The project intended to present a re-engineered concept of CSW that the PMS personnel (both officials and staff) should be able to accept, relate to, and apply in contemporary times. This is important because CSW is at the core of every PMS output, regardless of the management style or output requirements of a given Administration. Further, having a common understanding of what CSW is, or what it should be, will guide the institution in the development of its personnel, and provide a deeper sense of urgency in the delivery of excellent public service in the long term.
Background and Problem
The PMS, by virtue of Executive Order No. 130 (s. 1987), is the primary agency in the Philippine government that is responsible in providing technical staff assistance and advice to the President, particularly in the overall management of the development process. The term “CSW” was coined by Brigadier G.E.R. Smith, sometime in 1943. It is a military concept involving “the study of a problem, and presentation of a solution, by a staff officer, in such form that all that remains to be done on the part of the head of the staff division, or the commander, is to indicate his approval or disapproval of the completed action.” CSW eventually found its way to the Philippines and was first adopted by the PMS as a matter of practice during the term of Dr. Leonora V. De Jesus, PhD, as the PMS Head during the Ramos and Estrada Administrations. Since then, the PMS became the pioneer government agency that adopted the CSW as an operational norm. Consequently, the PMS outputs have become more and more complex over the years due to the increasing demands and expectations of the President, the Presidency, and the public in general. Although the concept of CSW as the core of the PMS operational norm was, and still is, widely accepted and practiced, its essence has become archaic, vague, and misunderstood in its practical application by the staff. The fact that the PMS serves the people by serving the Presidency, there is no room for mistakes as each Presidential pronouncement and action, being the Chief Executive, becomes national policy. Thus, the constant re-shaping of PMS, to which the contributory factors are human, process and policy in nature, renders the organization susceptible to producing inconsistent quality information/data for the President. The policy factor is demonstrated by the lack of standards in analyzing data, while the process factor pertains to the discretion of personnel in the application of work processes and human factor in the interpretation of work ethic, leaving the outputs prone to inconsistencies.
Solution and Impact
The project proposed to produce a CSW manual that will guide all the members of the organization in conducting their duties and responsibilities, and in conducting themselves as a model member of the PMS organization. It also provides a guide for sharing best practices among government agencies, a template to evaluate contemporary practices for further development of government activities even by the private sector.
In line with the proposed solution, a four- dimensional approach to CSW (CSW-4D) was followed, wherein the norm was further studied and segregated in the following aspects: (1) a common definition, (2) a progressive basket of competencies, (3) a progressive organizational culture, and (4) as a responsive major final output.
The project is composed of five (5) phases which include the following:
- Phase 1: Introduction of a 4-Dimensional CSW in select Operational Offices of the PMS
- Phase 2: Introduction of a 4-Dimensional CSW in the Public Concerns Office (PCO) and Support Offices of the PMS
- Phase 3: Integration of the CSW-4D concept to Ongoing Projects
- Phase 4: Intensive CSW-4D In-House Training Interventions
- Phase 5: Sharing the CSW-4D concept with PMS External Stakeholders
During the project implementation period, only phases 1 and 2 were implemented. The output produced was a baseline of standard step by step process or actions that a staff should undertake in producing a CSW standard output. For phase 3, which will eventually be done after the implementation period, the CSW-4D concept will be incorporated in the outputs of the Results-Oriented Performance Management System (ROPMS), PMS Operations Manual, Quality Management System (QMS), and the Competency-Based Capability Building Program (CBCBP). A CSW-4D training curriculum will also be developed. For phase 4, a CSW-4D in-house training will be conducted, followed by a CSW-4D relationship-building sessions with external stakeholders for phase 5.
Note: This initiative is based on the Public Management Development Program (PMDP) Re-Entry Plan of Ms. Tienan Donabel Gabaldon of the PMDP Middle Manager Class Batch 5 (Dagitab).