City Manager Mark Jinks introduced the Office of Organizational Excellence as being effective December 1, 2019. As stated by the City Manager: "We are transforming the way we operate to continuously improve our ability toward reaching and maintaining our goals of excellence, cooperation, ethics, honesty, diversity, initiative, and learning. Our employees continue to meet the challenges and to excel despite periodic setbacks. We should all be very proud of where we are today and excited about where we are headed."
The Office of Organizational Excellence is leading the implementation of the framework from the Commonwealth Center for High Performance Organizations (HPO). This is a further step in supporting excellence and advances the organization toward the City's Vision of "A culture that supports each of us and inspires excellence."
Previous work completed includes:
- the adoption of a Vision, Mission, and Values statement for internal operations of the organization
- an engagement survey completed by all departments in 2017 and 2018; and
- about 150 City senior management employees trained in the HPO model in 2019.
The purposeful intent is now to implement the HPO model Citywide and to continue HPO training.
The training program provides a full understanding of the practices and principles of high performance organizations based on case studies and class discussion. Each class made initial recommendations for improvements for the organization. The Office of Organizational Excellence is using this to guide initial improvement projects as well as the Employee Engagement Survey results.
High Performance Organization Team
Office of Organizational Excellence:
- James Spengler, Director
- Pam Dudoff, Organizational Development Specialist
- Robert Snyder, Chief Internal Auditor
- Internal Auditor
- Greg Useem, Chief Performance Officer
- Beth Murdock, Performance Analyst
- Performance Analyst
Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities support from the following HPO experts:
- Barbara Farrington, Human Resources Manager
- Kelly Gilfillen, Marketing & Communications Manager
- Tiffany Marbury, Executive Assistant to the Director
- Faye Maslaki, Administration Division Chief
- Dana Wedeles, Principal Planner
Implementation of the Commonwealth Centers for High Performance Organization Model will be done in conjunction with a High Performance Organization (HPO) Council appointed by the City Manager. The Council shall consist of City Manager's Office senior staff, Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Fire Department, Department of Community and Human Services, Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, and Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. Other Council members shall include representation of one or more of the smaller departments of the City appointed by the City Manager.
The HPO Council will guide overall implementation through priorities. These priorities will be translated into Citywide projects, which should be cross-cutting to many departments along the critical path for system-wide HPO implementation. Citywide projects will be set at the beginning of each fiscal year consistent with resources to complete the necessary work. Each HPO project will be implemented through a cross-departmental project group facilitated by HPO staff.
In addition, all City departments shall select HPO implementation projects for their area of responsibility. The focus of these projects would be within the structure of the departmental organization. The work would be accomplished through a departmental team facilitated by HPO staff.
Consulting Information Session
As part of an informal request for proposal process for consulting services, the Office of Organizational Excellence hosted an information session on November 17. The project involves facilitating several cross-functional and departmental teams of staff members to develop value behaviors. Without behaviors that can be counted and measured that support organizational values, there is the risk that they remain a poster on the wall. The City's objective is that organizational values live in the organization and are demonstrated through the daily actions of staff.