miércoles, 30 de octubre de 2013

Modelos de trabajo de horario y lugar flexible

Es un tópico que los tiempos de crisis son necesariamente tiempos para abordar cambios.  De ello, estamos teniendo sobradas muestras en los últimos años. En el entorno laboral, parece claro que el modelo de relación organización-empleado pre-crisis distará mucho del que exista al finalizar la misma. Es sin embargo destacable, que los cambios no estén alcanzando al modelo de rutina laboral diaria, que sigue anclada en el modelo industrial "desplazamiento-trabajo-desplazamiento". El cuándo y cómo trabajamos no se cuestiona.

Y, sin embargo, cuándo y cómo trabajamos afecta a nuestra productividad individual y colectivo.  En un estudio sobre flexibililidad de horario laboral realizado en Reino Unido, se estimaba una potencial ganancia de 5,1 horas de productividad semanal con modelos de trabajo flexibles.  Si hacemos una simple traslación a nuestro país, donde el coste bruto anual de un trabajador es de 31.170 Euros anuales y tenemos unos 16 millones de población ocupada, ello significaría una inyección económica de más de 7.200 millones de Euros en nuestra actividad económica. A los beneficios globales que como nación aporta modelos de trabajo de horario y lugar flexible, habría que añadir los beneficios para las organizaciones (por ejemplo, reducción de gastos inmobiliarios y de puesto de trabajo) y para las personas (mayor conciliación personal-profesional).

Pueden parecer números teóricos sin más, pero no es así. Existen ya casos reales de ahorros por la introducción de jornada flexible, tales como el caso del Ayuntamiento de Brent en Reino Unido. El ahorro anual ha sido de 5 millones de Libras anuales en una población de apenas unas 312.200 personas.

¿Porqué sin embargo no se está planteando el cambio del modelo de horario y lugar de trabajo? ¿Porqué en un momento en que es tecnológicamente posible una mayor flexibilidad seguimos anclados en el modelo industrial?. Confluyen en ello barreras colectivas e individuales:
  • La visión de la flexibilidad como un privilegio
  • La desconfianza hacia el empleado
  • El cambio de modelo de management que implica la flexibilidad
  • Impacto sobre perspectivas de promoción de emplados acogidos a modelo flexible
Todas estas barreras son las consecuencias de un cambio del contrato social de modelo de trabajo, sólo abordable desde la promoción política. El impulso con el ejemplo (e.g. introduciendo la flexibilidad de horario y lugar en Administraciones) y políticas de promoción (e.g. creación de fondo de innovación laboral) serían necesarias para hacer calar que el trabajo es lo que se se hace y no un lugar dónde se acude todos los días. 

Si queremos trabajar mejor, no podemos seguir trabajando igual.

domingo, 27 de octubre de 2013

Goodbye, Lou

Goodbye to one the heroes of my adolescence and since then until now . His music have been in my ears in the ups and downs of my life, in wild moments and in the quiet time. He was the sound of the suburbs and the sound of heterodoxy and transgression. He was the sound of love and hate.

Any of his songs would be perfect to listen now, any of his poem would be suitable to read in his honor today. But in this time of crisis, when the values seems to dissapear and the darkness looks as the winner, one of his songs comes to mind over the rest of his work:  "There is no time".



This is no time for CelebrationThis is no time for Shaking HandsThis is no time for BackslappingThis is no time for Marching Bands
This is no time for OptimismThis is no time for Endless ThoughtThis is no time for my country Right or WrongRemember what that brought
There is no timeThere is no timeThere is no timeThere is no time
This is no time for CongratulationsThis is no time to Turn Your BackThis is no time for CircumlocutionThis is no time for Learned Speech
This is no time to Count Your BlessingsThis is no time for Private GainThis is the time to Put Up or Shut UpIt won't come back this way again
There is no timeThere is no timeThere is no timeThere is no time
This is no time to Swallow AngerThis is no time to Ignore HateThis is no time to be Acting FrivolousBecause the time is getting late
This is no time for Private VendettasThis is no time to not know who you areSelf knowledge is a dangerous thingThe freedom of who you are
This is no time to Ignore WarningsThis is no time to Clear the PlateLet's not be sorry after the factAnd let the past become out fate
There is no timeThere is no timeThere is no timeThere is no time
This is no time to turn away and drinkOr smoke some vials of crackThis is a time to gather forceAnd take dead aim and Attack
This is no time for CelebrationThis is no time for Saluting FlagsThis is no time for Inner SearchingsThe future is at hand
This is no time for Phony RhetoricThis is no time for Political SpeechThis is a time for ActionBecause the future's Within Reach
This is the timeThis is the timeThis is the timeBecause there is no time
There is no timeThere is no timeThere is no timeThere is no time

miércoles, 23 de octubre de 2013

Privacidad a cambio de servicios públicos electrónicos

Los servicios públicos electrónicos, sin apreciarse, están necesariamente próximos al vértice del cambio. Ello exige cambio en las Administraciones.  De un lado, es necesario una aproximación mayor a las necesidades de los ciudadanos, a los hechos vitales que constituyen su vida y crear ventanas únicas de servicios para atenderlas. Ello sólo es posible con una consolidación de servicios entre administraciones. De otro lado, es necesario hacer desaparecer las interfaces, que los servicios sean proporcionados de modo proactivo sin necesidad de solicitarlos.

Pero los cambios también son necesarios en la posición del ciudadano ante los servicios ofrecidos. Sólo pueden oferecerse servicios orientados a los hechos vitales si estos los comparte el ciudadano con la Administración. Sólo es posible que la Administración sea proactiva si tiene conocimiento previo de las acciones que realiza el ciudadano. La renuncia a ciertos aspectos de la privacidad, o mejor dicho, el intercambio de los mismos por una expectativa de servicio, es necesaria por parte del ciudadano. Un posible  escenario es facilitar puntos de acceso a la Administración próximos a tu recorrido habitual por tu ciudad habilitando el registro del mismo, como muestra el siguiente vídeo.



Government Digital Service (Council Tax) from Mandy Wu on Vimeo.


Pero nuestra renuncia a la privacidad a cambio de expectativas de servicios no se tiene porque ceñir a lo físico. Permitir la observación de nuestro rastro virtual puede ser también la puerta a otros servicios, por los que incluso adicionalmente podría interesar pagar. Es el caso del servicio de cola rápida de control en aeropuertos USA. A cambio de la privacidad (dejar observar tu conducta en redes sociales) y una cuota se elimina la necesidad de ser controlado en acceso a aeropuertos.

Privacidad a cambio de servicios. Si en el ámbito privado aceptamos el trato, en el mundo público estamos a la vuelta de la esquina.




miércoles, 16 de octubre de 2013

Working in government as a unique enterprise

Governments are for solving the society challenges. But the challenges that governments nowadays face are quite more complex than in the past. Now the big challenges are interconnected, an individual agency cannot solve them using only its internal capabilities. It is needed collaboration between agencies, government layers and the stakeholders to tackle them and expect success in the task.

The obvious consequence is the need for governments to work as a unique enterprise an not as a group of disconnected silos. It is a huge effort and requires an approach to solving the challenges different than the "business-as-usual" way of working, but it is possible. It happens every time a nation face a disaster: floods, train accidents, earthquakes, .... The western countries are currently facing an economic disaster, so it should be easy to extend the spirit that appear in governments after a disaster to its daily routine.

A first warning. Working as an enterprise does not mean the centralization of everything. An excess of centralisation poses its own problems in the form of bureaucratisation. It is more about rcognising our own limitations and the need to work together.


The best way to foster the change of culture needed to work as a unique enterprise in a government is with a public commitment. The highest the political backing of this commitment, the more quicker the adoption of a cross-cutting culture to every aspect of government life.

The cornerstone for the government commitment towards this new way of working could be the development a chart of cross-cutting objectives, no more than 16 with a responsible for its fulfillment. Let´s call this form of government an objective oriented government.

Objectives that shall be defined in a clear manner using plain English in order to be understood by all the citizens, because obviously the objectives would be published. The responsible for the fulfillment of each of them would not be the top-level in a chain based on command-and-control, but a broker of the internal and external skills for achieving the objective.

Once established the chart of objectives, it should be taken as the centre of the government activities. Take as an example the submission of the budgets. There would not be department budgets at the top but objectives budgets, each of them with a portfolio of projects with its own budget.  The publication of the budget in an objective oriented manner would not only foster the change of culture in the government, but it would also allow the citizens to have a clear picture of which are the priorities of the government. The more money is putting to fulfill an objective, the more important it is.

An objective oriented government or working in government as a unique enterprise would have other advantages. For example, the evaluation of its performance would be easier. It would be a child play to develop a public scoreboard, including for each objective the state of advance of each project of its portfolio.

It is needed to break the silo culture in governments in order to have more effective governments. Working in government as a unique enterprise is one way to reach this objective.


viernes, 11 de octubre de 2013

Spain and the #OECDSkills report : Beyond numeracy and literacy


A lot of fuss has been created in my country (Spain) around the "OECD Skills Outlook" report. The main focus of all the comments has been our position in the literacy and numeracy rankings. In both of them, Spain is among the five countries with a lower score. Nothing to be proud of, certainly. A huge debate has been developed around our education system, about its past and its future, around which political party is to blame for the situation.

Unfortunately, this debate has hidden other issues also included in this report, Isome of them as important as our literacy and numeracy skills. The report has a lot of data that deserves an analysis, I recommend at least take a look to the annex with all the tables with figures included in the report. For instance, it is a shocking surprise that no data has been collected about the proficiency level of Spanish workers  in problem solving in technology-rich environment (because Spain didn´t  take part in this part of the survey as France, Italy and Cyprus). I consider this a big gap of the knowledge needed for policy-makers in the area skills-development for a digital world.

However, there are more data in the report, some of them quite worrying for a country as Spain with more than 25% of unemployment. To be more specific. for me is highly significative the Tables A.1.7.a and A.1.7b in the pages 254 and 255 of the annex. The first table provides the percentage of workers who reported structural changes in their workplace in the last three years. The second table provides the percentage of workers who reported new ways of working in their workplace in the last three years. In both cases, Spain is below the average of the OECD countries. Taking into consideration that this data was collected in 2010, it explains partially why the employment destruction in Spain has been so quick and so acute: We are a country that needs reforms in the workplace beyond the changes in the labour laws. Our companies and organisations failed in the integration of the digital technologies and new organisational models.

miércoles, 9 de octubre de 2013

Some lessons from the US Government #Shutdown

I should recognize that I´m quite fascinated with the idea of a government shutdown. What is happening in the USA is going beyond my imagination, not only as a civil servant but also as normal citizen. I also think we can obtain from this experience some valuable lessons. One of them I have already written about it with sadness, the conclusion that open government is expendable.

To begin with, I would have never imagined that government web sites would be included among the shut services. Nevertheless, after reading these "4 apolitical reasons for the shutdown of federal websites", I should recognise there are reasons for it. In a time when the cloud looks as the way to go, when some people even speaks about a shared data area for govs based on cloud computing in Europe, we should be worry specially about the first of the reasons. What could happen with public services if all of them are cloud dependant? What could happen in countries more and more indebted if at some point they fail to pay the bill for cloud services? And this is not science fiction. In this moment, part of the budget cutting is done in the ICT departments. The decreasing budgets has a consequence less quality of service, but the service still goes on because the government owns the infrastructure. Certainly, this is not what happen if the services are in the cloud, as it is the case of data.gov. So the first lesson is clear, thinks twice which services are you going to migrate to the cloud.

The lack of a real continuity plan is the second lesson we can learn. Of course, the majority of the readers will deny this point, but the facts are the facts. The majority of the US federal websites are closed, and there is no way a citizen obtain information about where a federal office it or the procedures for obtaining some kind of grants. It is as if a hurricane has destroyed the active and backup data centers of some agencies. Are there any solution to this situation? Could it be possible to design a continuity plan taking into consideration situations like this? Some ideas for it could be found in this article. I like the idea of building all the government web sites using open source software, and having an NGO to make daily backups of them in order to recover the service in this kind of situations.


Last but not least, the third lesson is the need of getting used to crowdsourcing to solve emergency situations. As i stated above, the government shutdown is a special kind of these situations. Once the federal web sites are shutdown, the civic apps for coordinating people are growing in importance. But it is only possible to have these apps ready if previously we have promoted its existence. Therefore, in order to be able to use crowdsourcing as a crutch in emergency situations, we need to develop the crowdsourcing capacities in the society well in advance. This article has some experiments on the topic that deserves a reading.

These are, for the moment, my three lessons from the US government shutdown. Which are yours?



jueves, 3 de octubre de 2013

Enabling #BigData as new source of growth

Several months ago, the OECD published the study "Exploring Data-Driven Innovation as a New Source of Growth. Mapping the Policy Issues Raised by Big Data". Without any doubt, it could be considered as one of the best studies to understand how important is already the data economy in our life and why governments have to take measures to create the right environment in order to unleash the promise of growth and innovation that lies hidden behind the growing amount of digital information.

To begin with, the OECD clarifies the characterisation of Big Data. Beyond the classic three V´s (volume, velocity, variety), it adds an important new V to this characterisation: Value. What is more, it highlights that this the only important feature that should drive the interest for Big Data. The Moore Law guarantees that volume, velocity and variety are mainly temporal conditions, it is sure that the storage and processing will reach new frontiers that will dwarf what we considered nowadays a large pool of data, and therefore the value of the data is what should drive the data strategy.

As in any OECD report, the document is plenty crowded of figures in order to provide evidence of its statements. It is always dificult to underline one of them, but only one estimation should be enough to understand the need to promote the data economy and the data culture:  the output and productivity of firms that adopt data-driven decision making are 5% to  6% higher than would be expected from their other investments in and use of information technology. In a time when we are looking for levers to overcome the biggest economic crisis since the II World War, taking  advantage of a new source of economic activity must be a priority for governments.

But Big Data is not only important because it allows the dawn of a new kind of organisations, the data-driven organisations (although I would have prefered the usage of the term data-enabled organisations). As the document shows, it has a clear impact in other sources of growth due to its role as a cornerstone of the digitalisation of the organisations. The data culture underpins the possibility to raise the capabilities of the public and private sector by enhancing research and innovation, paving the way to new products and services, transforming the processes of the organisations and, last but not least, making more personal the relationship with the customers. The OECD report provide a good number of cases for each of these augmented and new organisational abilities, but it is not difficult to find more articles with more examples.

Finally, the study provide some advice for policy-makers on the issue. Another recent document reminds that governments have several roles in the data market: Producer, consumer and facilitator. Therefore, it should use all these leverages to boost the shift to a data economy. And this is what the OECD recommends:
  • as a facilitator,  government should put in place privacy protection law, increase the availability of data skills and  boost the amount of data available with the creation of the right conditions in the telecommunications in order to reap all the benefits of the Internet of the Things
  • as a producer, government should publish for re-use as much public sector information as legally possible
  • as a consumer, government should measure the benefits of its big data implementations




P.S. After writing this post I read an article about the different definitions for Big Data. It deserves to be here.

Is Open Government expendable? #ogov #opendata #socialnetworks


Since President Obama entered in office, Open Government has been pointed as the model for conducting public affairs in advanced societies. Nowadays challenges are quite complex, so governments need to be transparent in order to stimulate participation and collaboration of the citizens and businesses to solve them. What is more, publishing government data in reusable friendly formats and conditions is also considered as the basis for the creation of a whole new economic sector.

I should say that I am a firm believer of the ideas expressed above. And until today, I even thought that these ideas had been accepted by the majority of the democratic countries, to begin with, especially by the US government. . But suddenly, everything is crumbling. Obama´s government has declared the government shutdown, and this mean to close down of non-essential services, and as it seen in the pictures below, both "data.gov" and "We the people" has not had the fortune to remain open. The same has happened to the social media channels. 








The decision of closing open government sites it is more difficult to understand in a period like a government shutdown. If there is a time when the government need the collaboration and participation of the citizens is when, for one reason or the other, the nation lives a crisis in its public services, like it happens with the government shutdown.

So forget about Open Government as the only way forward. This is a clear signal that, even in its more advanced implementations, Open Government is expendable.

miércoles, 2 de octubre de 2013

#MP13ASTIC El momento del colectivo de funcionarios #TIC

"Las unidades TIC de la Administración General del Estado han demostrado sobradamente su capacidad para atender una demanda creciente de servicios y unas exigencias elevadas, a un nivel equivalente o superior a la media de la Unión Europea"
Real Decreto 695/2013


En las dos últimas semanas, han empezado a ejecutarse las medidas del ámbito tecnológico para la Reforma de la Administración contenidas en el informe de la Comisión para la Reforma de la Administración (CORA). La construcción de la nueva organización ha comenzado por el pilar básico, la creación de la Dirección de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones de la Administración del Estado (#CIOAGE) y el nombramiento de la primera persona que ocupará el nuevo cargo, Domingo Molina. De las competencias asignadas al #CIOAGE podemos tener cada uno nuestras dudas de alcance, de la persona que lo va a ocupar no. Nosotros mismos, la Asociación de Funcionarios de las Tecnologías de la Información, le reconocimos como el mejor entre los nuestros en los premios anuales de 2012.  No ha de extrañarnos por ello haya sido el primero de nosotros que ha alcanzado el rango de subsecretario.

Un vaso con la mitad de su contenido siempre puede verse medio lleno o medio vacío. No podemos decir que la Reforma de la Administración que está comenzando sea la Reforma que queríamos, ni que el proceso de desarrollo de las medidas de la misma haya sido el más adecuado. Si podemos estar satisfechos que la misma comience reconociendo (en un Real Decreto) el valor de los profesionales públicos de las Tecnologías de la Información y la necesidad de mantener las unidades tecnológicas sectoriales al mismo tiempo que se crea la figura del #CIOAGE (una compatibilidad que hasta hace unos meses había aún que explicar y defender). Este reconocimiento es sólo un acto de justicia con un colectivo que ha cumplido más de veinte años ya. Los que dedicamos parte de nuestra labor profesional a difundir qué se hace en España en materia de Administración Electrónica somos quizás los mas conscientes de ello, cuando sin complejos compartimos las buenas prácticas de nuestro país con otros países de nuestro entorno. 


#MP13ASTIC es la hora de disfrutar este momento en presencia o en remoto. 









palyginti kainas