The City of Germantown's population is well-educated and expects a great deal out of their city government. The city has been named a "Top 10 City for Working Families" by Forbes, and the Germantown Municipal School District has posted the highest ACT scores out of any district in the State of Tennessee. The City of Germantown has gathered awards and recognition from both their citizens and associations. However, this did not happen by random chance. Germantown is a great place to live, work, and play by design, as seen in their strategic planning and performance management.
Germantown, TN, a city with a forward-thinking approach to strategy and performance management, partnered with ClearPoint Strategy to streamline its planning, reporting, and analysis processes. ClearPoint's cloud-based software provides the city with a centralized location for managing performance measures, aligning strategic and operational goals, and enhancing transparency with its citizens.
De'Kisha Fondon, Germantown's Senior Budget & Performance Analyst and ClearPoint Community Advisory Board member, oversees not only the city's overall budget, but also its performance management metrics as part of everyday operations. Fondon discusses the city's use of ClearPoint with co-founder Ted Jackson in a customer interview.
Watch the full interview here!
The City of Germantown chose a different type of framework than most local governments when creating their strategic plan. Inspired by the book We Don't Make Widgets: Overcoming the Myths that Keep Government from Radically Improving, leadership chose a corporate model for running their city. Like a for-profit company, they have customers (their citizens), employees, and goods and services (keeping crime low, building parks, education, etc.). The city decided to focus on outcomes, and what citizens want, and built a strategy around how they could satisfy those wants.
In 2015, City Administration decided it was time to create a new strategic plan with the input of their citizens. A 30-person steering committee was created to help create the Germantown Forward 2030 vision. One year and numerous meetings later, a town hall discussion with over 200 citizens was held to review the vision. Once the vision was finalized, a task force of citizens created action plans and measures based on nine key indicators. These task forces helped add objectives, action items, and performance measures to track the vision's progress. By the end of the process, members of the community invested approximately 2,000 hours into the plan.
The city understood that in order to execute their plan, they would need more than Excel spreadsheets. They chose ClearPoint Strategy to track their strategic information, so they could spend time looking at important data in order to make decisions. City leaders moved from discussing if they had the right data, where it was coming from, and why reports were formatted differently, to asking questions like: "How much did it cost?", "How long did it take?", and "Did it have the impact that we wanted it to have?"
Every quarter, the City Administrator meets with each department director. "Business Plan" reports are used during these meetings to review key department metrics. Directors can view a high-level overview of their strategic plan at any time and can see the alignment between goals, measures, and processes at all levels of the organization. The city shares their progress with citizens through their public dashboard and are moving towards 2030 with high aspirations to even better satisfy their customers.
One of the things I've heard across the board is that ClearPoint saves us time. It has been a complement for us in Performance Management.
Before adopting ClearPoint software, Germantown relied on Excel and various software tools for tracking and reporting performance data. This approach lacked alignment and consistency, as departments often used different reporting methods and formats. As a result, the performance management team struggled with managing and comparing the data, leading to time-consuming reviews and analysis. The lack of a centralized location made it challenging to ensure all departments were on the same page and moving in the right direction.
I learned the importance of aligning your processes and system, and being systematic across the board.
Since implementing ClearPoint, Germantown has experienced several positive outcomes:
Germantown's commitment to performance excellence and strategic management has been recognized with multiple awards, including the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) Award and the prestigious Baldrige Award. ClearPoint's role in the city's strategy was a significant factor in earning these awards.
According to Fondon, what is sought after in performance management and excellence is alignment and deployment, which were two things ClearPoint helped the city tackle by showing how Germantown is able to manage their strategy.
Learn more about how Germantown leveraged ClearPoint to achieve Baldrige Excellence here.
Germantown, TN's partnership with ClearPoint Strategy has transformed its approach to performance management, enabling a more strategic and data-driven decision-making process. The software's centralized platform, time-saving features, and alignment capabilities have empowered the city to work cohesively towards its long-term goals, while fostering transparency and engagement with its citizens.
Germantown looks forward to leveraging ClearPoint's artificial intelligence capabilities in the near future for advanced AI analysis and recommendations, which would further enhance their performance management efforts. Currently in the process of updating their Community Dashboard for 2035, Germantown continues to demonstrate its commitment to continuous improvement and excellence in strategic planning and execution.