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Thursday, Nov 27, 2014
 
 

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Shared Services PDF Print E-mail

 

Hampton Roads Shared Services Project

Virginia’s Hampton Roads Region:
Shared Services Project (SSP)

Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake cities collaborate to explore sharing Public Services -
a pilot program


Local government leaders recognize they must manage constant change and create flexible systems that can adapt with demands. Communities in Hampton Roads are working to identify opportunities to reduce the cost of providing essential local services. Every local government has cooperative relationships with others to deliver services. Sometimes it is integrated formally through an inter-local agreement or a joint powers agreement; sometimes it is informal through cooperation between neighboring departments that provide the same service to separate constituencies.

The 2012 pilot program of the Hampton Roads Shared Services Project is a joint public-private effort of the Fortune 500 businesses and the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach, all members of the Hampton Roads Partnership. The objective is to identify possible ways the three cities can share services among each other, resulting in more efficient and effective service delivery for the citizens of the cities and cost savings for the governments. This shared services project is an excellent example of how local governments and the private sector can work together to improve services and manage costs in this economic climate.

PILOT

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Management Partners (MP) is the consulting company for this important initiative. MP brings external, objective advice and access to specialized expertise to the project. They are also in a position to provide organizational change management assistance, coaching, and operational improvement services, as needed. MP's role is to conduct the analysis and facilitate service sharing discussions, enabling city staff members to continue their important service delivery tasks.

The goals of this project include:

  • Identifying and fostering opportunities for improving services, reducing current costs, and avoiding future costs;
  • Widening the range of service sharing opportunities among the participating governments; and
  • Establishing a basis for future sharing.

Keys for success include:

  • Placing emphasis on what is working;
  • Using what is working as the basis for making things work better;
  • Balancing the needs of individual cities with the collaborative opportunity to share;
  • Developing and implementing good strategies for service sharing; and
  • Building support for change.

The work of the project will be guided by a steering committee convened by the Hampton Roads Partnership's Fortune 500 members and the participating cities.  The committee's role is to oversee and guide the project, to monitor each project activity, provide advice and guidance on significant issues, and to decide on the services that should be recommended for sharing.

The committee’s participants include:

  • E. Dana Dickens, III, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Partnership;
  • William Harrell, Chesapeake City Manager;
  • Rick West, Chesapeake City Council;
  • Marcus Jones, Norfolk City Manager;
  • Barclay Winn, Norfolk City Council;
  • Jim Spore, Virginia Beach City Manager;
  • Glenn Davis, Virginia Beach City Council; 
  • James Fothergill, Dollar Tree chief people officer;
  • Tina Gill, Amerigroup VP External Communication Operations;
  • Jeff Gough, Smithfield Foods VP Logistics, Human Resources & Safety; and
  • Jim Hixon, Norfolk Southern executive vice president-Law and Corporate Relations, and chair of the steering committee.

The project consists of four phases:

  1. MP staff meets with city management representatives and department directors to build an inventory of services which each city thinks may be appropriate for a service sharing arrangement with one or more of the other cities.
  2. MP assesses the potential service sharing of each item listed using an objective, matrix-based scoring system and review the analysis with the committee to receive guidance on potential service areas for which to conduct detailed analysis.
  3. For those services selected for detailed analysis, MP meets with the respective department directors to obtain detailed budgetary, staffing, work measurement, and work performance data for the respective service. MP captures the information in a systematic manner for all three jurisdictions, reviews results with each city, then reviews the analyses with the steering committee to identify those services with the most benefit for implementation.
  4. MP completes the project by preparing implementation plans for each of the selected services and reviewing the plan with the cities and committee.

To assure accuracy and transparency, MP will review work with the respective city management prior to discussion with the steering committee. This will ensure the information reported is accurate, that each city is fully aware of how it fits into the overall analysis, and potentially critical policy issues are addressed.

It is MP's goal to have identified approximately one dozen opportunities for implementation at the conclusion of this project and a viable work plan for implementing the sharing opportunities in order for these cities to be well on the way to enhancing service delivery and containing present and future costs.


 

Resources:




Management Partners Management Partners, founded in 1994 by president and CEO Jerry Newfarmer, provides clients with the expertise of professionals with extensive experience in all aspects of local government management and the full range of city and county services.  Staff includes former city managers, analysts, department directors and other public service professionals with experience in a variety of program areas.  Newfarmer is a national leader in local government performance management, having led his firm to nationally recognized expertise in municipal development review processes, strategic planning, budgeting and finance, and organizational analysis.