Chris Fabian, CEO, ResourceX
Samma Fox, Assistant to the City Manager, Littleton, Colorado
The Govapalooza event kicked off this week, and ResourceX is excited to be a part of it. Today's presentation allowed ResourceX to highlight a member of our Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) community that is accomplishing great things and inspiring others in our community: The City of Littleton, Colorado. Samma Fox, Assistant to the City Manager in Littleton, gave an informative and honest perspective of the challenges and benefits of implementing a Priority Based Budget. Her candor and enthusiasm provided a wealth of information and inspiration.
ResourceX highlights the City of Littleton in numerous case studies and blog posts from ResourceX due to their mastery of applying the PBB Blueprint towards the Reallocation and Maximization of Resources. In fact, the City was the winner of the 2020 ResourceXcellence award in this same category. Still, it is always motivating to hear it from the implementor's perspective and hear how they applied it from a practical perspective.
Samma's presentation hit home that PBB provides their organization with a framework for making budget decisions through the utilization of the PBB Blue Print.
The data created through the OnlinePBB tools provide department leaders with a support system for backing the decisions they needed to make. In Samma's words, the PBB data created a "safe space" for departments to communicate their needs through the budget request process. Their Pick 3 process allowed departments to identify two programs to review and provided one additional program identified by the City Manager's Office.
However, the reality of the implementation process in Littleton was that it was, in fact, a process. The creation of the data isn't a snap of the fingers immediate fix to all budgeting problems. It takes the support of the leadership team, acknowledging the effort from the organization and the project leaders' dedication to keep the process going. As Samma stated, "PBB is a living, breathing budgeting process" that requires commitment... a commitment that is worth it to the City of Littleton.
Chris and Samma's presentation highlighted the data and the accomplishments Littleton has made through the use of their PBB data. It also called out the fantastic community of PBB users and the ability to draw on others' successes as you work through this process. Samma called upon her appreciation for fellow PBB community City of Boise's Essential Services Review and how that guided Littleton to evaluate programs and how they could more clearly identify those essential and non-essential programs.
An example of how they put this into practice: Early Retirement Initiative in 2020
The essential services review helped to identify those positions that were offered the voluntary option to retire early. It gave the Budget and Human Resources departments the ability to systematically review each opportunity to determine how those positions who decided to take early retirement impacted each program they contributed to. It allowed them to ask the questions: What programs can we reduce? What resources need to be replaced?
Through Samma's presentation, she showed many ways that Littleton used the PBB data to more successfully align their programs to their community's goals. Their 2021 budget demonstrates how each department used their program data and the PBB Blueprint to communicate their budget requests and recommendations. Some other examples are below:
The presentation PDF is available here. Please contact ResourceX if you are interested in learning more about this presentation, the work the City of Littleton is doing, or if you want to learn more about Priority Based Budgeting.