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Help organizations effectively identify,
communicate, prioritize, and plan projects
with reasonable time lines to:

Enhance staff and stakeholder engagement
& enthusiasm

Build and maintain momentum (Tom Collins
Flywheel Concept)

Allow staff to maintain focus on highest
priorities

And successfully fulfill their mission
Using our sponsor to demonstrate a
Mission Statement:
Midpen’s Mission
To acquire and preserve a regional
greenbelt of open space land in
perpetuity; protect and restore the
natural environment, and provide
opportunities for ecologically
sensitive public enjoyment and
education.
Provide Open
Spaces
And Strengthen
Communities!
Enjoy nature, have
fun outdoors
The Real ‘Why’s’
behind Effective
Priority Setting

Identified local jurisdictions of
various sizes

Mapped the processes

Process analysis

Picked the best practices to create
a ‘Best of the Best’ process
Our Rating Criteria was based on
guidance offered in the following articles:


‘Yearly Priority Setting for City
Councils’ by Geoff Ball
‘Effective Local Government Priority
Setting’ by Rick Beauchamp
Campbell
Cupertino
San Jose
Hybrid
Process
The Best of
the Best
Sunnyvale
Santa Clara Valley
Water District
Livermore
Santa Clara
County
Palo Alto
To provide a generic, turn key
priority-setting process that
captures the best practices of
various plans, is easily
adopted by multiple agencies,
and can be applied
immediately.
•Develop and
propose a list of
•Hold a
• Secure
funds
projects
that
fit
Best
Practice
Tip:
Council,
•Post and
•Review Mission and
workshop
with
into established
• Assign and
teams
communicateexecutive
Vision Statements
Board Members,
Executive
priorities
proposed
members
Stafftomust
keep
their
finger
on a
• Monitor
/ evaluate
Best
Practice
Tip:
Each
Priority
has
•Identify and set
Best
Practice
Tip:
Submit
project
proposals
to
projects
via
review
public
•Staff will rank
progress
thelimit
pulse
of
their districts
and
specific priorities
3
year
time
(at
which
time
it
media
outlets
align
with
elected
official’s
terms
of
office
or
budget
input
proposed
•Establish
no
Best Practice Tip: Hold an off-siteconstituents
retreat •with
an status
objective
desires
throughout
for project ranking
Report
should
be
completed
or
re-evaluated)
projects basedmore than
•Hold a public
•Approve
cycles
theand
priority setting process
facilitator
•Results of kick-off
on established
three (3) high hearing to adopt project • Complete projects
event is
priorities
priorities per receive publicrankings at a • Celebrate and
communicated to
year per
comment on regularly
recognize staff
organization /•Staff
line submits department
proposed
scheduled
projects to
staff
projects
Council / Board
Council, Board,
Meeting
and Executive
Staff
Best Practice Tip: Stay the course and do
not redirect staff or shift priorities midstream
Tony Ndah
Senior Engineer
Santa Clara Water District
Dee King Raub
Fred Ho
Fire Captain
Santa Clara County
Fire Department
Senior Civil Engineer
City of Campbell
Team
Members
Bob Swensen
Richard Sandau
Airport Operations
Manager
Mineta San Jose Airport
Electric Division ManagerGeneration
City of Santa Clara
Henry Servin
Traffic & Transportation
Engineering Manager
City of Gilroy
To Request E-Copies of PowerPoint
and/or Policy & Procedure Handout
Contact Team Member:
Bob Swensen
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Comments or Questions
1.
2.
3.
4.
Supports a Collective Vision and
Commitment
Encourages Collaboration among
Stakeholders and Promotes Public
Involvement
Establishes Method for Ranking Priorities
and Identifies Specific Goals that are
Measurable
Generates Attainable Results




Projects and priorities will align with and
support the organizations mission / vision.
Projects and priorities will balance new
projects with existing project work and
current demands on staff.
Highest priority projects will be given a
reasonable timeline to be accomplished
(without redirecting staff or changing
focus).
New and/or unexpected projects and
priorities will be fully analyzed and vetted
(before staff is redirected to adopt and
accomplish them).




