City of Stoughton Budgeting for Outcomes Creating Purchasing Strategies
By the end of the meeting you should have: 6-9 purchasing strategies that are based on the factors on your cause and effect maps to be used as guidance by departments in preparing programmatic offers Assignments for research to confirm evidence for factors and strategies A plan and schedule for completing your RFR How We Will Get There 1. Looking at the cause and effect map, brainstorm individually all the possible strategies that evidence indicates would help achieve the outcome. A good technique to use is to start with “We’re looking for programs that…” Put them on post-its. (See more detail in the Purchasing Strategies handout) 2. Post all the post-its and as a group discuss the brainstormed strategies in terms of what you know about what evidence shows or from your professional experience. Group strategies as appropriate and name them. 3. Using sticky dots ask each person to identify which strategies they think are the most powerful. 4. Discuss the ranking and decide on the 6-9 strategies to propose. 5. Decide on a plan for how to gather research to improve your factors and strategies. This may include showing the maps and strategies to experts who can give feedback.
Purchasing Strategies Instructions Your purchasing strategies will summarize how the City of Stoughton can BEST deliver the results that the public expects. You will use these strategies to create Requests for Results; departments will use those to create their budget offers. These strategies will later serve as a guide in the ranking process. At the end of this exercise you will have produced a list of your best purchasing strategies. You have already produced draft cause and effect maps. Now you’ll determine Purchasing Strategies that will help departments create clear, concise, and competitive proposals. Here are some sample strategies are: We can deliver more results to the public for the money if the costs of high-priority activities can be reduced. We want proposals for current services that are improved and costeffective. We want innovative proposals that produce great results. Your strategies may be as general as the ones above and/or specific to your outcome. Your purchasing strategies will let the departments know what strategies your Results Team thinks will work best. You develop Purchasing Strategies by first looking at the causal factors on your strategy map. Which categories of factors have the most impact? What kind of proposals would address those factors? You want to tell the Departments as clearly as possible what kinds of programs or activities you think will best produce the result. It is good to be both clear and succinct in your Purchasing Strategies. There is no specific limit on the number of strategies; 6-9 is a good number of Purchasing Strategies. It may be helpful to the departments if you prioritize the Strategies. You want the departments to know what you think is most important. And you want clear criteria for your Result Team to use in ranking the proposals you receive. General Purchasing Strategies These strategies cut across all Priorities. They will be established by the Leadership team and included in the budget instructions that include all RFRs. Please note when you think one of your suggested strategies should become a general purchasing strategy. Steps:
1. Review the Indicators and Map. Take a few minutes to individually write down purchasing strategy possibilities. A good way to start is to say “We’re looking for proposals that…..” 2. Consider existing strategies in light of your indicators and map. Are they good ones? Would you recommend continuing them, or revising them? 3. Consider Influence versus Control. In the strategy map, some factors are government supported, some are not. Think about what the city can control vs. what it can influence to produce the intended result. Are there particularly important factors that the city should more effectively influence? Are there things you want to encourage residents to do for themselves? Are there factors already being handled by other governments? 4. Consider the evidence. Just as you considered evidence in determining factors, what does evidence say about the ability of particular strategies to deliver a strong return on investment in terms of success in your Priority area? 5. Individually, name your purchasing strategy choices. Now it is time to name purchasing strategies you think will lead to the best results. These will communicate to the departments what your team is looking for in their proposals. 6. As a team, choose your top purchasing strategies. Discuss your individual statements as a team. Come to an agreement on 6-9 Purchasing Strategies State your team’s purchasing strategies as instructions to the departments. This will help them know up front what you would like to see as they develop their program proposals. An example - “Research shows that visitors are strongly influenced by personal interactions with citizens. We are therefore looking for proposals that increase citizen engagement in our tourism vision.”
Statement of Purchasing Strategies Outcome ______________________________________ We are looking for program proposals that…. 1.____________________________________________________________ 2.____________________________________________________________ 3.____________________________________________________________ 4.____________________________________________________________
Finally, note any strategies that are good candidates for “General Purchasing Strategies” across all proposals. Tips: Strategies include a verb (e.g. incent, educate, focus, prevent). For example, on the Washington health map, causal factors that produce or negate health included drug use, obesity, and exercise. One of the four strategies the team developed was to Increase healthy behaviors/ personal choices through public information and education. Be clear and succinct. For example, one Snohomish County team communicated what the county chose to do in education with the phrase, “from doorbell to school bell.”” Practice stating your strategy as a one sentence headline of where the city chooses to focus. Look short - look long! Consider a mix of strategies that offer immediate benefit along with longer time horizons. Causal factors and strategies are different from organizational or budget structures. Hold back from discussing current programs and activities. BE CLEAR. The best self-test to administer is to ask, “If I were a department, would it be clear what this team is looking for?” Samples of Purchasing Strategies While no other jurisdiction has done the process exactly like Stoughton, following are some examples of selection strategies from other jurisdictions that may give you some ideas. The Thriving Communities Result Team wants proposals that “build community” and that: Emphasize partnerships that reduce duplicate services; Erase jurisdictional lines in public perception; Are effectively delivered and held accountable; and Effectively inform and communicate with the public. The Education Result Team is seeking proposals to: Increase the investment in early childhood care, health and education Improve student achievement by investing in teacher quality Improve student achievement by reducing class size Increase accessibility to post-secondary opportunities Build partnerships among education institutions, government, families, communities, business, non-profits, and others 3
For Health We are seeking proposals for – Increasing healthy and safe behavior, especially Reducing meth use and distribution Promoting healthy and safe sexual behavior Reducing obesity Mitigating environmental hazards, especially Reduction of food borne illnesses Immunizations for all children Improved water quality in the Western part of the county