Streamlining strategic planning *

Any recent visitor to the City of Maitland or its not too distant neighbour, Singleton, could not help but notice the growth taking place in these long established cities of the NSW Hunter Valley. It is therefore no surprise that the Councils in both locations have seen the need to streamline corporate planning. Both decided to implement OutcomeManager supplied by iPLATINUM.

Maitland City Council had recognised the need to automate its strategic planning function if it was to strike a balance between its rural identity and the needs of an economy growing at three per cent a year. Council had in fact already written its own wish list for a strategic planning system when it discovered OutcomeManager.

“We were swayed by the ease and installation of OutcomeManager, impressed with its workplace tools such as email and its overall ability to link between goals, strategies and outputs in a project,” said Manager Corporate Planning, Leanne Harris. “It gives us a simple snapshot of our annual management plan and the individual projects which make up our six key focus areas.”

OutcomeManager accommodates a range of variables including localities, focus areas and management teams and groups. Using workflow automation and emails OutcomeManager is in sharp contrast with management reporting using a conventional spreadsheet which it replaced at Maitland.

“We had some basic but limited systems such as spreadsheets in place for planning but were constrained by the lack of automation and the inability to engage with multiple users,” Leanne Harris said. “We wanted better monitoring of performance and service delivery as regards our strategic plans. The software represents a good fit with Maitland’s requirements and where minor changes may be needed the system is very flexible.”

More recently Singleton Council committed to implement OutcomeManager. Singleton is experiencing a growth spurt and Council has seen the need to establish plans which enable it to meet its charter as a “progressive community of excellence and sustainability”.

Council has a strategic planning team comprising its General Manager, line managers and two directors. This team identified the need to improve reporting and tracking of goals and objectives.

Finance Manager, Anthony Egan, said that OutcomeManager will streamline reporting processes by replacing the use of spreadsheets such as Excel and Word documents. Singleton evaluated OutcomeManager and another planning solution, deciding in favour of OutcomeManager because of its functionality, that it was browser based and the level of automation it offered.

“We are impressed by the high level of integration and consolidation of plans offered by OutcomeManager,” Anthony Egan said. “For example, the social welfare plans for childcare, aging and youth will roll up into the overall objectives of our strategic plan. OutcomeManager will improve our assessment of performance and offer automated reporting functions. Now each and every manager can input to our strategic plans.”

In both instances the Councils acquired the OutcomeManager solution from iPLATINUM who will be responsible for the implementation and ongoing support of the solution.

For more information on the OutcomeManager Solution email or see

* Copy supplied by iPlatinum