ICMA Program Centers / Management Strategies / Leading Practices

Leading Practices

Enhance your local government's efficiency and effectiveness through our key management strategies.

High-Performance Organizations

ICMA has identified High-Performance Organization strategies as a leading organizational development practice for local governments. The Center for Management Strategies is proud to partner with the Commonwealth Centers for High-Performance Organizations to deliver education and technical assistance in the implementation of the effective and proven strategies of leadership, employee engagement, strategic vision, organizational values, and work culture. 

Priority-Based Budgeting

ICMA has identified priority-based budgeting as a leading practice for local governments. The Center for Management Strategies is proud to partner with the Center for Priority Based Budgeting, the mission of which is to share its vast experience and technical knowledge of government financial operations and budget development with organizations that are seeking to achieve long-term, sustainable fiscal health and wellness. You can increase your budgeting effectiveness through the Center for Priority Based Budgeting’s creative financial solutions for local governments.


Engaging the public in local decision making and community building is critically important work for any local government and there are a variety of tools and techniques that can be used to enhance your work in this important trending practice area. Engaging residents and other stakeholders can increase understanding, create better and more sustainable decisions, and build trust. It can also build better, more cohesive communities and improve customer satisfaction. The Center for Management Strategies is proud to partner with a variety of leading engagement practitioners, research specialists, and subject matter experts representing a variety of engagement disciplines to help you better connect the work of local government to your residents and other stakeholders and to ultimately build better communities.   

Surveys for data-driven decision making

ICMA has identified the concept of data-driven communities as a key focus and leading practice approach for local governments to pursue in evaluating their performance, enhancing their communications with the community, and assisting local decision making. You can improve the way you use data with the National Research Center, Inc.  NRC provides independent high-quality surveys—including the National Citizen Survey and National Employee Survey—and other effective research methodologies, as well as the support you need to translate that research and data into action.

Collaborative Service Delivery

Local governments want to provide the most cost-effective, efficient, and desired services possible to their communities. Yet many are faced with reduced revenues, poor local economies, or simply don’t have the staff resources or tolerance for risk to explore innovative approaches to service delivery. Many communities are exploring collaborative service delivery approaches—including public-public partnerships, public-private partnerships and outsourcing—not just because of economic constraints, but in an effort to enhance the quality and types of services provided.  The Center for Management Strategies, with its research partners, the Alliance for Innovation and Arizona State University, have researched this important topic and have resources and assessment tools to assist local governments in evaluating collaboration opportunities.  It has also partnered with key subject matter experts in the field of collaborative service delivery who can assist in your evaluation of service options or can be key partners in the delivery of your important local government services.  

Process Improvement

The goal of any local government is to provide quality services as efficiently and effectively as possible. Unfortunately, structures, processes and systems that become embedded in organizations can present challenges and create inefficiencies in service delivery that can frustrate employees and stakeholders and waste precious government resources.  The Center for Management Strategies has partnered with leading local government “Lean government” service provider, TechSolve, to assist organizations  in the implementation of process improvement.  TechSolve has fostered Lean process improvement since its founding in 1982.  TechSolve assists clients understand and apply process improvement concepts, including redundancy reduction, flow, and continuous improvement and its approach drives significant efficiencies that greatly enhance mission effectiveness, ensuring lower costs, higher quality, and better service and delivery while taking into account the needs of external stakeholders.

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