Helping newcomers to Canada find jobs

Imagine arriving in Canada, perhaps with only a handful of your belongings, and facing the daunting task of making a new country your new home.  As a country of immigrants, many Canadians don’t need to imagine this: we have lived it. And many of us know firsthand that finding a job can be a critical – and challenging – part of the integration process.

Services to help newcomers find employment and settle in Canada are delivered by a network of Federal, Provincial, and community-based service providers. At times, this network can be difficult to navigate for newcomers and service providers alike. To address these complexities, Deetken was asked to help deepen the collaboration between and sharpen the skills of service providers who are working to improve employment outcomes for immigrants to Canada.

The Deetken team leveraged our facilitation and multi-stakeholder engagement experience to organize and host consultations and workshops with over 200 service providers and other experts across five regions of British Columbia. On the basis of these consultations, we developed in depth training material, using diverse multi-media content including animation, podcasts and interactive quizzes, and a resource kit to support service providers. These deliverables can be found here.

Helping to improve the delivery of a critical public service

Increasingly, elements of public service administration are being outsourced to external service providers. One Canadian ministry was outsourcing a key benefit processing program. This program experienced annual intakes of approximately 100,000 applications, 1.5 million receipts, 500,000 calls and 800,000 pieces of mail. However, less than one year into the program, the service provider was experiencing significant operational and fiscal challenges.

Deetken was asked to conduct an operational diagnostic to understand the key sources of operational and financial gaps.  Applying a six-sigma methodology, we uncovered data, volume, process, and technology issues and considered their contribution to financial performance. Based on our findings, a turn-around plan was developed and executed. This helped to meet service levels and dramatically improve efficiency as well as partially address financial pressures. Deetken also worked with client and service provider teams to restructure the services contract so that it better reflected the new operating environment, while also ensuring fiscal sustainability for both parties.

Helping IT operations perform at their best

In today’s world, when our IT is not working as well as it should, our company can’t perform at its best. But when it’s doing its job, IT can be a key enabler, helping our company and our employees reach full potential. Yet, as critical as the technology is itself, it is the people providing support to its users that are the true “makers or breakers” of the IT experience. That is why it’s so important to be able to evaluate and report on the performance of our IT service providers.

Deetken was asked by a major BC Public Sector entity to design tools for evaluating the performance of its IT division. We worked with senior decision-makers to design a strategic performance management framework, which included key drivers such as business value, efficiency, effectiveness, quality and risk. The framework was used to define a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track and evaluate on-going performance and improvements resulting from transformation initiatives. Deetken drew upon our facilitation and consultation capacities to run workshops and information sessions with stakeholders at all levels of the organization in order to build buy-in and, ultimately, ownership of the performance approach.

Developing metrics that “stand the test of time” is difficult in IT due to the high rate of change in technology and service delivery. We developed a mitigation strategy that ensured all metrics selected did not rely on the current technology stack & service delivery model. Following from this, the same framework was applied to develop department-level metrics to provide better line of sight between day-to-day actions and divisional strategic priorities.