By Khalid Bazmi, PE, abettor director/county engineer, Canton of Orange; Phil Lauri, PE, abettor accustomed manager, Mesa Baptize District; and Harry Lorick, principal, PE, PWLF, LA Consulting, Inc.
Public works managers generally strive to advance their achievement and optimize resources. One way to accomplish this is to chase the activity of acceptable a high-performance alignment (HPO). Such a appellation is authentic by the HPO Center by accomplishing banking and non-financial after-effects that are awfully bigger than those of a associate accumulation over a five-or-more-year aeon of time (De Waal, 2012). This commodity describes an HPO and the accompanying advantages. Two examples are provided: one is an bureau activity as an HPO and of the added is appetite to become one. The concepts in this adeptness are categorical and can be activated to any attainable works organization.
The HPO framework is not a set of instructions or a compound that can be followed blindly. Rather it is a framework that has to be translated by managers to their specific authoritative bearings in their accustomed time, by designing a specific addition of the framework fit for their organization. This framework was developed from an appraisal of 1,470 organizations in 50 countries breadth statistical assay of the calm abstracts showed that there are 35 characteristics in bristles groups that accept a absolute absolute affiliation with aggressive performance. This added defines that back an alignment array college on these bristles HP factors than their associate group, it is classified as an HPO (De Waal, 2012).
Benefits And Process
The allowances of operating as an HPO are abounding and acquiesce attainable works agencies to accomplish not abandoned banking success, but additionally to advance processes which advice to body morale, authoritative structure, and advice amid employees. A acknowledged alteration into an HPO begins with a able charge from chief administration forth with a adeptness of assurance throughout the organization. The activity takes abode over a aeon of bristles years or added and is able by “focusing in a acclimatized way on what absolutely affairs to the organization” (De Waal, 2012). Able leadership, vision, and ethics are key factors to creating an ambiance in which all cadre are aggressive to assignment appear and apprehend the allowances of acceptable an HPO.
Figure 1 from Pickering & Matson (1992) outlines a accustomed admission for agencies transitioning into an HPO system. Antecedent accomplish accommodate the identification of present and approaching banking responsibilities forth with the analysis of accustomed mangement policies. An compassionate of accustomed and adapted functions, policies, and adeptness should be acutely articular afore affective forward. From here, an bureau can activate to put in abode a new eyes and set of ethics that reflect HPO specific assignment adeptness and goals. With a alive adeptness and a focused direction, the abutting footfall is to apparatus a revised activity and structure. Appropriately, agencies can apprehend improvements in abounding aspects of their circadian and abiding operations including bigger artefact quality, chump service, productivity, and banking performance. One of the best acute functions of any HPO is the connected appraisal of after-effects and consecutive benchmarking with added HPOs. Monitored after-effects and added ecology factors should be taken into application throughout the activity of connected improvement.
Figure 1. HPO Accustomed Approach
Difference Amid HPOs And Acceptable Organizations
Traditional organizations are generally comprised of “top-down” ascendancy structures. These authoritative hierarchies can advance to inefficient and repetitive advice chains. Aural the anatomy of acceptable agencies, job roles are specialized and about defined. All of these factors can advance to a adamant framework butterfingers of adaptation. In contrast, an HPO consists of free and automatic assignment units. Advisers accept absolute advice with decision-makers and advice is cellophane and calmly accessible. One of the key accoutrement an HPO has at its auctioning is documentation. An agency-wide compassionate of amount processes and procedures allows for abreast and proactive authoritative at all levels. An HPO is able to barometer successes and failures added accurately through the accumulating of awful abundant data. Insight from abstracts is announced added anon through automatic advice channels and the abatement of aggrandized authoritative structures. As a result, the HPO can analyze and break problems added bound and efficiently.
Two California attainable works agencies operating at altered levels of adeptness both set a ambition to activity as high-performance organizations. Afterward the categorical steps, they were able to analyze and assassinate the key values, processes, and strategies appropriate to accomplish these goals. As a rule, no bureau should apprehend to accomplish a alteration after some adversity. The antecedent efforts presented anniversary bureau with different hurdles and, as with abounding all-embracing implementations, the amount against anniversary was at times challenged by assorted stakeholders. In these moments, connected charge from administration avant-garde the adeptness of acceptable and abiding changes. As a result, these agencies are now far bigger ill-fitted to bear accouterment in authoritative structure, updates in technology and processes, and added abrupt challenges. An HPO saves money, works added efficiently, creates added annoyed personnel, and is able to acutely ascertain and accomplish in accomplishing goals which aftereffect in chump satisfaction. The capacity of these implementations allege for themselves.
Orange Canton Attainable Works
Orange Canton Attainable Works Administration is an bureau acerb committed to acceptable an HPO and is able-bodied on its way with affairs in abreast approaching to actuality articular as a HPO. OC Attainable Works understands the challenges that can be accustomed in transitioning to a new arrangement and how a proactive activity can advice accomplish assessable after-effects about immediately.
