Nevada County a Winner in Digital Counties Survey 2016:

Winners Make Collaboration, Innovation, Civic Engagement Top Priorities

Nevada County, Calif., took first place in the up to 150,000 population category for its exemplary county budget portal, BYOD policy, participation in the 18-county Central Valley Next Generation Broadband Infrastructure Project, and a strategic plan that allows the IT arm to finish each project smoothly. Nevada County Chief Information Officer Steve Monaghan is no smarter than his peers, he explained — it’s that their organizational structure takes the pressure of politics and the need for lobbying and allows IT to focus purely on IT.

The quality and quantity of technology projects the county is able to complete can be attributed to Nevada County’s comprehensive strategic plan, Monaghan said. The plan has four pieces that include governance, strategic planning, top-down planning, and service economics. By doing this foundational step so well, it allows everything else staff members do to succeed.

The county’s technology governance is centered around the grouping of what would be silos into communities of organizations that participate in like-activities. Those offices with shared customers, funding streams and business processes partake in a logical collaboration across organizational boundaries. This collaboration guides the county’s strategic planning.

It’s nice to have a plan, but if the powers that be won’t allow the plan to happen, then it’s all for naught, but they have top-down support, Monaghan said, because the board of supervisors always invests in technology in recognition of the savings that projects can achieve in the face of reduced staffing. And the pricing and pricing structure of IT’s services makes implementation a winning proposition for customers too, he explained.

“When a department wants to do a project, we have the organizational infrastructure to take that idea, turn it into a project, get it approved through governance, get it funded, get it supported by the board, get it implemented,” said Monaghan. “We have that mechanical system in place to get that stuff done very smoothly. To me, that’s the differentiator.”

Details are HERE.

Congratulations to Steve Monaghan and his staff. While Steve gives credit to County Supervisors, the real key has been Monaghan’s leadership.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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4 Responses to Nevada County a Winner in Digital Counties Survey 2016:

  1. gjrebane says:

    Absent any evidence to the contrary, would it be correct to conclude that the Digital Counties Survey is another one of those government ‘feel good’ awards whose main purpose it to boost the careers of civil servants of jurisdictions coming out near/on top, and/or supply political fodder for added legislative/regulatory actions for jurisdictions not so fortunate?


    • Russ Steele says:

      You are correct, this is a feel good survey. But, it feels even better when Nevada County, our county is it at the top of the list. That said until Steve Monaghan arrived there was no possibility that Nevada County would even make the feel good list, let alone be at the top of the list. it is Steve’s leadership that allowed the County to even get on the feel good list.


  2. gjrebane says:

    Russ, can you relate this achievement to any measurable/observable Nevada County economic parameter?


    • Russ Steele says:

      No, other than the County has tried to use technology to reduce the headcount, which has been shrinking. However, the Unions has played a role in obstructing some of the potential savings. From a local economic point of view, fewer County Employees results in fewer people spending money in the local economy.


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