Agency Consolidation on Track to Save $31m – $37m

Overview

As part of an initiative to put the state budget on a sustainable trajectory, Washington’s legislature approved Governor Gregiore’s proposal to consolidate five state agencies into a new Department of Enterprise Services (DES), as well as transition new responsibilities to the Office of Financial Management. The expected result: nearly $18 million saved during the next biennium.

Challenge

Like most reorganizations of this size and scope, this transition brought with it the need for thoughtful planning, focused leadership and a clear strategic direction. Additionally, transitioning five organizational cultures and unique ways of working into one cohesive department set the stage for what would become a significant change management endeavor. It was important that a plan for early engagement of staff be put in place. Many of the nearly 1,200 employees had been with their “home” agencies for years. Needless to say, people were anxious. They needed to know what their world would look like when the dust settled and, at the same time, they wanted to know how they could help in the process of creating a new agency from the ground up. In this regard—people were excited

and ready to dig in, and this was a great starting point.

Coraggio was engaged to provide strategic guidance and support, leadership development and process improvement support, thus helping to pave the way for a successful consolidation that would ultimately meet the legislature’s mandate of reducing the cost of state government.

Solution

We knew ongoing employee engagement was critical to success. With this in mind, we designed our approach with one principle in mind—creating a vibrant new DES from the ground up would require inclusivity and transparency, so we set out to implement change with employees rather than to them. We began our work with a comprehensive organizational assessment that shed light on where employees’ collective “head” was. This led to coaching and counsel work with DES’ new management team to help them maximize their individual and collective effectiveness at leading large-scale organizational change.

To ground the new agency organization with a clear sense of purpose, we led the management team through a process of articulating DES’ three-year strategic areas of focus. This process included not

only specific objectives by which the agency would measure its performance, but also the vision and values that would anchor the new agency culture.

Coraggio also guided early work to translate identified strategic initiatives into actionable business plans for each division within DES. In some divisions, we provided counsel on structure, business model and a range of core process improvements.

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