King County Strategy and Goal Planning

King County’s Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget (PSB) is housed within the County Executive office, and integrates strategic planning, budgeting, financial oversight and performance measurement to support implementation of the County’s Strategic Plan.

In 2012, PSB hired O’Brien & Company to facilitate a series of strategic meetings of two of the County’s newly formed ‘Goal Area’ Teams, focused on Economic Growth and the Built Environment (EGBE) and Environmental Sustainability (ES). Goal Area teams represented cross-functional representatives from across the County, convened with the purpose of identifying the most critical countywide issues that would require a truly innovative and collaborative approach to making an impact. This was a complex, sensitive project stemming from Executive leadership, and crossed multiple departments and divisions, with the potential to ultimately impact county staff work across multiple lines of business.

The O’Brien & Company team worked closely with the PSB Goal Area Leads and County Executive Policy Advisors to design and implement a series of team meetings to vet and agree upon priorities. Teams were comprised of cross-departmental leads, Council Members, and Policy Advisors, each bringing their unique perspective to the process. As part of a discovery process to inform meeting design, Andrea Lewis and Kathleen O’Brien designed and conducted a series of phone and in person interviews with the policy experts. A series of facilitated team meetings followed where the group identified, consolidated, and prioritized a set of top issues to present to the Council and Executive to be considered as a ‘Strategic Innovation Priority’ (SIP) for the coming planning period.

As follow up to the SIP identification process, PSB retained O’Brien & Company to help flesh out the process and provide guidance for teams that would be formed and tasked with planning and implementing an approach to address the selected SIPs. We researched effective strategic planning and implementation approaches and case studies, conducted interviews within the County on successful efforts that represented the similar cross-agency effort that would be required. We drafted a guidance document that presented strategic planning and implementation methodologies, best practices, resources, and templates.