The City of Goldsboro, nestled in the heart of North Carolina, stands as a testament to the region's rich history and cultural heritage. As the county seat of Wayne County, Goldsboro has evolved from its roots in the early railroad industry to become a bustling hub of activity, brimming with Southern charm. With its warm-hearted residents and a growing focus on strategic development, Goldsboro is a shining example of Southern hospitality meeting forward-thinking progress.
Assistant to the City Manager - and ClearPoint Community Advisory Board member - Octavius Murphy delves deep into the performance management strategies in Goldsboro with ClearPoint Strategy co-founder Ted Jackson, focusing on the significant role the software has played in the city's evolution.
Watch the full customer interview here!
At its core, Goldsboro's operation is much like a small business, given it employs fewer than 500 people. Yet, the scale of its operations and impact aligns more with the dynamics of a big business. The city has been actively integrating business tools to foster population and business development.
Before the introduction of ClearPoint Strategy software, Goldsboro's approach to performance management was foundational, but lacked the dynamism and transparency of modern management systems. The transition period paved the way for a more organized and accessible system, better suited to meet the city's evolving needs.
Back in 2017, Goldsboro's performance management system mainly focused on tracking and measuring results, without a comprehensive strategy or vision in place. While there was some effort in strategic planning, it was limited and lacked full city council buy-in.
For an effective performance management system, tracking trends and measuring pivotal results are crucial. At that time, the city manager was in the early stages of formulating a strategic plan. The process of crafting this plan spanned across two and a half years, with the active participation of the mayor and council. However, this journey faced an unexpected detour when the city manager, who had initiated the strategic planning, left. This led to an interim phase of adaptation, as a new city manager brought fresh methodologies to the table.
The transformative phase began when a new city manager came aboard, ushering in a fresh approach to strategic planning and performance management. One of the crucial changes was emphasizing the alignment of goals and metrics across various city departments. This ensured a coherent strategy, with each department working in tandem to achieve the city's broader objectives.
During the initial strategic planning phase, the department heads of Goldsboro actively engaged, playing an intrinsic role in shaping the plan's design. However, the reporting mechanisms during this period were fairly traditional and limited to annual council retreats. The shift towards a more integrated and transparent performance management system came with the introduction of ClearPoint, granting the mayor, council, and city manager's staff direct access to the city's strategic plans and updates.
Another significant development was the city's emphasis on its mission, vision, and values, especially during new staff orientations. This helped ensure that everyone understood the bigger picture and their role in it. Goldsboro's overall strategic plan is a testament to alignment. At its core, the plan revolves around the mayor and council's goals, which act as a guiding light for the entire city.
Each department has specific measures to which they hold themselves accountable. This accountability stems from a sense of ownership. While the city manager certainly has a say in the approval process, it's the department heads who truly own these metrics. Their "skin in the game" approach ensures that they not only set these metrics, but also commit to achieving them.
This platform has created opportunities we never imagined. Prior to ClearPoint, we never had the data in a way individuals could value.
To ensure transparency and public trust, the City of Goldsboro started sharing critical metrics publicly on its website. The city collaborates with the UNC School of Government, and other ClearPoint customers across North Carolina, on a benchmarking project. This initiative focuses on comparing Goldsboro's data with 14 other municipalities and towns across the state. With the introduction of "Benchmarking 2.0," an intuitive dashboard in ClearPoint allows quick access to city data. Through this system, department heads have the capability to evaluate Goldsboro's metrics against those of other communities, giving them insights into other municipalities, proper baselines, and areas for improvement.
It's really accurate data that tells a powerful story. We didn't have any of this.
Furthermore, Goldsboro taps into the potential of ClearPoint for a deep analysis of statistical data from their annual comprehensive financial report. Even though this data isn't audited, it offers a thorough understanding of the city's financial landscape. This approach empowers the city manager to observe and discern financial trends, ensuring the city's direction remains well-informed and strategically oriented.
Additionally, the city's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is an internal dashboard that lays out a 10-year projection of Goldsboro's long-range goals. Department heads are equipped with the ability to access and rank their projects by priority within this platform. The CIP provides a granular view of fund usage, with categories ranging from planning and design, to equipment and construction, cumulating in a total fund usage of $411 million. Further insights are drawn from the detailed breakdown of the sources of these funds, including general funds, utility funds, and stormwater. Specific departments, like Engineering, offer more detailed project lists inclusive of analytics, rationales, and recommendations. Leveraging advanced features in ClearPoint, such as the tag feature, the CIP seamlessly integrates new projects with their respective fund uses and sources.
The city manager really likes data. He's an analytical guy. That's why he, too, is a fan of ClearPoint, so that support system is major for my desk.
Goldsboro, NC, has exhibited how a small city can transform its performance management and strategic planning approach, primarily with the assistance of ClearPoint Strategy software. With its array of features and emphasis on data-driven decision-making, ClearPoint offers municipalities, regardless of their size, the tools to effectively manage, track, and optimize their strategic objectives.
The city's strategic plan emphasizes alignment, accountability, and adaptability, and underscores the importance of ensuring that every department's goals are in sync with overarching city objectives. In essence, Goldsboro's application of ClearPoint in benchmarking, financial auditing, and capital improvement planning equips the city's management with crucial insights, analytical tools, and actionable data, enabling them to make well-informed decisions. With a combination of thorough planning efforts and performance management software, Goldsboro positions itself to adapt to changing circumstances and consistently strive for betterment.