Managing Performance and Transparency in Municipalities – Florida

In ClearPoint's new webinar series, Tracy Miller from Sarasota County, and Laura Karpaviciute and Mike Cernech from the City of Tamarac shared their knowledge of strategic planning and performance management.

Two weeks ago, ClearPoint Strategy hosted the third webinar in our new webinar series, Managing Performance and Transparency in Municipalities. The webinar featured Tracy Miller from Sarasota County, and Laura Karpaviciute and Mike Cernech from the City of Tamarac, who shared with us their knowledge of strategic planning and performance management.

Tracy began by discussing at a high-level how Sarasota’s strategic plan is implemented. When Tracy joined Sarasota County four years ago, the high turnover rate for the county created significant transition fatigue for employees. There have been four county administrators since 2009, and the county is currently in the middle of an administrator change. When Tracy first started to create a strategic planning process, she wanted it to be very simple, but meaningful to the public. By building an organic strategic model that constantly evolves, the organization created a platform to align their Mission, Vision, and Goals. The county has 8 strategic goals that planning and operations relate back to. Monthly meetings are established to discuss the strategic plan and identify important trends that allow financial decisions to be made. Finally, Sarasota has established a process where an ‘Employee Input Group’ (made up of individuals throughout the county) meets with the leadership team on a regular basis. This allows the leadership team to connect with employees from different parts of the organization and discuss important issues. By implementing a simple yet practical strategic planning process, Sarasota County has experienced a culture shift where strategic planning is looked at in a positive manner that will guide the county through the future.

Mike then described the importance of data in Tamarac’s performance management process. The city commission set 5 high-level strategic goals for the city to accomplish. To ensure that the city is meeting these high-level goals, Tamarac consistently uses data and measures to track their performance management. They also use customer satisfaction surveys to ensure that they are meeting the needs and expectations of their citizens. This is part of all city processes, and is subject to review in monthly department meetings and quarterly meetings with the city leadership team. Through an example with the city’s Building Department, Mike stressed the importance of holding employees accountable to adequately collect data for performance management purposes. There must be enough data collected to ensure that no performance results are skewed. Mike also shared an example of how Tamarac used data to gain valuable insights into employee satisfaction. Laura finished Tamarac’s presentation with an overview of the transparency that is part of Tamarac’s performance management practices. Anyone in their organization is able to view the performance management data, as it is important to Tamarac to maintain transparency internally. Tamarac also has an external dashboard that allows citizens to see both strategic and operational data and measures. Laura makes sure that the information on the external dashboard is easy to understand and meaningful to citizens. Qualitative background information is provided for each measure to provide context for the data. Finally, Laura described that performance management works for Tamarac because it serves a purpose, is integrated into all processes, and is communicated internally and externally.

Ted Jackson, Managing Partner at ClearPoint, finished the webinar with a short presentation of ClearPoint’s Municipal Measures Library. The newly updated Municipal Measures Library is a platform to foster collaboration and increase performance among local governments. Municipalities can share the measures they currently use to manage their strategy with other local governments, and draw from one another’s metrics to enhance performance overall. There is also the ability to compare measures against the new 2016 ICMA data. Currently, there are over 340 measures in the library that users can search by title, contributing organization, or category.

Ultimately, Tracy, Mike and Laura described how their municipalities are using ClearPoint in unique ways to carry forward their strategic plans and performance management. If you missed the webinar and would like to take a look, you can do so here. Additionally, if you are interested in hearing how other municipalities are managing performance and transparency, check out our other two installments of this series. Our Texas Municipal Webinar with Austin Resource Recovery and the City of Fort Worth, Texas can be accessed here, and our Rocky Mountain Region Municipal Webinar with City of Arvada and City of Fort Collins can be accessed here.