BTRG has been providing business process improvement, transformation and reengineering services to enterprise-level and public sector organizations for nearly two decades. Today, we offer TrueNorth, the market’s leading performance management consulting services designed specifically for public sector organizations.
The concept of community-based outcomes are not new to public sector organizations, however, most past efforts have been focused on specific areas such as crime and justice (McCarthy and Bruin, 2000) and healthcare (Gamm, Castillo, and Williams, 2010; Minkler and Wallerstein, 2008). Current expectations are that elected officials address broad community problems irrespective of government level. Local issues such as educational performance and healthcare availability have broadened to state and federal levels. As a result, governments and other community organizations must work together to provide immediate and long term solutions to these issues while ensuring accountability and operational efficiencies.
Broad community issues are complex and rarely resolved by a single organization. While topics such as educational performance fall primarily fall on the education system, it has been well established that environmental factors that include prenatal care, pre-school opportunities, wellness, nutrition, after school activities, crime within the community and more contribute to student success. Well beyond the resources or expertise of the educational system, many of these contributors must be addressed by local, state, and federal government agencies and community organizations.
Addressing community issues begin with identifying them. Politicians are most attuned to the needs of the community and include these issues in their election bid platforms. Since elected officials are ultimately responsible for all government activities, it seems logical that they should be the primary drivers in identify community issues and needs. With the help of qualified organizational strategists, community issues and needs are translated into community goals and objectives. At this point, elected officials must recognize that they lack the specialized expertise to understand the contributing factors to improve community conditions, and a panel of subject matter experts comprised of multiple organizations and disciplines is convened to:
- Identify current community conditions
- Identify desired community conditions based on goals and objectives
- Identify short, intermediate, and long-term actions to effectively achieve goals and objectives
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each community and governmental organization in implementing actions
- Develop organizational goals and objectives
- Develop organizational strategies for implementing goals and objectives
Developing and achieving desired community-based outcomes requires public sector organizations and community-based organizations to work as teams to identify and implement strategies that are effective and sustainable. The challenge is defining broad organizational goals and objectives that align to the needs of the community and leverage the strengths of all available resources while ensuring high levels of accountability, transparency, and performance. Developing performance management processes and practices that meet this challenge is critical to the future of government and should be a priority for all public sector organizations.
Gamm L., Castillo G., Williams L. 2010. Education and community-based programs in rural areas: a literature review. Rural Healthy People. Vol 3.
McCarthy K.J., Bruin, M.J. 2000. Managing community-based outcomes through the application of relational victimization theory and practice. Presented at Convening XXIV. April 7,8, and 9, 2000.
Minkler, M. and Wallerstein, N. 2008. Community-based Participatory Research for Health: from process to outcomes. John Wiley and Sons. San Francisco, CA.