The Department of Human Resources Development really completed the project because of its vision and leadership, as well as its openness to change. In fact, the Department shared with all personnel a vision of the future of HRD-NB that inspired every participant, a very precise mission statement, and clear objectives to gain their backing for the project. The steadfast support of the Premier, the Minister, the Deputy Minister and senior Department officials was greatly appreciated and helped with getting through hard times. The fact that only one rather than several departments was involved allowed for clearly defined leadership and relatively easy decision making. Department employees were also very open-minded about the proposed changes and really wanted to help the people who were their clients. The project was not seen as a simple effort to generate revenue or save money. Shared objectives along with a high degree of employee commitment and dedication facilitated progress with the project. It should be pointed out that, from the outset, regional personnel had been part of the work teams. Although the project got blown off course a few times along the way, it always managed to get back on track.
HRD-NB personnel had an excellent knowledge of their field, i.e., social services and the imperatives of service delivery. They could imagine any sort of scenario that might affect the calculation of social benefits. They also cared about their clients’ best interests and clearly saw that their job was to provide swift and efficient aid for people in a crisis. HRD-NB had a very clear understanding of the realities of poverty and its psychological and social implications.
Through the partnership project with Andersen/Accenture (A/A), HRD-NB could tap into a broad pool of expertise via the subcontractors engaged by its partners — resources the Department did not have. Its alliance with a private partner also gave it much more legal leeway because the Department gained access to expertise and know-how that its personnel lacked, particularly in project management and managing change, without hiring staff.