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2015 OPSI Articles

Guest Blog: International Fellows Recently Visiting Tulsa

By Jillian Childress | December 9, 2015

This past fall the City of Tulsa hosted four international fellows who participated in a governance and environmental sustainability program facilitated by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program brought together individuals from more than 30 countries and territories worldwide to focus on four themes: (1) Civic Engagement, (2) Economic Empowerment, (3) Education and (4) Environmental Sustainability. Read more...

Take Control of Your Career

By Penny Macias | Nov. 12, 2015

As the time for Planning and Performance Reviews rolls around, every employee should be thinking about how they want their PPR to turn out. Actually, we should think about our performance more regularly than once a year, but now is the time to get a little more serious and detailed. Read more...

The Secret(s) Behind Change Management

By Robyn Undieme | Oct. 29, 2015

Successfully advocating change has probably been one of the more difficult tasks I've been assigned to as a Project Manager in the MAAP Office. Every day Penny and I are tasked with assessing inefficient processes or ways of doing things to offer solutions, but that doesn't mean everyone agrees on a process. Sometimes we have to convince management or employees that something can be done better; and to be honest, sometimes we're successful and other times we're not. Read more...

Happy Belated World Statistics Day 2015

By Penny Macias | October 22, 2015

Yes, sadly we didn't have a big celebration at the City of Tulsa in honor of this day, but it's earning a spot on the MAAP blog. Read more...

Finding Happiness in the Workplace

By Robyn Undieme | October 15, 2015

Some of you may know I have a background in Psychology and Business, so it should come as no surprise that I am devoting today's topic to Positive Psychology in the workplace.  Read more...

We are All Leaders

By Penny Macias | October 8, 2015

At the September MAAP Forum Cathy Criswell presented an overview of the results of the Employee Satisfaction Survey. If you missed the forum, keep an eye out on the intranet for a written report with details from the survey.  Read more...

Defining Your Personal Brand

By Robyn Undieme | September 24, 2015

As many of you probably know by now the MAAP Office holds a monthly book club meeting. This month our book selection is Enhancing Your Executive Edge written by Kim Zoller and Kerry Preston. I'm proud to say I've actually finished reading this book two weeks before our book club meets and that NEVER happens.  Read more...

Change Management

By Penny Macias | September 17, 2015

Change is ____________. How would you fill in that blank? It would probably depend upon the type of change at hand. Before I started my position with this office I would have always filled in the blank with "great!" I've been humbled to work with many folks in this great organization to understand why there are so many other equally valid answers.  Read more...

What Works Cities: Open Data

By Penny Macias | September 10, 2015

I hope it isn't news to you that the City of Tulsa was one of eight cities recently selected to participate in the "What Works Cities" program, funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies. The program provides assistance for local government organizations in improving their use of data to improve the results they deliver to citizens. The MAAP office worked diligently on our application to the program and we are so proud our city stands with Chattanooga, TN, Jackson, MS, Kansas City, MO, Louisville, KY, Mesa, AZ, New Orleans, LA, and Seattle, WA: The first eight cities to benefit from this initiative. The work they do alongside the City of Tulsa will shape the work for more than 100 other cities going forward. This is an opportunity for Tulsa to be an example for other cities that follow.  Read more...

Guest Blog: Cities Networking for Innovation

By Paula S.| August 27, 2015

This week I attended my second Alliance for Innovation Forum in Oklahoma City. Members from the City of Tulsa, the City of Oklahoma City, Ponca City, & Stillwater were in attendance. We discussed topics related to an article called "Six Qualities Linked to Innovation." Read more...

Generations United

By Robyn Undieme | August 21, 2015

Organizations as a whole are interesting to observe, aren't they? Despite the differences that exist internally, every organization morphs into a culture and a personality unique unto its own that creates an overall workplace culture. And the larger the organization, the more diverse (and interesting) it gets.  Read more...

Join the Alliance for Innovation

By Penny Macias | August 6, 2015

Did you know the City of Tulsa is a member of the organization known as the Alliance for Innovation? If you didn't know before you started reading, you do now. The goal of the Alliance is to drive innovation in local governments by connecting and providing them with a platform they can share with and learn from each other.  Read more...

MAAP Events

By Robyn Undieme | July 23, 2015

I've had a blast getting to meet so many new people these past five months! One of the best things about my job is I get to interact with every City Department. Since starting the City Forums and the Book Club, Penny and I have not only met new faces - we've cultivated positive relationships with employees. An added bonus to hosting the new MAAP events is attendees are able to meet people outside of their department, breaking down the silos that separate many departments.  Read more...

Performance Management/STAT Program

By Penny Macias | July 16, 2015

What is Performance Management? What is a STAT Program? Are these just the current trendy buzzwords for doing what we already do? Read more...

