. Their CRaPP work will be inspected. Senior members of staff walk round with a glazed look in their eye muttering, ‘my work is CRaPP, everything I do is CRaPP.’
I’m glad I’m out of it to be perfectly honest.