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LINKING STRATEGY TO RESULTS: PHOENIX WATER SERVICES MEASURES MEANINGFUL PERFORMANCE

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Providing adequate water supply for 1.4 million people, who live in one of the hottest, driest regions of the country, can be a formidable endeavor. In Arizona, the City of Phoenix Water Services Department (WSD) responds to that challenge in one of America's fastest-growing metropolitan areas, despite annual rainfall totals of less than eight inches. WSD serves 362,000 accounts spread over 530 square miles. The utility meets peak water demand of about 442 MGD during the heat of summer to 136 MGD during the winter months.

Like many utilities today, Phoenix is focused on performance measurement to improve organizational efficiency and service quality. Using measures such as the QualServe Benchmarking Performance Indicators, utilities can track results over time and compare to other utilities. While measurement alone can yield substantial insights and benefits, a highly-effective system of measures to drive performance must be linked to a utility's strategic and tactical direction. Phoenix WSD has implemented a process of “Top Down-Bottom Up” strategic planning and performance measurement. This paper will explore how the utility used an Enterprise Scorecard to update its strategic plan along with a Balanced Scorecard to measure results, while at the same time enhancing the value of its Capacity Management Operations and Maintenance (CMOM) system.

The paper will explore the development of a scorecard for the “Zero Tolerance” pilot project for sanitary sewer overflows. The Zero Tolerance initiative links directly to WSD's strategic direction and carries out its CMOM program by measuring performance key to preventing sanitary sewer overflows. A Zero Tolerance Scorecard was developed and implemented to define actions for both preventing and responding to overflows. In addition, incident causal analysis is used to refine and improve the program.

The creation of a comprehensive set of business strategies for Phoenix Water Services is considered crucial for the success of the organization. By regularly measuring progress, striving to continually improve, and sharing results with employees, utility leaders are charting a sound course for the future of the utility and its customers. The presentation will explore the results of implementing measures and will show improvements in preventing and responding to sanitary sewer overflows. This will offer other utilities the opportunity to gain an understanding of the process for developing effective measurement systems as well as insights for implementing a successful CMOM program.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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