How to align your strategic goals with your operations
By Erin Latham
A well-functioning public sector organization should be a powerful ship in open waters — able to move in any direction and weather even the most powerful of storms.
Unfortunately, many municipalities operate like a ship without a rudder — unable to change direction and proactively steer around stormy weather. They lurch from one crisis to the next with no real ability to make significant strategic and forward-thinking moves, and this lack of meaningful progress means the organization stagnates and citizens lose out.
Local governments need to align their goals with their day-to-day operations and use targeted data analysis to help every employee across every department see the way forward. All team members must deeply understand how their tasks and decisions directly contribute to the organization’s big-picture success.
Here are three tips to help you get your crew aligned and give your ship the rudder it needs:
1. Implement a government performance management technology platform.
A government performance and strategy management software framework is essential if you want to use data to your advantage and keep employees engaged, aligned, and accountable to your plan. One that is cloud-based is usually the most cost-effective and easy-to-use way to grant companywide access to relevant operational data, and it can provide better data integrity and analysis than traditional solutions.
What’s more, government-focused performance management solutions are often developed with governmental operations in mind, so indispensable features like best practice strategic road maps, best practice KPI and reporting models, and public dashboard capabilities are properly aligned with the goals of the public sector rather than being one-size-fits-all.
2. Provide the blueprints.
Once you have the right system in place, the next step is to implement the strategic and operational alignment of vision. Lay out plans that are flexible and executable. To achieve this, you should focus on keeping your rules SMART: simple, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-sensitive.
This simple acronym is your path to building vital operational discipline that keeps your team aligned, on track, and up-to-date on the ever-changing key metrics and outcomes they should be monitoring. Furthermore, having a solid rules framework at the ready will limit confusion and ensure your team doesn’t lose momentum when it needs to change direction.
3. Spotlight your champions.
Of course, without the proper leadership, it won’t matter what methodologies you have in place. Assign departmental leaders across the company who will champion your alignment efforts — these are the people who will carry responsibility for the unique actions each department takes toward its execution. There will be roadblocks, speedbumps, and resistance along the way, but your champions should be the ones who can persevere through the resistance that always comes with change.
As time goes on, make sure to have your champions celebrate the wins that occur within their departments and recognize employees who are playing proactive roles in your success. These wins should be celebrated organizationwide so it’s clear that change is happening throughout the organization — not just on a departmental basis.
It isn’t enough to simply have the right tools, the right data, and the right crew — you need a proper foundation on which to unify these forces and build a better municipality. By aligning your goals with your best practices, you can create a proactive ship that thrives through calm and choppy waters.
Erin Latham is the founder of Mo’mix Solutions, a public sector and education software and services company. Its platform, the Mo’mix Performance Center Cloud Intelligence and Transparency Data Management Platform, has received national awards for “Best Return on Investment for the Public Sector.”