Systems & Performance Projects
Public Works Partners worked with New York State Parks to streamline operations and improve customer satisfaction by preparing the agency to implement a statewide system to handle all customer transactions. Parks will also bring many transactions online instead of requiring customers to come in person in advance. Over six months, we engaged agency executives and field staff in facilitated working sessions to identify and validate key business processes; suggest improvements; and develop business requirements that Parks will use to procure these systems from technical vendors. Public Works also helped Parks to identify the most advantageous way for it to automate its various annual pass programs.
For this project, Public Works was engaged by the Open Space Institute’s Alliance for New York State Parks, with funding from the Foundation for Long Island State Parks.
The New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) engaged our team in a two-part effort to improve the ability of the Back to Work program to match participants to job opportunities. In the systems improvement workstream, we created business requirements for enhancing the functionality of its participant tracking system to better facilitate job matching activities. We also conducted an assessment of eight vendors’ information systems, documenting their systems’ strengths and weaknesses, their operating pain points, and factors HRA would need to consider when moving those vendors to a centralized comprehensive tracking system. In a second parallel workstream, we trained HRA and contract-ed Back To Work service providers to identify and build sustainable relationships with large employers who have high volumes of job openings. We then catalogued these strategies in a vendor handbook. Together, these changes in systems and strategy will enable the Back To Work system to connect a higher volume of participants to jobs every year.
Hostos Community College operates a federally-funded healthcare sector-focused job training and placement program. When its performance fell short of its targets, we assessed their program operations and performance management practices and found that program staff were unaware of the nature of their performance targets, were not using data to inform service strategy, and were using a homegrown information systems that was producing performance numbers that did not match the funders’ system of record. Working closely with program leadership, we revamped their approach to entering program data into the system of record, reconciled conflicting performance data, and created a data-driven performance management approach that allowed stakeholders at all levels to quickly understand program performance and make course corrections based on data. As a result of our engagement, the program is now exceeding its goals and is held as an exemplary model for sector-based workforce initiatives.
We partnered with a global information technology firm to help align a municipality’s fiscal and contract management processes across eight health and human services agencies. We formed an integrated team with the prime contractor who leveraged our subject matter expertise and business process know-how to review and map ‘as-is’ processes, identify common agency needs, best practices, and cases where particular agencies had unique requirements. We then worked with the prime contractor to recommend future-state processes and to document system requirements. Our engagement enabled the municipality to optimize its claiming of the complex Federal funding streams allocated across multiple agencies, streamline administration for agencies and their contractors alike, improve operational controls, and increase process transparency.
A human services provider located in the Mid-South region of the U.S. was operating the largest welfare-to-work program in their state. Despite its strong program outcomes, it was losing money on its performance-based contract. Public Works Partners was engaged to analyze the provider’s procedures and systems for contract management and performance tracking, review the process by which performance-based invoices were prepared, determine the disconnect between programmatic and fiscal results, and recommend improvements. We identified opportunities to better document outcomes to claim performance credit and payment, instances to automate processes to improve operational control, and strategies for leveraging case record data to better target customers. We also developed and introduced quality assurance procedures to ensure that reports and invoices were complete and accurate. Our efforts identified nearly $1 million in claimable payments, putting the program in the black. They also provided our client with better contract administration and accountability systems, developed capacity of existing staff, improved service strategy, and created efficiencies that made the program fiscally sustainable.