Align Leadership to Drive Public Sector Transformation
During a public sector keynote session, leaders from the City of Baltimore and Accenture discussed how building shared commitment across different departments reduced silos and led to simplified processes, greater transparency, and cost savings.
Kicking off the session, Ryan Gaetz, managing director, Accenture, said, “No matter how complex an organization, if we apply small incremental continuous change over time, we’ll have a far greater impact and lasting change in the organization than a single moment will.”
Faced with a devastating ransomware attack in 2019, the City of Baltimore knew it needed to rebuild its IT infrastructure. In addition to shoring up their systems, the city also wanted to drive consistency across more than 40 agencies that had different approaches, eliminate manual processes and paperwork, and provide greater access to data. Quinton Herbert, chief human capital officer, City of Baltimore, said, “We had manual timesheets, and vacation leave slips were triplicate carbon paper. We wanted to get away from that. The ransomware attack served as the impetus for us to move forward.”
Finance, HR, and IT leaders shared a commitment to the transformation, and to each other, to drive the effort. Herbert said, “We made it a point very early on that we were all going to be committed to the project. That this was not an IT project, that this was not an HR project, and this was not a finance project. This was a City of Baltimore project.” Discussing their partnership, Todd Carter, CIO and chief digital officer, City of Baltimore, added, “It allowed us to show top-down, ‘This is how we’re going to work. This is how we’re going to make decisions.’”
Now live on both Workday Human Capital Management and Workday Financial Management, the city is seeing results that include eliminating 370,000 pieces of paper each year and saving an estimated $2.5 million in annual IT costs. And with 90% of employees using the system at least weekly and the ability to answer questions in real-time that used to take hours or even days, the collaborative approach championed by leadership is paying off. As Carter, the CIO, put it, “IT doesn’t come to the table by itself, it comes to the table with HR, it comes to the table with finance, and we as a group say this is the investment we need to make.”
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