Managing Performance and Transparency in Municipalities – Rocky Mountains

In ClearPoint's new webinar series, Kelley Hartman from the City of Arvada, and Lawrence Pollack from the City of Fort Collins, shared with us their insights into performance management in the municipal space.

Tricia, Senior Consultant at ClearPoint, leverages her 4+ years of performance management experience when working with customers to improve their reporting and strategy execution.

Last week, ClearPoint Strategy hosted the second of three webinars in our new webinar series, Managing Performance and Transparency in Municipalities. During this webinar, we featured Kelley Hartman from the City of Arvada, and Lawrence Pollack from the City of Fort Collins, who shared with us their insights into performance management in the municipal space.

Kelley and Lawrence began by touching on the importance of commitment when it comes to managing performance. Kelley highlighted the commitment of both the City Manager and the City Council, as well as the importance of leadership’s backing each step of the way. Lawrence spoke about the idea of cascading expectations throughout the organization, where expectations are managed from the highest level down to the department heads. Both speakers also offered examples depicting resistance to managing performance. Lawrence spoke specifically about resistance seen in municipal performance management programs that have been rolled out, while Kelley dove into ways to mitigate this resistance. They then discussed strategies on how they kick started their performance management plan at each of their respective cities. At Arvada, Kelley worked to facilitate strategic business plans within all departments, whereas Lawrence took the ‘crawl, walk, and run’ approach at Fort Collins. This approach is when they roll out strategic plans that had not been perfected and then evaluate strategies for improvement going forward.

Lawrence’s major takeaway from performance management has been Fort Collins use of QSARs (Quarterly Service Area Reviews) and strategy maps within the organization. QSARs are quarterly meetings where standing topics such as safety, financials, community dashboard metrics, and operational issues are discussed. This is viewed as an opportunity for uninterrupted time with executives to discuss the performance of specific Service Areas. Community Dashboard metrics are reported directly from ClearPoint and can be seen on the Fort Collins public facing dashboard. Lawrence also went into the details of creating their 5-year strategic plan based off citizen, Council, and departmental inputs and priorities to drive their budget process. The strategic plan is monitored through strategy maps, which look at how metrics and initiatives are contributing to the overall Strategic Objectives.

Kelley described Arvada’s strategic plan as well, which is broken down into four priorities, each of which includes 24-City Council strategic results and the Departmental Business Plan. Arvada’s public facing dashboard, created by ClearPoint, is updated monthly to create transparency and increase engagement among citizens. Standing the Test of Arvada Time (STAT) meetings, are conducted monthly within each department to focus on process improvement in each department’s plans, and to encourage collaboration amongst members of the departments. Kelley concluded her discussion by touching on the unexpected surprises that Arvada saw along the way as they rolled out their strategic plan. One of these surprises, was the importance of the project management tool that ClearPoint offers to assist in managing many projects simultaneously.

Ted Jackson, Managing Partner at ClearPoint, concluded the webinar with an overview of ClearPoint’s Municipal Measures Library. The newly updated Municipal Measures Library is a place for municipalities to 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 are currently over 340 measures in the library that users can search by title, contributing organization, or category. The 2016 ICMA measures are also included in the library. The Measures Library is a way for municipalities to work together, share information, network and promote transparency across municipalities.

Ultimately, Kelley and Lawrence described how their municipalities are using ClearPoint in unique ways to boost performance. 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 first installment of this series with Austin Resource Recovery and the City of Fort Worth, Texas here. We hope you also will be able to join us on October, 19th for the third installment of this series with Sarasota County and the City of Tamarac from Florida at 2PM EST.

The link to register for the Florida Webinar can be accessed here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Managing Performance and Transparency in Municipalities – Rocky Mountains