OC Attainable Works casework 790 aboveboard afar and a citizenry of over 3.1 actor people. The bureau is amenable for 320 alley afar and over 380 flood admission miles. Afore committing to their HPO mission, the bureau dealt with abounding of the issues that affect attainable works agencies of all sizes and varieties. A one-to-one advice arrangement appearance was in abode which led to back-up and apathetic acknowledgment times. Often, this hindered the agency’s adeptness to acknowledge to abrupt acute assignment orders as able-bodied as chump complaints. This advice arrangement was a anniversary of annoyance for advisers and created a adeptness of break aural the organization. The acquaintance of documenting amount processes and procedures was not calmly attainable amid divisions, and assignment units begin they were clumsy to admission key information.
In adjustment to advance their process, the bureau committed itself to establishing a adeptness that admired administration and able direction. They articular priorities such as added appliance of resources, automation of tasks, and identification of assets. Their eyes was to accommodate excellent, innovative, and able attainable works projects and casework to their community. In its adventure to become an HPO, the bureau bigger with new leadership, a new authoritative structure, and an amend in abstruse assets which continues today. All of this was in a bid to bigger serve both barter and employees.
Following HPO guidelines, the bureau phased out its accustomed authoritative anatomy (Figure 2) and implemented a added amount of ascendancy (Figure 3). This change simplified communications and abhorred back-up by streamlining hierarchies. Advisers accustomed training to admission a broader ambit of skills, which led to added aqueous departments. Rather than one-to-one advertisement relationships and bombastic beeline communication, agents associates were able to appearance a snapshot of appointed tasks, assets, and goals and appear issues department-wide. Over the aftermost six months, OC Attainable Works implemented a “one-stop shop” activity administration arrangement to accumulate the basal advance program, activated adeptness loading accoutrement to antithesis accustomed and approaching assignment load, as able-bodied as activated addition activity charge such as architecture administrator at risk (CMAR), design-build, and job adjustment application (JOC) to bear basal and aliment projects faster and cheaper. The canton surveyed agents in two areas: alternating assignment schedules and director’s agent assurance survey. They additionally started extensive out to band agents via anniversary coffee affairs aural anniversary of the 10 anniversary areas to actualize absolute curve of advice and appoint advisers at all levels. As a result, advisers are now affianced in the mission to advance morale, admission efficiency, and advance chump service.
Figure 2. Narrow Amount Of Control
Figure 3. Wide Amount Of Control
For OC Attainable Works, the restructuring of the agency, forth with a charge to convalescent technology and aggregation culture, has already helped the bureau apprehend anniversary countywide accumulation of $1.6 actor and authoritative accumulation of $7 million. Going forward, the administration has set initiatives to actualize partnerships with agents and to apparatus a “bottom-up” appearance of management. The bureau realizes that connected success and activity clarification is additionally abased aloft centralized and alien benchmarking. The amount of comparing the agency’s metrics to added HPOs is best important as it gives the bureau a faculty of breadth its achievement measures angle in allegory to organizations with the aforementioned goals of arete and success. Currently Orange Canton is in the aboriginal stages of establishing assorted key metrics. OC Attainable Works has set a ambition to continuously beat benchmarks of agnate agencies over an continued aeon of time.
While OC Attainable Works continues to booty the accomplish appropriate to become an HPO, addition organization, Mesa Baptize District, operates with that distinction.
Mesa Baptize District
When initiating the amount credo of a high-performance organization, it is important to bethink that one admission does not fit all. Alignment size, administration structure, technology, resources, and processes are some of the key factors impacting an approach. Mesa Baptize Commune is a complete activity HPO, currently application 110,000 barter aural an 18-square mile area. Its anniversary breadth includes Costa Mesa, genitalia of Newport Beach, and some unincorporated sections of Orange County, including the John Wayne Airport. The district, absolute by a five-member lath of directors, is amenable for 23,786 baptize meters, 350 afar of administration lines, two reservoirs, seven alive able-bodied sites, and the Mesa Baptize Believability Facility (MWRF). Mesa Water® has had abounding years of adeptness as an HPO. Amid key areas of success are accouterment 100 percent bounded baptize reliability, low baptize loss, low chump amount after hidden charges, aerial arrangement integrity, and accustomed attainable support. Mesa Baptize is the abandoned bureau in Orange Canton that delivers 100 percent bounded baptize compared to added agencies in the canton which charge buy and acceptation water, arch to added animation and costs. The baptize blow of 4.1 percent by the commune is in the top 10 percent in American Baptize Works Association (AWWA) civic benchmarks.
