Report to/Rapport au :


Council / et au Conseil


10 December 2007/le 10 décembre 2007


Submitted by/Soumis par : Stephen A. Finnamore, Executive Director, Business Transformation Services / Directeur exécutif, Services de transformation des activités  


Contact Person/Personne ressource : Stephen A. Finnamore, Executive Director,

Business Transformation Services/Directeur exécutif, Services de transformation des activités,

(613) 580-2424,ext 28859,


City Wide

Ref N°: ACS2007-BTS-EXD-0007




Business Transformation Program




Programmes de transformation des activités





That Council receives this report for information.




Que le Conseil prenne connaissance de ce rapport.




On 11 July 2007, City Council approved the 2007-2010 City Strategic Directions, which outlined a series of priorities and objectives over the next three years.  The strategic planning exercise set the groundwork for Council to begin a transformation process that will improve service delivery, enhance Council governance and establish strategies for financial sustainability. 


The strategic directions approved by Council on 26 September 2007 concerning service delivery are as follows:


1.      Continue to improve the current service delivery culture that recognizes and balances the needs of all citizens in their encounters with City services, programs and staff in both English and French, pursuant to current policy.

2.      Integrate outcome-based performance measures into a flexible and evolving service delivery model that respects triple bottom approaches, to respond to community and environmental demands.

3.      Establish an agreed-upon set of flexible and appropriate service standards (one-size does not fit all) across the corporation.

4.      Deliver agreed to level of service at the lowest possible cost.

5.      Increase staff engagement including participating in decision-making about service delivery improvements.


The three-year fiscal framework for 2008-2010 and the 2008 budget directions acknowledged the need to provide funding for New Operating Needs to achieve the business transformation to support the above-mentioned strategic directions.  More specifically, the budget directions identified a budget envelope of $3M in 2008, $2M in 2009 and $1M in 2010.


In September 2007, following the Strategic Priority Setting exercises and on the recommendation of the Long Range Financial Planning Sub-committee, City Council directed staff to find efficiencies totaling $100M over the next three years.  These amounts will be included in the budgets and addressed through productivity improvements, technology investments, asset rationalization and procurement.



2008 (M$)

2009 (M$)

2010 (M$)

Total (M$)



























The Business Transformation Services Department will play a key role in assisting Branch Directors across the corporation to achieve both the service delivery priorities set by City Council, and the efficiency savings.




Organizations go through a transformation process to respond to changing environments. There are clear indicators, as identified in the recent Environmental Scan presented to City Council earlier in 2007, that identify the need for the City of Ottawa to change and transform the current service delivery model:

·        The population is becoming older and more racially and culturally diverse.

·        The City must continue with succession planning for the large numbers of its employees eligible for retirement in the near future (25% of full-time City staff will be over 55 by 2010).

·        The City will become more dependent on technology to increase the efficiency of its operations.

·        Ottawa, like other cities in Canada, are challenged to ensure they have the financial resources to be able to meet their responsibilities, including infrastructure renewal.

·        Public demand for greater access to municipal information, services and democratic processes, along with the desire to be more efficient, means that a shift towards a more online governance model is inevitable. eDemocracy, for example, allows broader and deeper public involvement in discourse on municipal government through tools that overcome time and distance. 


The City of Ottawa is already experiencing challenges attracting and retaining high quality staff in many parts of the organization. At the same time, public demand for greater access to municipal information and services is evolving with the community we serve, with expectations for broader involvement in municipal government and democratic processes and more accountability in achieving long-term environmental, social and fiscal outcomes.  Our internal and external stakeholders are clear.  To succeed, Ottawa must take proactive steps to:


·         Be an employer of choice,

·         Embrace the use of technology as a strategy,

·         Demonstrate relevance to its citizens.


The purpose of this report is to inform Council of the strategic approach to transformation and to outline the measures and associated resources needed to support Departments and Branches in achieving their objectives with respect to outcome performance, staff engagement and efficiency savings, in accordance with the Strategic Directions approved by Council.


