Home Smart 100 2011 Governance Manager (SMART 100)

Governance Manager (SMART 100)


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The following SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity. More about the SMART 100.

Governance Manager

This innovation initially came to life when…

Blue Zoo was a boutique management advisory firm, and came to the realisation that our industry was fundamentally inefficient. Our services were largely unavailable to the SME and not-for-profit sectors due to cost, and unavailable to regional and remote areas due to availability of qualified people.

We set about to commercialise our intellectual capital into an instrument that would still be valuable to large companies, but would also be accessible to smaller organisations and regional areas.

The product ‘Governance Manager’ has taken five years to develop, but is now deployed in nine countries and many not-for-profit organisations.


The purpose of this innovation is to…

Governance Manager is used to simplify governance, bringing greater transparency and accountability to organisations. It embeds good governance practices in organisational culture and helps executive and management teams to make better, more informed decisions.

It does this by…

Governance Manager applies a consistent language and approach to measuring and managing governance. Governance Manager guides clients through a governance assessment process, helps them to select improvements to close governance gaps, and then manages and monitors this program of work. The process allows companies to measure improvement over time and to continuously refine governance practices.


This innovation improves on what came before because…

Traditional consulting services are expensive, prone to assuming that the ‘consultant knows best’, and mostly constrained to the metropolitan areas.

Governance Manager takes the best of management advisory IP and offers this in a software instrument that allows clients to make informed decisions about how this IP could best be applied in their organisation (at a much cheaper cost).

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

  • Develops a common language with a consistent way to assess and report on governance controls.
  • Creates a culture of understanding and improvement.
  • Highlights challenges and celebrates centres of excellence.
  • Fosters learning and capacity building for sustainability.


In the past, this problem was solved by…

Prior to Governance Manager, governance assessment was usually:

  • point-in-time with little multi-period comparability
  • conducted by external consultants engaged on an hourly rate
  • influenced by advisor bias or changes in advisory staff.

The usual ‘output’ was a report, rather than a ‘system’ that allowed clients to self-monitor and assess the success of improvement initiatives.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

Austrade conducted a global due diligence on the product and were not able to find any directly competitive product, although there are literally hundreds of thousands of advisory firms who are certainly ‘competitors’.


It is made for…

The target market for Governance Manager is any organisation of sufficient complexity that requires measurement against a ‘framework’ of some description. This may be the ASX8 governance principles, ISO9001 for quality, CobiT for IT, or many others.

Clients range from the Western Australian State Government, who use it to assess public sector governance standards, through to smaller organisations such as Volunteering WA and the Community Legal Centres Association.

Peak bodies are typically attracted to Governance Manager, because it also allows them to compare and guide governance standards amongst members/subsidiaries.


It is available for sale through…

In Australia, the product is sold via a direct sales team and the website. Channel partners have been appointed to service the Singapore and UK markets. Blue Zoo is taking Governance Manager to the US in May 2011.

Our marketing strategy is to…

Governance Manager is taken to market via a channel-preferred strategy, with the intention of appointing a network of local and international resellers to represent Blue Zoo’s commercial interests. Austrade have been instrumental in assisting Blue Zoo to establish a presence in Singapore and the UK. We are also currently seeking distribution partners in Sydney and Melbourne.



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