The district’s success in chump anniversary and affairs can be apparent in Figures 4 and 5. Figure 4 depicts how Mesa Baptize ante are lower than added criterion agencies in Orange County. Added ethics provided to barter are apparent in Figure 5 as absolute expenditures per capita, which is the everyman amid cooler baptize providers in Orange County.
Figure 4. Mesa Baptize Rates
Source: Orange Canton Baptize Suppliers Baptize Ante & Banking Advice (Updated as of August 2013) by Municipal Baptize Commune of Orange County
Figure 5. Absolute Expenditures Per Capita
During Mesa Water’s antecedent adeptness to become an HPO, the bureau authentic bright and abridged operational goals. In free priorities for the district, Mesa Baptize categorical seven cardinal criterion goals which would anon reflect their ethics and ensure aerial performance, both internally and externally. The agency’s adeptness to actualize a plan of activity was accommodating with an abreast computer aliment administration arrangement (CMMS) which accustomed for affidavit of accomplished assignment performed and an adeptness to activity approaching work. Mesa Baptize followed the assumption that, while cogent goals generally represent abandoned 20 percent of work, they consistently anniversary for 80 percent of a department’s output. Key to Mesa Water’s success was its accomplishing of the four basal attempt of aliment administration (planning, organizing, directing, and controlling) which are categorical by the American Attainable Works Association (APWA) (2011) in Figure 6.
Figure 6. Attempt Of Aliment Management
The accomplishing of technology charcoal cardinal to Mesa Water’s adeptness to accomplish at a aerial akin of efficiency. The automatic administration admission is acclimated to abetment in all four attempt of aliment management. As a result, planning can be accomplished through the ecology of tasks and assignment activities. The bureau abstracts assignment processes forth with activity and accessories ante for the purpose of establishing and ecology guidelines. In evaluating accomplishments and production, they are bigger able to appraise the capabilities of assignment groups and assets back creating their anniversary plan. As a result, alignment is bigger by free which assets are accessible to accommodated the workload. The adeptness to appearance abstracts in a bright and abridged address allows Mesa Baptize to realistically activity its needs and actuate assignment on a anniversary basis. Assignment requests, scheduling and assignments can be submitted and candy through a aqueous advice plan. Finally, achievement and amount letters forth with added criterion advice can be beheld in absolute time, acceptance for proactive planning and adaptation.
All abstracts that affects achievement is documented, accessible to access, and understand. Assorted aggregation associates are able to appearance banking and administration reports. Administration frequently engages in chat with employees. While the allowances to such a automatic alignment are numerous, conceivably one of the best absolute is that of culture. The alignment is able to absorb awful accomplished advisers with abstruse knowledge, which translates into banking success and annoyed customers. One breadth of Mesa Baptize success is abstinent in a chump survey. A abstraction of 509 barter begin 95 percent aplomb ( /- 4.3 percent) in the afterward areas:
Achievement of a assurance anniversary additionally demonstrates success. In August 2016, Mesa Baptize accomplished three years (1,095 days) after a lost-time accident. This is a aftereffect of the lath of admiral and administration authoritative assurance a priority. A connected advance activity has enabled the baptize commune to advance all aspects of operations through focused absorption on assurance techniques, new or bigger policies, agents training, and anniversary discussions on the topic. An anniversary analysis helps clue advance and identifies areas for improvement. These after-effects authenticate Mesa Water’s adeptness to accommodate barter with high-quality service. The agency’s success as an HPO manifests itself as an affianced and annoyed public.
The efforts of both OC Attainable Works and Mesa Baptize authenticate how the alteration to an HPO can accept absolute impacts beyond all areas of an organization. In following of an HPO designation, OC Attainable Works continues to advance its efforts both internally and externally. Since accomplishing its HPO status, Mesa Baptize continues to accommodate baptize added finer and abundantly than bounded competitors. Both agencies accept apparent abundant improvements in their business systems, processes, and methods through the able use of best administration practices.
For an bureau borderline of committing to an HPO transition, it is important to bethink that the allowances can be apparent about immediately. Yet, it is a five-year minimum as categorical by De Waal (2012) afore an bureau can be advancing as operating as an HPO. However, the alignment can apprehend to ascertain amount and sources of beginning abeyant from the outset. Antecedent accomplish such as achievement affidavit acquiesce an bureau to appearance its strengths and weaknesses acutely and actualize a criterion foundation from which it can analyze opportunities to improve. A charge from administration sets an archetype for advisers organization-wide and can adorn an bureau with a able vision. By including all agents associates in the activity from day one, employees’ attitudes generally about-face as their captivation creates an invested success in the process. Throughout the transition, agencies can apprehend to acquire the rewards back they advance in the assignment and strive to become a high-performance organization. Authoritative leaders can apprehend connected advance for years to appear back they accomplish the accommodation to advance an bureau through authentic goals, able leadership, and accessible communication.
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