WHILE the new year presents new opportunities for all chief executive officers to start with a clean slate, a poorly planned jump-start can unmake an office or unseat a mayor especially that 2018 is the year for filing candidacy, and by principle of recency effect it is the best year to showcase strong public value.
Let me therefore share my recommendations to all our mayors and administrators from the different LGUs.
First is to decide what are your wildly important goals for the year. Are you going to prioritize the delivery of social services such as health care and livelihood? Do you plan to make a mark in putting up infrastructures like roads and community centers to propel your local economy? Or would you like to have a legacy on establishing peace and order? The best guide to better decide on your direction is to revisit your comprehensive land use plan (Clup), comprehensive development plan (CDP) and your executive and legislative agenda (ELA). These three documents will provide you a better picture of the situation in your jurisdiction and the real need of your constituents. You see, Clup will tell you what are your land assets and your limitations as to how you can use them, CDP will tell you what are your Human Resource assets and how you can better tap your people, and your ELA will remind you of your promises to the people during the last election and how you decided to prioritize them on the onset of your term together with your legislators.
Second is to create realistic targets for each of your departments through their Office Performance Commitment Review (OPCR) based from your decided goals. This goes that you have to put your money where your mouth is. In budgeting your limited resources, you have to put the bigger slice of your pie to the appropriate departments who can implement your priorities. It can’t be business as usual. Because if you only do what you always did, you will only get what you always got.
Third is the most crucial step because this involves translating your big goals to specific tasks for every employee. This is done with a carefully crafted Individual Performance Commitment Review (IPCR). You see, the most common practice of HR offices in LGUs is to simply comply with the format mandated by CSC through a process of copy pasting the previous IPCRs. In turn, the performance management tool (SPMS) ceases to become an effective tool in managing the city or municipality. But a good HR team will make sure that each goal can be translated into small specific tasks. Let me illustrate an example. If one of the goals is to increase agricultural yield for the year, this can be translated into an agriculturist’s specific tasks of a) producing 100 kilos of vermi-cast fertilizer per quarter and distributing them to target beneficiaries, b) coaching and shadowing 1,000 local farmers on the new technology in planting and harvesting, and c) providing additional seeds for 1,000 farmers to increase volume of planted crops.
If you notice, my illustration involves specific units of outputs and beneficiaries instead of percentile increase. The reason being is that if it can be quantified then it can be demanded and it can be easily measured. Anything that cannot be measured cannot also be managed.
With a clear IPCR, performance management will come in very handy. It will be easy to monitor and to coach. It will also be easy to remedy any problem that would arise in the implementation. But more importantly, the progress and the success of your wildly important goals can easily be tracked.
Success in local governance, believe it or not, can actually be achieved. But it can only be achieved with careful planning at the start of every year.