1504.0 - Methodological News, Sep 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/11/2002   
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Total Approach Management (TAM) is a framework or philosophy for designing, acquiring and processing inputs from businesses, and for monitoring and improving these processes. It is being developed as part of the ABS' Business Statistics Innovation Program, a program of re-engineering the way ABS collects and processes data from businesses.

From a high level, TAM arises from the realisation that a number of initiatives impact on providers and we need to fully consider their linkages and relative cost effectiveness. A TAM framework can provide cohesion to a range of work aimed at advancing improvements to provider management, data quality and operating efficiencies.

At a lower level, elements of best practice for the different stages of collection development, design, testing, operations and evaluation are used in many collection areas and processes, but not inside an overall framework. Best practices are therefore more difficult to systematically identify, quantify or generalise.

The TAM framework will provide assistance with this cohesion.

While the outcomes, processes and infrastructure in scope of ‘Provider Management’ represent a key component, TAM includes more than managing provider load and contact in that:

  • it emphasises that the overall provider experience and resulting data quality are related to areas apart from direct provider contacts (e.g. instrument development and content, frames and selection). It also emphasises feedback from processing into the design and development of the acquisition process;
  • it has a strong cost-effectiveness, process outcome monitoring, and improvement layer to explicitly recognise the need to routinely evaluate the statistical and cost-effectiveness of processes, practices and systems.

Outcomes sought from the TAM philosophy are to:
  • improve provider experience and expectations;
  • improve the quality of data provided;
  • improve the cost efficiency of data collection ;
  • reduce provider load;
  • reduce data acquisition and processing costs; and
  • improve response rates and cooperation.

Further information about Total Approach Management can be obtained from Rob Burnside on (02) 6252 7816.

Email: rob.burnside@abs.gov.au.