SPRINT (Salford Process Re-engineering Involving New Technology – see http://www.sprint.gov.uk) is a process improvement framework devised originally at Salford City Council In collaboration with academics from Manchester Business School. Although widely regarded as a de facto standard for Local Government process improvement, it is not actually government funded.
I attended the 6th annual conference last month at Warwick. The SPRINT approach is predicated on the use of internal staff practitioners. SPRINT claim that about 160 organisations have such practitioners. There are also third party organisations supplying supporting software and/or consultancy: one of the presentations was by Pallas-Athena.
There were several interesting presentations, but for me the highlight was an energetic one by Dr Mark Batey (an occupational psychologist at Manchester Business School) on the psychology of creativity and innovation. This clearly has a bearing on process improvement in that devising possible new ways of working necessarily involves creativity. My personal selection from the points that he made were:
- Excessive competitiveness in teams can mean less team-level creativity
- A “Have a Go” attitude helps productivity
- Confidence in sharing ideas helps
- Confidence in applying ideas helps
These are quite difficult things to foster, perhaps particularly so in some environments in which libraries have to operate