Boost your city-wide strategic plan! Here is how.

 

 Boost your city-wide strategic plan! Here is how.

Your city currently has a strategic plan set out by City Council members and the Mayor himself.  Congratulations! The first part of the homework is complete. Now, ask yourself, how is the city going to monitor and measure the plan? How is the city going to determine whether the defined goals are being met?

Imagine a project such as building a new hospital. This project contains elements such as multiple dependencies,  a large team to manage or aggressive deadlines. For this type of work the project managers rely on a project management software. For the successful implementation of a city-wide strategic plan, a CPM software works best. Can you deliver without it? Sure, but what’s the quality of what you are delivering?

CPM software is developed to allow organizations to plan, monitor and improve their operational performance.   CPM achieves that by means of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in conjunction with scorecards, dashboards, reports, etc. to manage, measure and monitor business operations.

What’s the end result of using CPM ? That your city addresses the complex task of bridging the gap between the strategy, and the execution.

A well-designed plan implemented with CPM technology, allows cities answer questions like:

  • Are we investing our tax dollars where they need to go?
  • What is the level of satisfaction of our citizens?
  • Are we able to assess the performance of each objective contained in the plan?
  • Can we drill-down to the KPI that is negatively impacting the performance of the perspective?

In this post, I will explore and briefly touch upon some critical strategic planning areas addressed by CPM software, which powers your strategic plan and takes it to the next level.

Let’s get started!

Quick assessment of strategic components

“Create Prosperity Through Economic Development”. This is a strategic objective.

At any given time, do you think the city can determine the status – in terms of performance – of this objective? This is possible by linking KPIs to strategic objectives. Being able to get this information for strategic objectives, gives you a better picture, in real time, of the level of achievement of any strategy component such as Perspectives, Strategic Pillars, KPI, Initiative, etc.

Transparency

Go to ten city web sites and make note of how many of them are sharing results with their residents. As community members, we have a right to know about our city’s performance. Like, how is our tax money being invested? For instance, residents would like to see up-to-date information of the criminality rate and/or effectiveness of the transportation system. Why do people have to wait for council meetings, newspaper articles or press conferences to find information? How nice would it be to consume this information directly from the city web site displayed using nice charts or with information represented in colours, percentages or numbers to display the status of a relevant component of the strategy? Check out the URLs below to see how Houston and Boston achieve this objective.

Houston Performance Insight

Boston About Results

Ability to perform consolidations

CPM software is based on Business Intelligence (BI) technology. It uses OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) engines for complex calculations that standard reporting systems cannot process. The OLAP engine can be thought of as the brain of the CPM system. The engine performs complex calculations on the data to transform it to information for decision making.

This engine also gives the user the ability to perform two types of consolidations – Numerical and time-based. For example, a Public Works director may be interested in in the TOTAL NUMBER OF TONS OF DEBRIS CLEARED in 2016 (numerical consolidation), broken down by quarters (time consolidation) for the Elm and Main streets.

Alignment

In the strategy management context, it means:

1) Having everybody working towards the achievement of corporate /city-wide goals and

2) Logically grouping strategy elements.

For example, if your strategic plan uses the balanced scorecard (BSC) approach, then you would group the objectives based on the perspective they belong to from either the logical or business perspectives. CPM software provides tools to validate and visualize these relationships. These include (but are not limited to) strategy maps and/or cause and effect diagrams. The CPM software does not create alignment, but rather, it enforces and supports it.

Accountability

Accountability is the condition of being responsible for the outcome of a component of the strategic plan. These are, strategic goals, objectives, initiatives, KPIs, etc. Accountability takes place when the decision maker appoints a person to drive tasks, processes or strategic elements of the plan. The CPM software does not deliver accountability, it reinforces it. The software provides powerful visualization tools to warn the person tagged with a strategic component about its change of status or trend, which could potentially negatively affect the strategic plan.

So, there you have it. Do not let that plan you invested time and money into sit there like a race car with the engine running. Press the gas pedal and take it to the next level!

 


Carlos Aguilar,PMP

Carlos is a highly trained project manager with a unique experience delivering projects in many performance management applications. He provides in depth knowledge of EPM and OLAP technology to the field. Thanks to his experience with IT Project Control Office he brings compliance to existing project management process, and he helps assisting project managers with internal project management processes, financial procedures and delivering technical and functional training.

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