Section 2: Core management practices

Introduction

After reviewing the characteristics, or fundamentals, of an effective national statistical system, it is worthwhile to now look at the core management practices that a statistical agency should implement and develop. These practices help to optimize its operations and use of its resources in a positive climate of integrity, transparency and appropriate use of organizational funds.

The core management functions discussed are organizational structure and matrix management; integrated strategic planning; financial management; project management; human resources planning and management; internal communications; information management; program evaluation; and, lastly, internal audit. Each of these functions is analyzed and enriched by examples of practices and strategies used by Statistics Canada.

Chapter 2.1, on organizational structure and matrix management, highlights the importance for a statistical agency to have a flexible, efficient organizational structure in order to optimally distribute programs and allocate resources. In this respect, Statistics Canada's examples illustrate the possible program organization and matrix management strategies for a centralized statistical system.

Chapter 2.2 deals with integrated strategic planning and its importance in maintaining relevant, quality statistical data at a reasonable cost. Strategies and tools used by a statistical agency, such as the stages of the integrated planning process and governance, are presented and supported by examples from Statistics Canada.

Chapter 2.3 provides an overview of financial management, including the basic principles of such management for a statistical agency, the financial cycle and governance.

Chapter 2.4 describes the importance of the project management approach and the frameworks used by Statistics Canada for this purpose.

Chapter 2.5 focuses on the importance of good human resources planning and management in a statistical agency. It recaps the basic principles and strategies used by Statistics Canada for each human resources function, including planning, staffing, training and development, talent and career management, and maintaining a positive work environment.

Chapter 2.6, which deals with internal communications, addresses the importance of informing, consulting and engaging employees. Examples include mechanisms and tools that Statistics Canada uses.

Chapter 2.7 deals with information management and presents strategies for ensuring optimal and secure management of information at the lowest cost.

Finally, chapters 2.8 and 2.9 describe program evaluation and internal audit. They reinforce the necessity to implement independent and integrated functions in the interest of the statistical agency and in accordance with good management practices by establishing solid, reliable governance mechanisms and operational frameworks.

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