The City of West Palm Beach began the strategic planning process a few years ago with the introduction of ClearPoint. However, it felt like something was missing. They quickly realized a lack of long-term vision for the usage of ClearPoint created complexity and a lack of buy-in across the organization. The City decided they needed to define their process so they could successfully manage their strategy. They evaluated their departments’ operations and the reports they needed to create a system that enabled everyone to execute the strategy.
Each year, the Mayor, the Commission, and Senior Staff develop and revise the City of West Palm Beach’s strategic plan. During this time, they focus on refining the mission, vision, and values of West Palm Beach. They have six core values and seven strategic priorities that inform the creation of their key performance metrics.
The City has also focused their strategic planning around the requirements of STAR Communities, with STAR an acronym for Sustainability Tools Assessment & Rating. Now, they are the only 4-STAR certified city in Florida recognized for its superior quality of life. Seven strategic priorities align with STAR so they are focused on creating a sustainable community for their citizens.
Choosing the right performance measures to track can be a difficult and daunting process for any organization. The City of West Palm Beach began by pulling performance measures from their budget book. However, once those measures were properly vetted, it became clear they were insufficient. The Budget Office began to work with individual departments to develop new measures but struggled to capture what was most important for the departments. The City decided it was time to bring in a consultant and made some improvements to measures. They started tracking the measures so that they could fully analyze the data and begin reporting and sharing information.
West Palm Beach knew they needed to create performance measures as well as track and understand the data behind the measures. They implemented a program called “CityStat,” which brought together a panel including the Mayor, City Administrators, and C-Level executives for regular performance data evaluations. Each department reports out their quarterly results to the “CityStat” Panel. The City uses ClearPoint to create Briefing Books for the presentations that have consistent formatting across departments and reports. West Palm Beach focused on the importance of monitoring and analyzing measures across departments to understand how they are standing up to the City’s seven strategic priorities.
West Palm Beach Working
In early 2018, West Palm Beach introduced their Community Dashboard. West Palm Beach Working is a public facing website that allows for transparency between the City and its citizens. It creates accountability and improves customer service within the local government. On the dashboard, you can find up-to-date key City performance measures pulling in data seamlessly from ClearPoint. The data serves as a snapshot for the public to view how the City is measuring up against the seven categories of their strategic plan. Citizens can see a description of each measure, an explanation of its performance, charts, and the measure’s overall status.
Focused on the Future
The focus on moving toward a data driven environment has produced better performance measures across departments and created strong organizational alignment within the City’s strategic plan. With a robust open data policy and public facing Community Dashboard, West Palm Beach shows its dedication to continuously working to preserve and enhance the quality of life of citizens.
With so much success in recent years, it might be possible for the City of West Palm Beach to become complacent. However, Mayor Jeri Muoio is committed to creating a sustainable process to continue expanding what they are currently doing. Years from now, the goal is to become a 5-STAR certified city.