How to Triple the Success Rate of Government Transformations

According to a survey of nearly 3,000 public officials across 18 countries, part of this landmark study undertaken by the McKinsey Center for Government (MCG), around 80 percent of government efforts to transform unfortunately fail to fully meet their objectives. The failure rate of government transformations represents a huge missed opportunity to tackle society’s greatest challenges more effectively and deliver better services for citizens. MCG estimates that were governments globally to match the rate of their most improved peers, they could save as much as $3.5 trillion a year by 2021 while maintaining today’s levels of service quality. Alternatively, they could release funds to strengthen high-priority services while keeping overall government expenditure constant.

The MCG study includes insights from 80 transformation cases and 30 in-depth interviews with leaders who have personally driven transformations in government. Using these insights MCG identified five disciplines that together can more than triple the chances of success of government transformations. They may seem obvious, but MCG’s research shows that they are extremely difficult to get right. MCG calls them the five Cs:

1. Committed leadership.
2. Clear purpose and priorities.
3. Cadence and coordination in delivery.
4. Compelling communication.
5. Capability for change.

USAID Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool

The goal of this tool is to assist organizations in assessing the critical elements for effective organizational management and identifying those areas that need strengthening or further development.

The OCA tool was designed to enable organizations to define a capacity-building improvement plan, based on self-assessed need. This Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA) was initially designed to measure the overall capacity of organizations funded by President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) under the New Partners Initiative (NPI). This OCA tool provides organizations with a set of criteria to assess their current management capacity to implement quality health programs, to identify key areas that need strengthening.
Although many capacity assessments exist, the structure and process of this tool distinguish it from others. Multi-level and multi-department involvement fosters team building and organizational learning. The inclusion of management, compliance, and program components ensure a holistic understanding of the organization’s strengths and challenges and the guided self-assessment by skilled facilitators instills ownership on the part of the organization for its improvement plan.

The OCA tool assesses technical capacity in seven domains, and each domain has a number of sub-areas.

OCA Domains
1. Governance
2. Administration
3. Human Resources
4. Financial Management
5. Organizational Management
6. Program Management
7. Project Performance Management

This Organizational Capacity Assessment tool is designed to enable organizational learning, foster team sharing, and encourage reflective self-assessment within organizations.