Institutionalizing Innovation and Leadership

By Robyn Undieme | July 9, 2015

A new trend is occurring all over the country as Innovation Offices are beginning to pop up within local City governments. What are Innovation Offices? Simply put, they're offices similar to the MAAP Office. They're focused on making data-driven decisions and implementing cost- saving measures within City government. Ultimately, they're intended to challenge the old ways of thinking in an effort to better meet citizens' needs and expectations.  Read more...

Don't Let One Bad Apple Spoil the Bunch

By Penny Macias | June 25, 2015

Life is full of failed experiments and sub-par results. However, what we do with failures is totally up to us as individuals and teams. Read more...

Progress Report

By Robyn Undieme |June 18, 2015

It's time again to report the exciting progress we've made since our relaunch in March. During March, April, and May, we received 22 submissions of ideas through Idea Basecamp.  Read more...

Overproduction Waste

By Penny Macias | June 11, 2015

Overproduction is one of the eight types of waste in LEAN/Six Sigma techniques. It refers to making more product than your customer needs or wants. Examples of this include making 45 copies for a meeting where only 12 people have confirmed their attendance.  Read more...

Change is Hard, but Stagnation is Fatal

By Robyn Undieme | May 27, 2015

Confession: I've always been baffled by people who fear change. So I guess my secret is out: I love change. In fact, I have a quote below my signature line that says: "Change is hard, but stagnation is fatal," by Dr. Peter C. Bishop. Read more...
 

Motion Waste - Can You Minimize it in Your Area?

By Penny Macias | May 14, 2015

In the LEAN/Six Sigma curriculum, there are eight types of waste that exist in business, which include: overproduction, human potential, transport, extra processing, inventory, motion, defects, and waiting. Motion waste occurs when humans or machines must take extra steps due to inefficient design/layout or from issues in the process.  Read more...

Off to a Great Start

By Robyn Undieme | April 30, 2015

It's been nearly two months since the MAAP relaunch began and it's been quite the ride. Penny and I have enjoyed hearing from many employees we hadn't had the opportunity to meet before this relaunch. Some employees have reached out to us to share ideas and recommend books for the new book club we will be kicking off shortly. Others have expressed excitement that the City is headed in a direction to engage employees to a greater extent.  Read more...

On the Road to Innovation - Learning with a Wrench Program

By Penny Macias | April 23, 2015

Innovation is the current buzzword around the country. Cities are focusing more on innovating and finding new ways to deliver services to citizens and solve challenges - all while working with reduced budgets. Our own Equipment Management Division (EMD) of the Asset Management Department is a great example of innovating to solve problems.  Read more...

Processes Are Not People. People Are Not Processes.

By Penny Macias | April 9, 2015

If you work full time, you spend at least one third of your time at work on a daily basis. That's a huge commitment. So to hear a suggestion for process improvement in your area could be a blow to the ego. However, I challenge you to consider this - process improvement is not about you or any individual person. I don't mean to say you aren't important to the process. I mean the process, when looked at from an objective standpoint, should be organized so that anyone qualified and capable can accomplish it. The process should be if the person doing the job is unexpectedly absent, someone else in the department can step in and help.  Read more...

Less is More

By Robyn Undieme | April 2, 2015

This week's blog is a story about a small group of City employees in Water & Sewer and Streets & Stormwater, who saw a problem with a process, and decided to fix it. These are our heroes in the MAAP Office and I'd like to take this week to brag on them for just a moment.  Read more...

Where to Go. Where to Go

By Penny Macias | March 25, 2015

First of all, I must say I sincerely hope you get involved in some way with the MAAP in the coming months. My colleague, Robyn, has done an amazing job with programming the upcoming changes. I believe every change will benefit the City of Tulsa as an organization and its employees. I look forward to working with and learning from you, and bringing some valuable tools to you.  Read more...

The Abilene Paradox: Dare to Disagree

By Robyn Undieme | March 19, 2015

Have you ever gone along with a decision because you thought everyone else was in agreement, and later you find out that others also disagreed but no one spoke up because they didn't want to be the odd man out?  Read more...

A Road Less Taken

By Robyn Undieme | March 12, 2015

About a year ago, after a meeting of mine had ended, someone approached me to casually discuss a project idea he had. I asked him, "Why haven't I heard about this before? This is a great idea. Were you aware that you could come to the MRO with ideas?" I remember his response surprised me. He said, "no." He had never perceived the MRO as being an available resource to employees. I asked him, "Do other employees feel the same way?" and he replied "yes." It really sunk in with me at that moment that employees perceived the MRO as an untouchable office located on the 15th floor of City Hall.  Read more...