City of Fort Worth
Planning & Data Analytics Director
Mackenzie Eason & Associates has been retained by the City of Fort Worth to help recruit their Planning & Data Analytics Director. In connection with other organizational changes, the City Manager has created a new Planning and Data Analytics Department consisting of 29 authorized positions drawn from the Performance and Budget Department and the Planning and Development Department. The creation of this department was effective on January 4, 2020, and the Director will report to an Assistant City Manager.
The Planning and Data Analytics Department is responsible for forecasting demographic and economic trends as well as municipal revenues and expenditures; analyzing the fiscal impact and return on investment of policy options; conducting a variety of citywide and small-area planning studies; and conducting performance and budget studies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of municipal operations. The department will look at past data and forecasts to understand why forecasts may have been inaccurate, allowing the City to better forecast for the future. The department will produce a series of four interrelated documents each year: the Comprehensive Plan, a Strategic Plan for the organization, the five-year Capital Improvements Program, and the Budget, as depicted by the following diagram.
Creating the new department required the City to reconfigure the existing Performance and Budget Department. The new department has retained the Director, a Senior Administrative Assistant, seventeen (17) positions from the Budget and Analysis Division, and four (4) positions from the Performance Section. They also transferred five (5) positions in the Comprehensive Planning Section, plus the Senior Capital Projects Officer, from the Planning and Development Department to Planning and Data Analytics.
The vision for the Planning & Data Analytics Department is to directly support the City of Fort Worth in its continuing vision to be “the most livable and best managed city in the country” by creating great places for people to live, work, and play. The City of Fort Worth aspires to become an organization of national prominence; being recognized for taking holistic and innovative approaches towards enhancing the quality of life for Fort Worth’s residents.
The use of data analytics allows our city leaders and planners to gain deeper insights into current and future scenarios and to plan in a more precise manner to cater to the needs of Fort Worth’s population. It is the foundation of the performance management programs that allow Fort Worth to ensure continuous improvement, facilitate interdepartmental collaboration, improve private sector partnerships, and expand public engagement. The rapid growth that our city continues to experience puts strain on the infrastructure, which means data-driven solutions are central to making city operations more efficient and effective. Data analytics help better identify potential gaps that the City needs to address as well as opportunities available. This helps our leaders get a better sense of future needs for infrastructure and amenities, so they can then optimally allocate resources over different time periods and make effective policy decisions about the use of resources.
The Planning and Data Analytics Director will unify the newly consolidated teams and reinforce the culture of problem solving, innovation, and shared responsibility for achieving the department and City visions. The Director will oversee all areas of long-term comprehensive City Planning, will understand how to strategically plan and implement capital improvement projects in the City’s long-term vision, and be acutely attuned with how development patterns affect the financial condition of the City. The Director will ultimately be responsible for updating the annual budget cycle each year, assisting the City Departments with their respective budgets and capital improvement programs, and correlate it all together in the Comprehensive Plan and Strategic Plan for the City of Fort Worth.
Some challenges to be addressed over the next 3-5 years include:
Several general principles will guide the new department’s performance. In some respects, these principles represent departures from the status quo and, to that extent, it will be the responsibility and discretion of the Director to make any necessary significant adjustment and training for affected staff members.
Matrix Management Model
To manage its varied yet interrelated workload, the new department will use a matrix management model whereby each budget analyst will formally report to a Budget Manager, but informally accept direction from several different managers overseeing specific functions. This matrix management model can produce valuable results for the organization, but will require extensive communication, coordination, and cooperation among the Director, managers and staff to prevent confusion about lines of authority and responsibility.
Each of the three Budget Managers will oversee budget analysts providing support to the departments associated with one or more Assistant City Manager groups. This arrangement is intended to promote close interaction between the Budget Managers and the corresponding ACMs. Each budget analyst in turn will support one or more departments through all phases of the annual planning, programming, and budgeting process and on any special studies pertaining to those departments.
Decentralized Planning Model
The department’s Comprehensive Planning Section consists of only five planners, but this section convenes and coordinates the work of many planners associated with various operating departments as depicted in the following diagram. The Planning and Data Analytics Director must therefore be effective in facilitating interdepartmental cooperation, dispute resolution, and consensus building. The Director must be able simultaneously to find common ground among competing interests and to lead the community in new directions.
Planning & Data Analytics Department Organizational Chart
City of Fort Worth Executive Team
2020 Initiatives & City Manager Focus
EXPECTATIONS AND PHILOSOPHY OF THE CITY
WHAT DO WE WANT CITIZENS, CUSTOMERS, VISITORS, TAXPAYERS TO SAY ABOUT THE CITY OF FORT WORTH?
Employees at the City of Fort Worth provide municipal services to over 900,000 residents. Each day, these employees are moving about the city, doing work that helps make Fort Worth a strong community and a great place to live. There are six values that guide our employees as they go about this work. They are:
As Fort Worth continues to grow and change, these principles help keep employees on point, providing the best service to citizens, businesses and fellow employees.
The Ideal Candidate
The Planning & Data Analytics Director should ideally be an expert in the principles of data-driven comprehensive smart city planning and should be a visible and articulate champion of those principles, both within the organization and around the community. The Planning & Data Analytics Director should also be able to use relevant data effectively in assessing the needs for each department's improvements and in communicating the City’s progress toward its short- and long-term goals.
The next Director must be a collaborative, innovative, astute professional who is adept in operating in a fast-paced environment. The successful candidate should exhibit strong personal leadership skills that can mentor a young and talented team and increase department performance. They should have a passion for working in large municipal planning and city budget management that is balanced with long term strategic vision and big data driven analytics. Lastly, they must be able to build consensus among multiple and very diverse constituencies both internally and externally.
Leadership and business acumen are fundamental and the capacity to influence and impact our City and community, as well as be a catalyst and a strategist is critical to success. It requires leadership, judgment, management, mentorship, and results-orientation, as well as provides important partnership and cooperation with internal departments and external stakeholders of the development community.
The ideal candidate will possess experience, knowledge and skills in the following areas:
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in urban planning, data analytics or similar field, such as business management or public administration and eight years responsible experience in comprehensive city planning, city management or a closely related field, including four years of administrative and supervisory experience.