Council’s Strategic Directions have the potential to enable significant change within the City. The Business Transformation Services Department, working in concert with all City Branch Directors, will design a dedicated Transformation Program to support Branches in:


l        Improving communications to increase the engagement of citizens and elected representatives;

l        Developing tools and training requirements for short and long-term solutions to find productivity savings;

l        Identifying and implementing opportunities to leverage technology and assets across the corporation; and

l        Establishing clear service delivery outcomes for each of their Branch programs to support transparency and continuous improvement

l        Providing leadership strategies to instill the concept of excellence and leadership at all levels of the organization;

l        Developing change management strategies to enable a positive culture shift;

l        Coordinating a staff engagement and empowerment program that will:

-        Embrace vision, goals and values

-        Clarify accountabilities

-        Improve communications to increase internal staff engagement

-        Improve service delivery

-        Increase productivity and reduce costs




The Transformation Program will focus on people, process and technology to ensure that programs continue to be linked to Council priorities and are effective, efficient and sustainable.

Critical Success Factors


The Transformation Program will be built to value the insight and expertise of City employees as well as engage private-sector individuals with relevant subject-matter expertise. The following factors are critical for success:


Strong leadership depends on careful planning and management of the changes involving vision, people, organizational alignment, processes and systems, both in the short and long term.

Consultation and guidance with elected officials, Directors and staff, to achieve corporate-wide buy-in for business transformation initiatives and outcomes.

Strategic thinking to ensure corporate consistency in the development of transformation tools, technology solutions, business processes, integrated corporate approaches to service delivery and performance measures.

Change management and communication strategies to engage City staff at all levels to understand and support the transformation goals, to empower staff to deliver change, and to provide staff with the knowledge, skills and abilities to operate successfully in a changing environment.

Accountability at all levels of the organization to ensure Branch-specific and interdepartmental projects have clear performance measures to demonstrate progress against desired outcomes.




The strategies associated with the Transformation Program, mutually developed and implemented by City Branches and the Business Transformation Services Department will result in the following outcomes:

·         Local municipal services are accessible, easy to use, comprehensive;

·         Services and programs are linked to Council’s priorities;

·         Elected officials and the public receive timely, relevant and concise information;

·         Public knows who is responsible/accountable for which services and has confidence that local municipal services are delivered in the most efficient manner possible; and

·         City staff is responsive and creative in their approach to local problems and have a sense of engagement in municipal decisions and ownership of the outcomes.



Many of the initiatives that will form the basis of the Transformation Program support more than one Council Strategic Direction and have been grouped under three major categories: Citizen and Council Engagement; Efficiency, Effectiveness and Accountability; and Staff Engagement.


The initiatives listed in each of these categories are meant to provide examples rather than a definitive list. Consultation with Councilors, citizens and staff will be needed to ensure clear meaningful activities are implemented to achieve shared objectives and meet Council’s strategic directions, to strengthen service responsiveness as well as efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.


1. Citizen and Council Engagement


The City’s 2007 Citizen Survey determined that public demand for easy, reliable, customer-oriented and integrated access to public services is increasing. The Internet has stimulated an increase in public demand for greater access to municipal information and a larger role in municipal decisions. This will inevitably cause a shift to greater online information, services and governance.


Working in conjunction with all Branch Directors, over the next three years, the Business Transformation Services Department will continue to develop a client service culture whereby citizens are provided with the right channels and tools to access and provide input into public services. A performance measurement framework will continue to be developed to demonstrate how the City is achieving program efficiencies and effectiveness in a sustainable and cost-effective way.


The following initiatives will support this agenda:


·         Develop a bi-annual strategic planning exercise (no funding required) and establish an annual process to review and refresh the City Strategic Plan.

·         Develop and implement an annual citizen survey ($80K base) to establish a regular formal feedback approach and provide Council with better public input.

·         Improve ($200K base; $380K one-time; 2 FTE’s) in order to increase the efficiency of service delivery and respond to demands from citizens for a greater range and quality of web-based services.  Specific initiatives will include: improved information architecture, corporate survey tool, web-based interactions, web payment gateway, online service requests, subscription services, better access for the disabled, etc.

