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Scottsdale tracks strategic plan to better share progress with City Council, staff and residents

Scottsdale, AZ, USA

At a Glance

City of Scottsdale wanted a better way to manage, track and report on its strategic plan. The city can now share details of city-wide performance with their Council, staff, and local community, via automated management reports and public dashboards, replacing ineffective spreadsheets to track 40+ city objectives.

Problem Addressed

Scottsdale is a high-performing city with a focus on organizational effectiveness.

The City Manager’s Office wanted to simplify and improve the way they tracked progress towards the City’s strategic plan. With 6 priorities and 40+ city objectives to update, early efforts with spreadsheets were mixed. They could not easily get a clear picture of what progress was being made.

The team tried automating the process using the City’s budgeting software. They implemented a quarterly performance report that included all of the division objectives and measures from the budget book. However, over time, they found that their reports had grown to an unwieldy 50 pages that City Council did not have time to read.

They knew that they needed to change things in order to effectively manage, track and report on the strategic plan.

The City of Scottsdale, AZ used/is using Envisio’s strategic planning and performance measurement software to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

The City introduced a centralized planning and performance measurement system for their strategic plan through its partnership with Envisio. They are now able to monitor exactly where they are against each of their goals and share progress with City Council, staff and the public.

With a clear cascade planning structure, the team can cascade plans all the way from their mission statement, through one of their council or strategic goals, down to the department, and all the way to the individual employee. This is helping the team to focus on the critical things that need to be done and to create effective cross-functional teams to achieve goals.

The City is also using Envisio to make their quarterly performance reporting more accessible and interactive. Everyone has online access to the performance measures that match up with their strategic plan—the public, council members and staff. Interactive public dashboards are showcasing the City’s great work and building trust with their 250,000 residents.


  1. All strategic and operational plans managed in one place
  2. Instant visibility and clear communication of City performance to Council, staff & community
  3. Greater focus on the most important things needed to achieve City goals
  4. Streamlining of performance management reports from 50 pages to 6
  5. Interactive public dashboards showcasing the City’s progress

Lessons Learned

  1. It's important to create cross-functional performance teams. Having just one person assigned to each strategic goal does not work as well.
  2. Quarterly performance reports need to be short enough that city council have the time to read them (6 pages worked much better than 50).
  3. Using spreadsheets to track performance makes it difficult to highlight what has changed and what has stayed the same quarter-over-quarter.
  4. It's a great idea to hold quarterly reviews with the performance management team to dive into each measure and ensure you’re measuring the right thing in each area.
  5. To make strategic plans effective, you need to have a robust performance measurement program internally.

Something Unique

For six years, Scottsdale has earned the ICMA Certificate of Excellence in Performance Management, and in 2018, the City’s Performance Management Program was named to the What Works Cities Certification Honor Roll.

Who Should Consider?

Any city, town or county that wants to effectively track the execution of their strategic or operational plans, break down organizational silos and communicate progress to stakeholders.

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