No one in ice hockey has had the prolific goal scoring talent as Wayne Gretzky. Having the opportunity to meet him at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games, I can say that no one is as classy in ice hockey as Wayne Gretzky either. What we can learn from him emanates from his famous quote: "Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been." I am going to discuss how to apply this thinking to your PBB data.
One of the biggest things that I have learned from the implementation of PBB is to not lose momentum. I was so fixated on just creating the data that by the time we got to the results, I ran out of energy and failed to lead my organization properly on using the data. We failed to have a plan for taking action and skated back to the work that occupies our attention every day which is to ensure that our municipal services are delivered on time. In other words, we missed an opportunity to go in a new direction and see what the future might hold if we looked at our data and services in a different light. We did not skate to where the puck was going to be and rather than use the meaningful data that we had, we were merely left with numbers that were created. I don't want you to be in the same situation where you allow the status quo to pervade.
As you assess where you are going in 2020 and beyond, I want to encourage you to think about how you can create the space for you and your teams to take action on your data. Taking action on your data means to skate or move in a different direction. Exploring where your data might or could take your service delivery. Not back toward the status quo or the past, but in ways in which will prove to be relevant and functional for your citizenry and consumers of your work. How do you do this? It starts with putting one skate in front of the other and pushing off into the direction of a hypothesis that you might have. An experiment that you have been thinking of. Gathering your team together and having conversations about the meaning of your data. Revisiting your programs through the lens of the Basic Program Attributes. There are any of a number of ways to begin. The important thing to remember is to just move in the direction of analyzing your data. The concept of creating space is important. It is where a leader allows the work of changing the culture and defining the future to begin. It is important to prioritize and allocate time to this activity. If you don't create the space, you sink into the comfort of your status quo.
Skate to where your future is. Find what is adjacently possible for the life and future of your programs. This should be your goal for 2020: using your data for meaningful transformation.