In 2016, the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Office of Continuous Improvement led an initiative to assess and improve how the state manages its internal sustainability reporting and efforts. After some initial fact-finding, the team discovered there were unconnected reporting requirements, a variety of approaches to sustainability activities, and no coordinated effort to understand outcomes or identify opportunities for improvements. This case study examines how Minnesota responded and the Department of Administration’s newly formed Office of Enterprise Sustainability, in collaboration with the Continuous Improvement team, led a statewide project to build a streamlined and effective governance structure with state agencies to use. In particular, participants will examine how the team built a case for change, developed cross-agency relationships, managed initiative fatigue, led culture change components, and established new systems, structures, and processes. The case study also examines the legacy of this program during a gubernatorial transition.
Located in the heart of West Baltimore, Center for Urban Families (CFUF) serves an area that is beset with significant poverty, crime, and racial inequity. Founded in 1999 with a mission to “disrupt poverty,” CFUF has served more than 28,000 members, placed 3,779 members in full-time jobs from 2010 through 2016, and touched nearly 62,000 children whose parents were CFUF members. The organization has received national attention for its work, hosting President Barack Obama in 2013. During the visit, the President spoke about his upbringing without a father and lauded the fathers there for working with CFUF to change their lives. “For your sons to see you taking this path,” the President said, “that’s going to make all the difference in the world.”
Yet, the organization is driven to do more and has grappled with challenging questions as it has grown and evolved: What does the organization’s mission of “disrupting poverty” mean as the community’s extraordinary needs evolve? What form of outcomes does the community and its families need to achieve? How could CFUF redesign its governance model and organizational design to increase capacity? What information does CFUF need to evaluate and refine its programs more effectively? How could the organization leverage and expand on its existing corporate and non-profit partnerships? How could the leadership team build internal capacity and create a culture that maximized impact? In a racially charged climate, how could CFUF serve as a unifying force?
In 2013 as part of an effort to improve facilities management and customer service for tenants in state buildings operated by the Tennessee Department of General Services, and to do so at less cost, the state entered into its first comprehensive managed service contract. This case examines how Tennessee navigated this change, developing a comprehensive contract governance system, establishing contracted key performance indicators, and having the vendor put in place a work order request and a continual customer survey system. During the transition, the state developed strategies to address the existing workforce, track actual cost avoidance and benefits of the new program, and address concerns about existing service levels. At the conclusion of the first three years of its new contract, the vendor had already exceeded its five-year cost avoidance goals with a validated cost avoidance of $25 million (including utilities) and customer satisfaction levels far exceeding industry standards at a three-year average of 92%. As a result of this positive experience, involving only about 10% of Tennessee’s total real estate portfolio, the state began taking the program’s best-in-class performance and lessons learned and pursuing expanding its facilities management outsourcing to the remaining 90% of state facilities, including higher education.
In a fast-paced world, what does it take for a state workforce to deliver a higher level of customer-centric services while also reducing cost? This case study examines how this challenge was met head-on by the State of Tennessee as it adopted a new workforce strategy. Tennessee’s program - Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS) – introduced Work from Home, Mobile Work, and Free Address programs to over half of the state’s agencies. It began with pilot programs in three agencies: the Department of Children’s Services, the Department of Financial Institutions, and the Department of Economic and Community Development. The pilots were designed to (among other things) reduce turnover and introduce a more collaborative, citizen-centric culture and approach. Just a few years after its creation, AWS not only had 17 of 23 state departments implementing a smarter, less expensive workspace but also had spawned new programs focused on digitization and offering more citizen-centric services (i.e., one point of entry for services, rather than visits five different agencies). In addition, AWS helped the state manage the risk of having a workforce in which 50 percent of employees were eligible to retire over the next five years and reduced the 2.6 million Rentable Square Feet (RSF) in downtown Nashville by at least 700,000 RSF (27%), avoiding approximately $14 million annually in just the next few years, all while building new capabilities and agility for employees, aiding recruitment and retention, and enhancing customer service.
Shared services and customer-centric service delivery is a core strategy for every responsive government. But how quickly can these capabilities be developed and activated? This case study examines the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s rapid journey to transition 3,000 information technology (IT) and human resources (HR), full-time employees, into the Office of Administration to create a new delivery center model. This restructuring was designed to improve services for citizens and agencies, while also reducing costs and streamlining collective functions. Their unified model was intended to shift HR and IT from a functional perspective to strategic business service and to allow the Commonwealth to operate as one government, providing consistently effective and efficient services to all agencies. The Commonwealth had already transitioned several transactional HR functions such as payroll, open-enrollment, and off-boarding, and centralized several IT functions like emails, telecom, and data centers. As the Office of Administration works on pacing the implementation, this case examines how they were simultaneously stabilizing structures and systems, and processes (especially as they relate to governance and metrics) to sustain the transformation in the midst of an upcoming election.
In the early 2000s, the State of Ohio had a silo-ed information technology system and a decentralized approach to data. Twenty-six agencies were using approximately 9,000 servers to support more than 32 data centers that were running at less than 10% of their capacity. Moreover, of the close to one billion dollars that were being spent to support IT, approximately 70% of that was dedicated to infrastructures, such as servers and routers, while only 30% was being spent on public facing applications. This case examines how in five years, Ohio made tremendous strides in restructuring and optimizing IT systems, migrating 5,000 servers to the cloud, and re-allocating spending to what’s important. Success required building strong, diverse relationships with different agencies, legislators, the private sector, the University system, local governments, and others. As a result, in just two years, Ohio had seen more than $100 million in direct savings and produced $60 million of cost avoidance for higher education and local government partners.
Colorado is committed to healthy living, and in 2013 the state launched a robust effort to improve the health and wellness of over 30,000 state employees. In collaboration with several private sector partners, they created an online web portal, accessible to all employees regardless of their insurance provider, to establish incentives and support customized programs to improve employee wellness. Within three years they had more than 50% of employees participating in activities such as health screenings, targeted diabetes programs, walking and exercise programs, and new partnerships to offer near-site health clinics. This case study examines their initial efforts focused on redefining the relationship between partners, developing trust, and increasing participation, which necessitated working across diverse agencies with different needs, cultures, and ways of communicating. It also considers how the program evolved, and how the state restructured its partnerships to provide a more innovative, outcome-focused program
In 2011 in response to evolving technological platforms, economic factors, social variables, and political shifts, Missouri launched a new service delivery program - Missouri Health Homes initiative - designed to provide cost-effective, longitudinal, multidisciplinary care to individuals with chronic conditions. Establishing this new model involved extensive cross-boundary collaboration, with the Missouri Medicaid Program (MO HealthNet), the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Social Services, and the Office of Administration. This initiative resulted in a structural change and a new operating model that was promoted to other states. To launch this effort the team had to develop a new funding model, build strong, diverse relationships with different agencies, legislators, the private sector, vendors, and others, and develop a new set of outcome measures. Along the way, the initiative encountered the challenges of recruiting and training new staff, collecting, organizing, and using new types of data, revising existing processes, and breaking down information silos. This case focuses on Missouri’s efforts to respond to convergence, transform their operating model, manage culture change, capitalize on data and analytics, and establish and maintain diverse partnerships.