Continued Development of Strategic Plan a Key Priority

Colorado Municipalities
April 2019

By Kevin Bommer, CML executive director

CML Strategic Planning Article

The Colorado Municipal League’s Strategic Plan has long been a subject of focus and attention by the CML Executive Board and staff, but the past two years have seen a more intentional effort to better connect the process and desired outcomes to CML’s mission, vision, and values.

Most recently, CML’s goals and objectives were revised to remove outdated provisions and better align activities with the vision statement and CML’s core functions. These goals are found on the CML website at In the future, members will be able to see dashboards that better illustrate progress toward goals and specific objectives. In addition, CML’s budgeting process reflects prioritization of goals and objectives and intentionally demonstrates goal integration. 

The development of performance measures is also a high priority. Staff began work in 2018 on establishing a few target areas for performance measurement by examining the various metrics already collected to better understand and determine what the League wants to continue to track over time. The board initially had approved starting small by showing selected organizational metrics within the database management system, specific data related to the annual conference revenue and attendance, and key legislative data points. However, staff was able to go far beyond the limited list and took a much deeper dive into a vast array of organizational metrics, adding other areas based on a consensus list of key subjects on which CML collects data. 

Where possible, staff listed established targets for certain items, and exercises in 2019 will build out the rest of the performance targets. The intent is still to start small and develop expertise and repeatable processes while the League establishes new tools through a website redesign, content management system improvements, and upgrades to the League’s database. Once operational, these tools will help the process of developing an integrated dashboard on the website.

It was rewarding for the staff and the board to realize that there were a whole lot of metrics that were already available, and there is an embrace of the challenge ahead to consolidate them in common and repeatable practices. The staff identified inefficiencies and departmental variations in metrics collection — only reporting some of them — and without clearly established goals but for a few specific purposes, generally related to ensuring realization of budgeted revenue. The process will take a steady, dedicated effort, which both the CML staff and board are committed to.

Including additional data sources beyond those originally intended surprised the staff. It demonstrated the power in the numbers that CML already gathers. When consolidated, it will then be possible to see where opportunities exist for improvement and establish operational priorities. In addition to the work that will occur in 2019 on process alignment and goal management, the greatest of growth and expansion of the CML Strategic Plan in 2019 will be the refinement of data gathering and performance management.

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