September 2011

Assessment of progress in implementing the National Water Initiative

14.09.2011 - Posted by Amanda Wealands

Today the National Water Commission released the third assessment of progress in implementing the National Water Initiative. I heard Chloe Murno (chair of the NWC) interviewed on ABC radio this morning (for podcast click here) and it made me think of how far we have progressed in sustainable water management since the NWI started in 2004 and just how very far we still have to go. I hope we don’t just stop at the end of this initiative and instead ramp up the efforts to manage our water resources sustainably.

Defence Environmental Impact Assessment – Business Process Mapping

14.09.2011 - Posted by Rachel England
As part of a challenging and far-reaching program of strategic and organisational reform within the Department of Defence, the Defence Support Group is about to transition to a new comprehensive information management solution called GEMS (the Garrison and Estate Management System). GEMS is to be a centralised, streamlined computer-based information system to support all aspects of managing the large and complex Defence estate and garrison support services. Alluvium, as a member of the NRA Defence Alliance, is assisting the Defence environment team during this transition.

Defence Support Group (DSG) is the service delivery organisation for Defence, maintaining environmental stewardship of over 3 million hectares of land and providing infrastructure and support services to 90,000 Australian Defence Force and civilian Defence personnel located in Australia. This includes the management of more than 700 leased or owned properties containing more than 25,000 built assets valued in excess of $16 billion.

Defence presented me with a challenging task; to map out and document their complex environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes, from cradle to grave and including areas for reform, and obtain agreement and sign-off from key stakeholder. The end product was a Detailed Business Process Document that mapped the Defence EIA process, step-by-step and from beginning to end and in a language that the Defence environment team could understand and the GEMS project team could use to write software for GEMS. It was a challenging three weeks of work - but ultimately a satisfying one.

I found that when you take the time to map out your business, step-by-step, from the top-down, bottom-up and side-to-side, you can find yourself being lead on an interesting journey of enlightenment and improvement. Simply putting to someone the simply question: why do you do it that way? can open the door to innovation and reform. I would encourage all organisations, large and small, to invest some time into mapping out their business processes. You never know what you may find…