·         Establish media analysis/scans and enhanced media training to provide better support for Committee Chairs, Councilors and City management ($100K base; one FTE) to provide more timely information flow and issue/trend analysis on a range of issues. Develop a marketing program (no funding required in 2008) to promote the City's programs and services and increase citizen satisfaction.

·         Augment 3-1-1 service requests reporting (no funding required in 2008) for Councilors and Branches on key public service request trends, incorporating service standards and regular performance reporting.


2. Efficiency, Effectiveness and Accountability


To increase efficiency and effectiveness and reduce costs, the Business Transformation Services Department will work, in conjunction with all Branch Directors, over the next three years to confirm core services, set standards for service delivery, and ensure continuous improvement of internal business processes. The process review will ensure the current service delivery model is assessed, whether delivered through internal, external resources, and/or in partnership based on sound business planning that achieves programming objectives and best value for money.


Initiatives will focus on clear expectations and outcome-based performance measures, better use and functionality of e-business tools, increased engagement of staff, the public and elected representatives and timely and effective communications. This work will contribute to better productivity, full accountability for spending decisions and a fiscally responsible business model. The following initiatives will support this agenda.


·         Strategic Branch Reviews to establish service standards and outcomes and associated performance measures for Branches that reflect Council’s priorities ($300K base) and that support transparency, continuous improvement and options for service delivery.

·         Review of internal support services (Centres of Expertise) ($100K base) to establish service standards and outcomes and associated performance measures that meet both the needs of the Corporation and Departments/Branches with clear accountabilities, governance, resources, roles and responsibilities and options for service delivery.

·         Enhance existing and develop new business tools and train management across the corporation ($250K base) through an accelerated Business Process Review Program to continue to identify efficiencies within each Branch and across key cross-corporate business processes. New strategies will be developed to identify efficiency opportunities and potential savings by engaging frontline staff and management in efficiency initiatives.


3. Staff Engagement


Recruitment and retention is a world-wide problem in developed countries. With the unemployment rate at a 30 year low, projected labour shortages within the next five years, and one in four full-time City employees 55 or older by 2010, the City of Ottawa is no less challenged to attract and retain talent.


Staff engagement currently exists in many areas of the organization.  The Conference Board of Canada defines employee engagement as the following: Employee engagement is a heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has for his/her job, organization, manager, or co-workers that, in turn, influences him/her to apply additional discretionary effort to his/her work.


There is clear evidence that staff engagement and satisfaction have a direct impact on performance, productivity and client satisfaction. As stated by the Conference Board of Canada (2006): Highly engaged employees have overall performance scores 20% higher than those with average level of engagement and have voluntary turnover rates one-half (1/2) that of average employers with a corresponding high level of customer loyalty.


The management of the City understands that a focused resourced corporate infrastructure is required to fully realize and achieve the following benefits:

·         Creation of a more positive culture;

·         Increased pride in the organization;

·         Increased customer satisfaction;

·         Increased creativity and productivity, and

·         Increased staff retention.


The following graphic, taken from a survey by the Peel Region as part of their excellence program, provides an overview of the relationship between support for staff and staff satisfaction. The relative size of the bubbles is an indication of the importance of each support function in achieving the level of satisfaction that leads to increased staff engagement and improved service delivery.













The Environmental Scan determined that by 2010, 25% of full-time City staff will be over 55 and as the population ages, the retention and recruitment of staff, at all levels, will become an even more important component of service delivery.


Staff engagement and development is essential to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programs and services endorsed by Council. The development and implementation of staff engagement initiatives will be based on key principles as follows:


Leadership Management at all levels is committed to a renewed and shared vision, goals and values; a focus on building trust and commitment; and on establishing a culture of creativity, collaboration and innovation.

Worthwhile workStaff are guided by a vision, goals and values represented through strong leadership at all levels of the organization; have a pride of ownership necessary to contribute to the goals of the organization; and have the ability to communicate ideas and issues to create a mindset of innovation, new possibilities and enthusiasm for achieving business outcomes.

Empowerment – Staff are provided with the tools and resources to do the job; have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities with appropriate authority to make decisions; and know that they will be supported in taking those decisions.

