About the Author
Plan Your Work – Work Your Plan
Scott Neal, July 30, 2012 | Scott Neal
Earlier this year Assistant City Manager Karen Kurt and I met with the City Council in a retreat setting on during a cold February weekend at the Braemar Clubhouse to talk about how we could improve the way we organize our work and deliver our outcomes. When I say it like that it sounds a little high-minded, but in the end, what we really want to do is deliver good value to the people and businesses that call Edina home.
What came out of that meeting was the Council’s first annual Work Plan. The Work Plan is comprised of six goals with a number of objectives under each goal. The six goals of the Council’s 2012 Work Plan are:
- Advance the Living Street Initiative
- Support the Redevelopment of Major Commercial areas
- Evaluate public Recreation Facilities/Enterprise Funds
- Encourage Neighborhood Associations
-Improve Decision-Making Through Formalized Policies
- Promote Environmental and Personal Health
In addition to setting these goals, the Council also asked for a quarterly briefing on the staff’s progress in accomplishing the goals throughout the year. The second quarter update is available on the City’s website at www.EdinaMN.gov. Look down in the “Government Corner” down in the lower lefthand corner of the home page.
A written Work Plan is a simple device that helps us remind us what we set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year. City employees want to implement the policy direction of the elected representatives of the community. A Work Plan makes that direction clear and helps keep us focused throughout the year.
A Work Plan is also an important accountability device. Regular quarterly progress report meetings are a great venue to impress the Council with the quantity and quality of work that we are accomplishing, and it’s also a good reminder to the Council that it’s their goals and objectives that we’re implementing. City staff are accountable to the Council. Council Members are accountable to their residents. I think it’s important to reinforce that relationship whenever possible.
Translating our goals and objectives into written formal Work Plans that can be accomplished and measured by City employees has improved our performance and accountability in the way we deliver city services in Edina. Our success with our Work Plan in 2012 makes me optimistic for the year ahead.