Align with and support the organizations
mission / vision.
Balance new projects with existing project
work and current demands on staff.
Allow staff to maintain their focus and
complete previously established priorities
Establish a process for new and/or
unexpected projects and priorities to be
fully analyzed and vetted before different
direction is given
City of Sunnyvale
City of Livermore
City of Campbell
City of Palo Alto
Staff, Council, and
Management propose
projects for consideration.
Staff proposes new
projects every 2 years to
align with council member
terms. Provides a list of
projects with descriptions
to council members.
Retreat held with Council
members and executive
team to establish business
priorities (set specific
categories for project
ranking).
Policy and Services
Committee
solicits Council for input on
priorities.
Projects are ranked in
priority.
Council members rank
current (was ‘old’) and new
projects individually prior
to workshop.
Staff assigns projects
based on
available staff resources
and
funding.
Committee compiles
priorities and provides
complete list to Council
members in advance of
scheduled retreat.
Proposed projects and
rankings are posted on the
City’s website for public
access and review.
Council meeting held to
review
individual project rankings
and
prioritize projects into
categories.
Staff ranks projects based
on business priorities
established by Council and
executive team during
retreat.
Annual retreat is held to
establish priorities.
Final projects are set.
No more than 3 high
priority
projects permitted per
department.
Public Hearing is held on
proposed projects.
Public hearing held to get
public input on project
rankings and categories.
Council approves project
priorities at Council
meeting.
Management and staff hold
workshop with Council to
discuss proposed projects
and review public input.
Project list is finalized
following
public hearing.
Final projects are set.
No more than 3 priorities
can be established each
year, and each priority has
a 3 year limit.
Ste
p
Process
Plan that
provided it
1
Hold a retreat with Council Members and Executive Staff /
Senior Management to establish business priorities /
objectives.
City of Campbell
• Retreat frequency aligns with Council member term of
service
• Recommend retreat is managed by an objective facilitator
if possible
• Identify and set specific categories for project ranking
2
Staff proposes new projects every ‘X’ years to align with
Council Member terms of elected service
City of Livermore
• Staff provides list of projects with descriptions to Council
Members
• Projects must align with previously established business
priorities / objectives
• Projects must fit into previously established categories
3
Staff ranks projects based on business priorities / objectives
established by Council and Executive Staff at retreat
4
Staff compiles ranked and priority projects and provides
complete list to Council
City of Palo Alto
Steps Process Step
Plan that
provided it
5
Council members review and rank current (previous year /
old) and new projects
City of Livermore
• No more than 3 high priorities can be established each
year per department
• Each priority has a 3 year time limit (at which time it
should be completed or reevaluated)
City of Livermore
City of Palo Alto
6
Proposed projects are posted on the City’s web site for
public access and review. A public notice is circulated
regarding their availability on the web site.
City of Sunnyvale
7
Council Meeting is held , attended by Senior Staff to review
project rankings, priorities, and ensure they reside in proper
category
City of Livermore
8
Public hearing is held to receive public comment and input
on proposed projects and rankings
Combination City of
Sunnyvale and Livermore
9
Council members and Senior staff hold a workshop to
discuss final rankings of projects and review public input
City of Sunnyvale
10
Final project list is set
All




Review Mission and Vision
Statements with Council, Board
Members, and Executive Staff
Identify and set specific priorities for
project ranking
Results of kick-off event is
communicated to organization / line
staff
Best Practice Tip: Hold an off-site
retreat with an objective facilitator



Develop and propose a list of projects
that fit into established priorities
Staff will rank proposed projects based
on established priorities
Staff submits projects to Council,
Board, and Executive Staff
Best Practice Tip: Submit project
proposals to align with elected official’s
terms of office or budget cycles

Establish no more than three (3)
high priorities per year per
department
Best Practice Tip: Each Priority has a
3 year time limit (at which time it
should be completed or reevaluated)



Post and communicate proposed
projects via various media outlets
Hold a public hearing to receive public
comment on proposed projects
Best Practice Tip: Council, Board
Members, and Executive Staff must
keep their finger on the pulse of their
districts and constituents desires
throughout the priority setting process



Hold a workshop with executive
members to review public input
Approve and adopt project rankings
at a regularly scheduled Council /
Board Meeting
Best Practice Tip: Stay the course
and do not redirect staff or shift
priorities midstream
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