Appreciation/cheering each other on Staff are recognized and rewarded for achieving the organization’s goals and objectives.

Development and succession opportunitiesStaff are encouraged to grow and develop through key training initiatives such as: leadership/management; customer service; business case and project management; business process review; competitive assessment training; and innovation. 


Working in conjunction with Branch Directors over the next three years, the Business Transformation Services Department will facilitate the development and implementation of the following new initiatives associated with service culture and the recruitment, development and retention of staff, to maintain a highly skilled dedicated workforce, to delivery quality service to the public. 

·         Implement a Staff Talent Plan ($800K base; $60K one-time; 6 FTEs) to ensure the availability of appropriate resources and manage the flow of talent ensuring a supply of highly capable individuals with key initiatives to focus on:


o       Recruitment (internships, branding, online applications);

o       Retention strategies (measure baseline satisfaction levels (survey) and develop programs to improve satisfaction, create alumni optimization program);

o       Training, development and succession planning (e.g. development tools - mentorship, apprenticeship, leadership, client service, certification programs for new managers/supervisors, training/language training);

o       Develop and deliver training for staff to support business transformation to improve service delivery and achieve savings; and

o       Implement and enhance employee recognition program.


·         Develop a Staff Engagement Program ($370K base; $100K one-time; 1 FTE) to ensure that staff are engaged, responsive and creative in their approach to local problems, and contribute directly to ensuring that municipal services are delivered in the most efficient manner possible and are accessible and responsive to the needs of the community.  Key initiatives include:


o       Develop and communicate a new management vision, mission and values

o       Develop and implement a change management strategy; and

o       Enhance the Performance Development Program (PDP) (performance management and employee development) or related programs for employees to ensure accountability around efficiency standards and to transform the culture to adopt advanced business approaches to achieve efficiencies and cost savings.


·         Develop and implement a Communication Framework and Improve the Corporate Intranet program ‘Ozone’ ($800K base; $100K one-time; 4 FTE’s) to increase the efficiency of service delivery, respond to needs of employees for a greater range and quality of web-based services and provide management with better employee input to support decision-making and provide input to Council's strategic planning process.  Key initiatives include:


o       Development and administration of a regular employee survey

o       Development of improved internal communication programs designed to increase employee engagement on policies, issues of interest, seeking feedback

o       Improved information architecture on Ozone, interactive survey tools, enhanced online functionality, online registration for training, and development of web-based chat functionality for expert focus groups.




The Transformation Program will be coordinated through a dedicated Transformation Program Office (TPO) providing a corporate role to provide key services as follows:


·        Research best practice/benchmarking information

·        Develop key transformation strategies

·        Develop and coordinate corporate-wide applications and tools

·        Develop and coordinate change management initiatives

·        Monitor and report on program outcomes


The Transformation Program Office will work hand-in-hand with all Branch Directors to ensure that program initiatives are consistent, flexible and value added in the development of transformation tools, technology solutions, business processes, integrated corporate approaches to service delivery and performance measures, and at the same time, aligned with the needs of the Branches.  Centres of Expertise from across the organization will support the Transformation Program Office in assisting Branch Directors to implement their transformation initiatives and to meet the efficiency targets for productivity improvements, leveraging technology and leveraging assets.


On behalf of the City Manager and the Executive Management Team, the Transformation Program Office will establish a performance support framework to provide a practical roadmap of how the City can monitor proposed business transformation outcomes, including program efficiencies.  The Office will also produce an annual report on all business transformation outcomes and efficiency measures identified by the various Branches across the corporation. 




Executive Management Committee




Implementation of a Service Transformation Program will require the investment of $6,000,000 over the next three-year period and a one time funding of $640,000 in 2008 in one time funding subject to approval during the budget process.


Financial Requirement





Base Funding




One time funding




FTE Requirements

14 FTEs




As the Business Transformation Program is implemented throughout 2008, the Business Transformation Services Department will report back to Council at year-end, prior to budget, to confirm progress and details for funding requirements for 2009 and 2010.