Glossary of taskforce terms
Advisory Group – A governance body that provides subject matter expertise and advice to the taskforce.
Agile – An iterative approach to project management where ideas and products are tested and refined with stakeholders and users throughout the project lifecycle, rather than at the end.
Authorising environment – The collective support and authority from key stakeholders for the taskforce to take action.
Business-as-usual (BAU) team – The team that holds policy or implementation responsibility for the work of the taskforce and will likely take any further work forwards.
Closure – Refers to the close-down process for a taskforce, including staff transition back to home agencies, records management and conclusion of administration supports (but excludes work handover).
Enabling services - Support services like IT, HR, Security and Finance which enable access to a range of administrative essentials.
First Deputies Group – A group comprising deputy secretaries and deputy directors-general from First Ministers’ departments that may consider matters prior to National Cabinet.
First Secretaries Group – A group comprising secretaries and directors-general from First Ministers’ departments that may consider matters prior to National Cabinet.
Governance structure – The persons or groups a taskforce will engage with for decision-making, advice and strategic direction.
Handover – The process for discharging responsibility for a piece of work from the taskforce to another group, such as a policy area or implementation team.
Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) – a common governance body for cross-agency taskforces, where senior executives from representative agencies may discuss work and provide input on deliverables.
Issues tree – A method used to solve problems by breaking them down into small chunks that can be addressed in a structured way.
Lessons learned – The output from a retrospective or reflection at the end of a taskforce that identifies lessons from experience that could inform future taskforces.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – A written agreement between two or more parties that defines the working relationship, expectations and responsibilities. MoUs are usually not legally binding on the parties. They are commonly used to clarify arrangements between non-corporate Commonwealth entities, including secondment arrangements.
National Cabinet – The intergovernmental decision-making forum comprising the Prime Minister, state and territory Premiers and Chief Ministers. It replaced COAG as the primary intergovernmental forum in 2020.
Problem definition – A process used to scope the work of the taskforce or project by understanding the problem and defining it through a clear and structured question.
Project management – A structured process for planning and managing tasks to achieve delivery of an objective. Agile and waterfall are examples of common approaches.
Project sponsor - The Senior Executive(s) with overall accountability for the project.
Retrospective – Refers to an Agile process completed at the end of a project milestone through which team members identify improvements by reflecting on what worked, what did not work and why.
Scope – A clear articulation of the work that the taskforce will (and won’t) be doing to achieve its objective.
Scoping deck – A product that outlines the scope of the taskforce – including key deliverables, timelines, resources and governance arrangements.
Secondment – A temporary movement where the home agency remains responsible for paying salaries and other terms and conditions of employment.
Secondment agreement – A document that outlines the terms of a secondment between a home agency and a host agency.
Secretariat – A function that supports governance meetings, including scheduling, managing papers, note taking and records management.
Stakeholder – Individuals or groups (internal and external) that have an interest in and/or influence on the work of the taskforce.
Stakeholder engagement – Processes through which the taskforce interacts with its stakeholders , including through meetings, submissions, collaboration or information sharing.
Steering Group – A governance body that can provide strategic direction, represent areas of policy responsibility and make preliminary decisions.
Taskforce – A team of people brought together for a limited period of time to focus on addressing specific problems across organisational or functional boundaries.
Team norms – Agreed principles on how the team will work together, based on individual working styles and preferences.
Terms of Reference (ToR) – a document that outlines the scope of the taskforce's work, including its objective, what it will deliver and when, and governance arrangements, for the lead minister's agreement.
Timeline – A high-level overview of a given period of time, including deliverables, key milestones and meetings.
Waterfall project management – A traditional approach to project management that involves the development of a comprehensive project plan and supporting documentation that maps out a project end to end and follows a sequential process (waterfall).
Workplan – A detailed breakdown of tasks to be completed over a given period of time, including responsibility and dependencies.
Workstream – Refers to an area of activity into which a taskforce’s work may be divided.