Result Based Management is a concept which dates back to the 1950s when Peter Drucker introduced the concept of management by objectives and its principles. Local authorities have failed to adopt and implement the Result Based Management Concept due to various challenges which include amongst them inadequate finance and human resources, resistance to change, poor communication channels, unrealistic budgets, poor management system, location of ownership, negative attitude and resistance to technology. The mandate of local authorities is to deliver services in the most efficient and effective ways.
Emphasis is placed on managing inputs and activities and there are no clear demonstrations of results to the satisfaction of all stakeholders concerned. On the other hand Result Based Management aims at clearly setting out expected results of programmes being undertaken through the establishment of performance indicators thus progress is monitored and assessed towards achieving expected results. The Result Based Management also tries to enhance accountability of the organisation to stakeholders for example ratepayers and farmers in case of local authorities therefore the Result Based Management concept is beneficial to local authorities.
According to deVisser (2010), the main challenge faced by local authorities is that of financial and human resources and constraints. Lack of finances has hindered local authorities in the adoption and implementation of the Result Based Management. In Mazowe, Council was chosen as a pilot project to adopt and implement result based management in 2010 but due to lack of funds the officials of Council were not trained and the Result Based Management could not kick start in the district hence affecting the whole Province.
Adoption of a new system requires finances and since Councils are struggling to make ends meet the government could come up with grants which will be given to local authorities to ensure adoption and implementation. The other challenge which faces local authorities in the adoption of Result Based Management is resistance to change by Management down to the shop floor staff (Epstein and Olsen 1996) states that despite the potential outcomes, change is nearly always resisted.
Kotter and Schiesinger (2000) added that a degree of resistance is normal since change is disruptive and stressful. Kotter and Schiesinger (2000) identified four key reasons why change is resisted being:- parochial self interest whereat individuals are concerned with the implications for themselves, misunderstanding due to inadequate information, low tolerance of change whereat there is a sense of insecurity, and different assessment of the situation whereby there are disagreements about advantages and disadvantages of change.
In order to overcome this challenge local authorities need to have clear communication lines whereby everyone within the organisation is appraised of the advantages of the change thus removing the aspect of “fear of the unknown. ” Change is sometimes resisted because of the way it is presented hence there is need for management to clearly explain the need for change, give information, consult, negotiate and offer support as training, involve people in the process, build trust and a sense of security. (Kotter and Schiesinger 2000) Communication is very important as alluded by Kotter and Schiesinger (2000).
According to Smith et al (1987) amongst the reasons commonly associated with failed change programmes are that employees do not understand the purpose or even the need for change hence there is need to train employees in the new change programme so that all will operate on the same level. Mazowe Rural District Council after noting that It had not enough financial resources, also failed to see the importance of Result Based Management hence could not prioritise training of officials and other stakeholders. Communication channels need to be opened between Management and workers when introducing change.
Budgeting according to Cohen and Amikal is a formal statement of future expenditure, revenues and expected profits developed to control the use of financial resources. A financial plan should be realistic. An unrealistic budget will cause a programme to fail to the unsurmountable amounts in the budget. When a programme is introduced there is a vision and strategic plans to be followed hence a budget should align to these. When the Result Based Management programme was brought to Mazowe Rural District Council, the executive was tasked to come up with a budget for training officials, Councillors and other stakeholders.
A budget was drawn whose total figure was $23 000. 00 for a five day training. These figures put off Council from adopting and implementing Result Based Management concept. Therefore there is need to always stick to basics and come up with a realistic budget which is manageable. Again all involved need to know the vision and plans if success is to be achieved. Poor management systems within an organisation causes adoption and implementation causes adoption and implementation of projects to fail.
A strong management system supports implementation of new programmes because managers are skilled and well trained in the incoming programme and they are well versed in the programme. As long as management is ignorant about the programme it means the programme will not be supported therefore its very important to train Management in these new programmes. One other challenge which causes failure of adoption of new programmes is the over-zealousness by leaders of the programme. Managers often nominate their relatives within the organisation to lead the programme.
These relatives sometimes are not qualified and will have knowledge of the programme. The leaders will come up with many indicators causing over complexity. According to Meier many indicators are risky to the success of a programme. As alluded to before, there is need to train leaders of these programmes first so as to remove over complexity. The success of any programme is hinged on its leaders. When Ministry of Health decided to introduce Result Based Finance in hospitals and clinics all heads of departments were trained vigorously in the programme and when it came to implementation it was very easy.
Resistance to technology is one challenge which faces local authorities in the implementation of new programmes. Mostly nowadays technology is ever moving forward and organisations and its employees need to keep in step or all will be left behind by technology. If one does not adapt to new technologies that person will be made redundant. There is need to train people involved in the new technology and there is need for employees to remove resistance to technology and adapt to new technologies. Finally attitude holds the key to the success of a new venture.
A positive attitude will yield success whereas a negative attitude will yield failure. There is need for all involved in change programmes to have positive attitudes. A good example is that of Mazowe Rural District Council whereat Result Based Management was being taken as an animal hence it failed. Change of attitude needs to be cultivated within organisations. There are many challenges as alluded above that can cause the failure of adoption of the Result Based Management however, all these challenges can be overcome so that Result Based Management can be adopted and implemented successfully in local authorities.