Federal Employment Agency -Visible reform of labor administration
With the IBCS® principles of design, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) is able to improve the level of quality in reporting, to prepare information in an understandable manner, and to give decision-makers clear recommendations.
Through a comprehensive nationwide network of employment agencies and offices, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit fulfills extensive tasks in providing services for the employment and training markets. This public corporation with 800 agencies, headquarters in Nuremberg and, with a total of 110,000 employees, is the largest agency in Germany.
Restructured in several phases, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit operates within an organizational structure that focuses on efficiency criteria and the needs of its clients. To this end, a controlling system is needed that delivers meaningful analyses of strategic business fields and operative measures. With the IBCS® principles of design, the Bundesagentur is able to improve the level of quality in reporting, to prepare information in an understandable manner, and to give decision-makers clear recommendations.
A lack of transparency had been the greatest obstacle to efficient management of this federal agency. As a result, various forms of presentation were used when reports were forwarded to the board. “In the beginning of 2008, Frank-Jürgen Weise imposed new requirements on our controller team,” Dr. Klaus Schuberth, Divisional Director of Controlling, remembers. “It became possible to compare the performance of different employment agencies using important key data and to make the effectiveness of operative measures visible.” The CEO personally addressed this subject and, together with BA’s senior executives, took part in a one-day Hichert seminar.
The result: A standardized format and a higher level of information density are needed for a transparent analysis of the impact of volume of the budget used (in 2010 approx. 54 billion euros). “Executives simply cannot make good decisions based on 50 PowerPoint pages. The software leads to types of presentations that do not inform, they instead only string data together in a confusing way,” says Michael Schopf, Controlling Officer. “In order to use the means of communication properly, certain conditions must be met and specific principles must be adhered to. And, it is here that the design rules of Rolf Hichert provide considerable added value.”
At a major event in Mannheim, all of the decision-makers involved sat down together to create a common understanding. To bring about a wider acceptance, they clarified which rules were relevant and needed to be implemented. After taking stock of all the tools used, a core working group established the applicable rules and regulations and its own symbolism for each use of visualization. A qualifications portfolio for information, internally developed tools, and report templates in the DataWarehouse and Office environments should all help keep employees’ workload down despite higher design requirements. The training of approx. 200 multipliers was followed by the professional implementation and advanced internal training.
The high level of standardization has proven to be particularly advantageous for processing direct inquiries. “Ad hoc requests stemming from lacking or unclear information have been cut to one-third,” Michael Schopf points out. “That greatly reduces the strain on the controlling organization and, at the same time, shows that the condensed and standardized messages are being understood.” BA’s controllers have access to the collective data through a management information system and export the desired charts into their controlling reports. Controllers, thus, can focus on analytical work and on generating important messages to convey to the management. “The time we used to spend on preparing information is now used to increase the quality of analysis and consultation.”
Here are some examples of the new design: