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Performance and Planning: Spotlight on a Career Path

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Published Date: 13th March 2024

Welcome to the world of performance reporting, talented teams of Planning and Reporting Advisors, Performance Analysts, Corporate or Organisational Strategic Planners play pivotal public sector roles.

In a time when transparency and trust in government are a growing challenge, public sector accountability reporting plays a crucial part in upholding the principles of good governance in New Zealand.

Let’s delve into this category of public sector jobs, its importance, challenges, and the career opportunities it presents for those ready to make a meaningful impact.

What Do Performance Reporting Roles Involve?

Performance reporting positions often contain ‘performance and planning’ in their job title. Performance and planning advisors are tasked with analysing the inner workings and performance of public service functions and creating reports based on their findings.

They are responsible for identifying how an organisation is meeting its objectives, what services are being delivered and how, and the outcomes of public service activities. Unlike the finance department, performance reporting is responsible for evaluating the entire performance of a government organisation, not just the balance sheet.

It is a performance and planning advisor’s job to inform department leaders where things are going well and what isn’t going well, and make recommendations accordingly. The work is cyclical, with quarterly milestones in place to produce major annual reports.

As performance reporting is mandatory for most organisations within the public service, OP&P jobs are typically in the domain of a Planning and Performance team within a government department.

The Auditor-General (OAG), Audit New Zealand and the Treasury are examples of departments that provide guidance and manage performance reporting for a range of government entities, although most organisations have an internal performance reporting function as well.

Critical Skills for Performance Reporting Jobs

A performance and planning advisor’s job description might sound somewhat mild on paper, but it is in fact a role that requires the highest level of communication and soft skills – relationship building, diplomacy, tact, discretion, and ultimately, the power of persuasion.

As a performance reporting professional, you are both an analyst and someone who has the mana to positively influence leaders. You're extracting information out of organisational departments, and then weaving it all together to tell the story of the organisation’s performance.

It’s a role for critical thinkers who can build trust and credibility in their relationships throughout an organisation. Your ability to look at the micro and macro is essential for identifying trends, challenges and opportunities.

OP&P differs from the traditional career pathway you might expect for other public sector jobs. With a strong emphasis on soft skills, we find professionals who excel in these positions come from a variety of backgrounds.

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The Opportunities and Benefits of a Performance Reporting Career

In a time when concerns are growing about job security, performance and planning jobs make for a stable and fulfilling career within New Zealand’s public sector.

These positions, which are mostly offered on a permanent basis, provide unique opportunities for individuals with the right skill set to make a meaningful impact. They are critical government jobs for upholding transparency, integrity, and ethical standards within the public service.

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By ensuring accurate and timely reporting on organisations’ activities and performance, these public sector jobs are vital for maintaining public trust and confidence in government institutions.

As a performance and planning advisor, you’re a source of reliable data and insights to government officials and stakeholders. Additionally, you get to work on a diverse range of projects and engage with leaders and stakeholders across the organisation. Your role typically involves various tasks related to improving organisational effectiveness, efficiency, and strategic decision-making.

A role that promotes good governance and accountability can provide you with a strong sense of purpose and fulfilment in your work. If you’re passionate about making a positive impact on society, knowing that your efforts contribute to upholding democratic principles, fostering transparency, and ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly can be deeply rewarding.

Recruitment Challenges in the Public Sector

Despite performance reporting being a key public sector job, government departments do struggle to hire talent for these roles. Perhaps the opportunity presented by these jobs is underappreciated.

Another challenge is retaining staff long-term and growing them through roles of different levels on this career path. As performance reporting follows a strict cyclical timeline, professionals in these positions cite that repetition as a reason they become disengaged after a while, leading to retention issues for some departments.

Talk to New Zealand Recruitment Experts in Planning and Performance

Performance reporting expertise is a hot commodity for New Zealand government jobs right now. For those with the right skill set and a desire to make a difference, these roles can be immensely rewarding and fulfilling career paths. We expect demand for these professionals to remain robust in the coming years.

If you’re searching for a government career path that aligns with your values, uses your communication skills effectively, and contributes to the greater good for Aotearoa’s citizens, look no further. Contact us today for more information on how we can connect you with performance reporting jobs or help build your planning and performance team.

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