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Business Planning - Texas

2007 Best Practices

Published: December 1, 2008
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Federal Reporting, State Plan
Types:
Promising Practices
Tags:
Performance Management

Goal: To ensure daily operations are aligned with Federal and State Child Support goals and strategies, through focused division of efforts on critical performance, to help leaders direct and monitor operations.

Description: The Texas Child Support Division uses an annual business planning process to optimize resources and align projects with Federal and State goals. Through business planning, projects are strategically identified, prioritized and scheduled to improve performance. Annual business planning ensures the effectiveness of operations from executive management to frontline caseworkers, and keeps all focused on common goals. The approach results in an organization which works smarter for Texas families.

The Business Planning process includes the development of program area and field office business plans which are comprised of the following elements:

  • Facilitated meetings to assess strengths and challenges and to plan business projects which will achieve performance and strategic goals.
  • A Planning Analysis Team, a cross-functional team which determines resource and budget estimates for all business projects. Program areas interact directly with the team to ensure detailed and complete information.
  • A project prioritization tool that captures resource estimates and weighs project benefits. Project benefits, such as goal achievement and operational efficiency, are entered into the tool, and a project ranking is automatically calculated. This tool helps management prioritize projects and allows executive leadership to set priorities within available resources.
  • Monthly and quarterly monitoring tools that are systematically reviewed with executive management to ensure division goals remain on track.
  • Posted business plans on the intranet allow easy access and reference for all staff. Business plans serve as a guide and resource for information throughout the year.

Results:

  • The ability to translate the National Child Support's vision and goals into daily operation focuses the Division on achieving results.
  • Resource management is maximized through a broad range of expert input and project prioritization tools. This provides for effective allocation of resources directed to the division to meet its goals, including the goal of increased collections.
  • Staff involvement at all levels creates a staff focused on common goals.

Location: All State and regional field offices participate in annual business planning.

Funding: Regular IV-D funds were used.

Replication Advice:

  • Ensure that executive management support and participate throughout the business planning process.
  • Ensure that all aspects of the process are fully described and that schedules and progress reports are frequently communicated. Communication is vital to the process.
  • Develop standardized tools and ensure their consistent application.
  • Regularly review the process of business projects to ensure that plans and results are on track.

Contact:

Lori Person Planning Manager, Strategic Operations Phone: 512-460-6125 Email: lori.person@cs.oag.state.tx.us