News



Digital technologies will not replace a human in making effective decisions in public administration – experts

Digital technologies will not replace a human in making effective decisions in public administration – experts

Digital technologies in public administration, if used correctly, can be effective tools, but in the near future they will not be able to completely replace a human in making the most effective management decisions. This conclusion was reached by experts at the session ‘Public Administration: Between People and Data’, held within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

 

KEY CONCLUSIONS

Digital technologies and models in public administration are effective tools, but a human cannot be excluded from the process

“The management model is a tool, and no matter how perfect it is, of course, you need to know how to use it. It can be effective to a greater or lesser extent, but this tool doesn’t work without a human. If this tool does not allow us to achieve results, <...> then such a tool is worthless, no matter how we deal with it. <...> In fact, we come to a data-based management model,” Dmitriy Grigorenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation – Chief of the Government Staff.

“It is impossible to manage human society by making rational decisions only. Therefore, there must be a component that takes into account this part, and this part is the one where it is quite difficult to replace a human and hardly necessary at all. The future will be built in this way: automatic decision-making systems based on data will be created, and people will stay where they need to determine goal-setting and take into account <...> social, emotional and cognitive properties or human needs when making decisions,” Herman Gref, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank.

“To get the right answer from the machine, you need to provide it with the right introductory with the right rules of the game, with the right sources. This doesn't happen in real life. <...> It is absolutely true that it is necessary to use maximum information flows in order to understand in general what is happening in real life. <...> Probably one day artificial intelligence will make decisions for us, but to do that, it has to like humans. Can you imagine that? I can't,” Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow.

 

PROBLEMS

Lack of unified ways to assess management effectiveness

The management system, first of all, is aimed at efficiency. It is just that the understanding of ‘efficiency’ is very different. Because it is possible to deal not with the end result, but with the process, while showing high efficiency. If you are aimed at the end result, then the whole management system is aimed at the end result. And this is a different philosophy of life altogether. This is the case in Moscow, which is why we are achieving results that, perhaps, we could not always even theoretically assume that it could be done within such a timeframe,” Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow.

“The answer to the question “How do we measure the achievement of the relevant outcome?” is the key thing. In business it is easier because any companies are created with the purpose of making profit,” Herman Gref, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank.

 

SOLUTIONS

Application of feedback and measurability of tasks in public administration, updating the management training system

“We are now developing new programmes. And we are launching a programme on state municipal management ‘Russia's Resource’. In fact, after graduating from this programme, graduates will be able to receive two diplomas: ‘State Municipal Management’ and ‘Business Informatics’. The programme will be very different from what we had before,” Alexey Komissarov, Director General, Russia – Land of Opportunities; Acting Rector, Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA).

“We can't go anywhere without digitalization. And if we want to work quickly, qualitatively, individually, and proactively, we must be digital! <...> We must also realize that any task must be measurable, <...> measurability must be not abstract, but countable – if we cannot measure a task in a countable way, we will not be able to do it. <...> If this is not done, we will always improve something, modernize, this work will have no end. <...> By introducing this culture of measurability and counting of any task, any activity, you change the very culture of management, because as soon as counting appears, deadlines immediately appear, <...> as soon as deadlines appear, there is an understanding that after the expiry of the deadline actual results will be asked. <...> Digitalization, planning, and counting make it possible to form a ‘plan-fact’, <...> you can see what is happening even without arguments with your colleagues and friends. <...> The key element of any management model, and of public administration even more, is feedback. We are introducing it everywhere. <...> Firstly, it is an external assessment of the quality of what we do, <...> and secondly, it is important to realize that it changes the internal culture of management,” Dmitriy Grigorenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation – Chief of the Government Staff.

 

For more information, visit the Roscongress Foundation's Information and Analytical System at roscongress.org/en

 

Read also