New Orleans: The road to becoming a 21st century government (part 1)
In 2010, IBM Citizenship created the Smarter Cities Challengeto help 100 cities over a three-year period. IBM sends 6 of our best and brightest individuals to a given city tohelp them address some of the critical challenges facing their city. In 2011 alone, IBM went to 26 cities across theworld and so far, the cityleaders have been more than-pleased with IBM’s sense of global citizenship.
In September of 2011, 6 IBM subject matter experts, thoughtleaders, executives and IBM master inventors contributed their time andexpertise to the City of New Orleans. The following blog is Part 1 of a 2 partblog on the experience and solutions developed for the City of New Orleans. The blog is authored by IBM Rational’s ownJim Amsden - Software Architect, Government IndustrySolutions.
Envisioning a 21st Century Government in New Orleans
New Orleans is a fantastic city that has had its share of challenges over the last fewyears. We spent the first week doing discovery: interviewing and meeting MayorMitchell Landrieu, many members of his staff, community leaders, the US ArmyCorps of Engineers, representatives from Tulane University,and the local IBM team. We collected a virtual library of documents and heldworkshops to explore key issues in greater depth. Over the course of the threeweek period we met with over 60 people representing a wide cross-section ofperspectives and interests who provided us with a view of the beauty andpotential of the City of New Orleans,as well as the challenges the city faces in realizing that potential. We metsome truly fantastic people with incredible capabilities and insight, many ofwhom left lasting impressions on us all.
We spent the second week establishing the scope of theproblem, attempting to address not only the issues raised in the New OrleansSSC application, but also those re-enforced through the discovery process. Ourscope was to address planning and performance management issues to help thecity determine what services they should provide, at what service levels, andhow should they provide them efficiently, effectively, and within availableresources in order to maximize outcomes delivered to its citizens. In order todo that, we also had to address the creation of an effective Information SupplyChain to provide the information needed to do the planning and perf
We then analyzed our findings from the discovery process andformed a set of hypothesis that organized and guided our visi
In summary, our vision for helping New Orleans become a 21stCentury Government, to enable the Mayor to see, to hear, and to know what ishappening and how to act involves addressing three areas: Planning andPerformance Management, Community Partnering and Information Supply Chain. Aspecial thanks goes to Okumura-san for capturing this vision.
Getting the most and not using much: Planning & Performance Management
New Orleans,like cities around the world, is involved in a large number of inte
This is requiring most cities to find ways to do more withless, to optimize both what services they provide, and how they are delivered. New Orleans is addressingthese challenges by utilizing a process called Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) todetermine the services and services levels that maximize outcomes addressingthe highest priority citizen needs with available revenue. They also used aperformance management process for assessing how well those services areprovided and to identify actions for closing performance gaps.
We found that the BFO process was sound, but New Orleans experiencedsome challenges in achieving its expected benefit. BFO is driven by availablerevenue, prioritized goals, and provided city services. Uncertainty or latechanges in revenue estimates can have a significant impact on program planningand management. Manual execution of the BFO process makes it difficult toassess different service offers or iterate the process when priorities changeor new information is discovered. Prioritization needs to include the input ofa broad range of stakeholders, including the voice of the citizen to identifyand prioritize their needs.
Poor linkage between goals, service offers, outcomes,business plans, operations and performance indicators can make it harder toreason about different planning choices. Performance indicators may not besufficiently linked with programs, services, processes and resources in orderto ensure the right performance indicators are being assessed, and they havethe right target values consistent with the service levels needed to deliverthe required outcomes. This can limit the impact of performance assessments onoperations.
Tools augment and support the BFO process to:
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In the area of performance management, we recommend that thecity provide a balanced approach to performance assessment that addresses thewhole lifecycle of planning, solution development, operations, assessment, andmanagement and governance.
Tools can be used to develop “State of the City” scor
These recommendations are predicated on the availability ofaccurate and timely information, which motivated the recommendation for anInformation Supply Chain.
To Learn more about the concepts discussed in this blogdownload the whitepaper Governmentby Design: A Strategic Approach to Planning the Business of Government
Please stay tuned for part 2 of New Orleans SmarterChallenge story.