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