FITTING TOGETHER THE PIECES: INTEGRATING CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT, STRATEGIC PLANNING, AND TRAINING INTO PUBLIC UTILITY MANAGEMENT
Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD) is a public utility that collects and treats wastewater for over 430,000 residents and businesses in central Contra Costa County in California. The agency was founded in 1946 and is run by an elected Board of Directors. CCCSD has been engaged in various change efforts since the mid-1980's, due in part to the evolving regulatory climate and the need for the agency to re-engineer some of its treatment processes, keep rates under control, and prepare for the inevitable “changing of the guard” in response to an aging work force. Focusing on three primary areas involved in CCCSD's change activities–continuous improvement, strategic planning and training–this paper will describe the overall approach the agency is using to build a culture supportive of maintaining high performance standards in its overall organization, and specifically how this is playing out in its plant operations department. An important aspect of this paper will be to demonstrate that there is no “one best way” to approach change, that each agency must address for their own what its conditions for change are, and understand that lessons learned are vital to continually moving forward to becoming a high performance organization.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 2004
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