Successfully transitioned strategic frameworks.
The OKR journey seems like a lot of work up front but as teams see the progress and performance, it gets that much easier and people really start to get behind it.
The City of Vaughan, Ontario began using ClearPoint to manage its strategy in 2014. The city was incorporated in 1991 and its population has tripled since then. Throughout its growth, Vaughan has been known for good management and a professional city government. ClearPoint helped maintain this image and allowed Vaughan to keep its departments aligned to the overall strategy. All was working well.
Vaughan, never satisfied, embarked on an organization-wide journey to adopt a new popular business management framework, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). While they were already easily reporting their scorecard results in ClearPoint, they realized they needed a framework to better align, motivate, and foster collaboration across their organization. The City is successfully rolling out this new framework within their ClearPoint account and leveraging ClearPoint to track success and results.
Implementing the OKRs Framework: A Two-Phased Approach
Together with their ClearPoint Account Manager, the City took a two-phased approach to rolling out the OKRs framework.
The first phase involved facilitating and training on the OKRs framework for their team. After training was complete, they helped departments develop the framework, creating an individual plan for each team. In 2020, the City piloted eight departments, and is rolling out the framework to remaining departments throughout 2021.
The second phase involves aligning teams and individual OKRs to both department and strategic levels. Phase two also includes developing meeting cadence. The City of Vaughan meets regularly to keep staff focused on performance and help keep OKRs top of mind. These meetings allow for greater transparency and early detection of any problems or risks. The City recognized just developing and setting their OKRs was not enough. Continuously monitoring progress and results has allowed them to see success.
OKRs in ClearPoint
As the City began to pilot this new framework in eight departments, they worked with their ClearPoint Account Manager to structure their department scorecards to match the OKRs framework. Their Account Manager built summary reports that provided a high-level overview of the City’s Business Plan, as well as department summary reports that highlight each team’s OKRs. The City also chose to track their phased approach plan with ClearPoint’s project management capabilities.
The City’s ClearPoint Account Manager helped the city build out this framework in their account to pilot the eight departments. Together, they were also able to develop a custom script to build the remaining scorecards for all departments in a matter of minutes, allowing them to quickly get up and running.
With this framework now in ClearPoint, the City can easily see alignment from top to bottom, ensuring their team is focusing on the same goals. This high level of clarity in ClearPoint allows teams and individuals to know who is doing what, when they are doing it, and what the expectations are.
Now, departments update their measures in ClearPoint on their defined meeting cadence. This information is automatically updated on their dashboard. The dashboard captures the objectives, key activities, and results and is circulated to the teams for their review prior to the meeting.
Realizing Early Wins
For the City of Vaughan, the new framework is already enabling the execution on its strategic plan in a way that ensures alignment across the organization, and ensures teams are working towards the same goals. The City of Vaughan sees these benefits in higher levels of staff engagement, stronger alignment and collaboration, improved dialogue, and increased transparency.
The City’s employees are also experiencing a greater sense of purpose. They know exactly what they need to be working on and when they need to be working on it. At the organization level, the new framework has enabled the City to bring their results into focus, thus reducing reporting and meeting burden. Fast, good decisions are a requisite for fast, good results.
ClearPoint’s capabilities made managing this process, and switching frameworks, simple and easy. ClearPoint has been a staple during the City of Vaughan’s transition period. With the help of ClearPoint’s automation features and customizable, easy to create summary reports, the City of Vaughan was able to successfully build out a new framework, align their teams, and promote accountability seamlessly.