Clean Up The Planning Department

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Great Bulldog commenter Ron Benn sent along this note in relation to the post, City Hall Has Gone Native.

The underlying problem within the city’s planning department is quite troubling: the complaint by the developers is that they get conflicting requirements from within the planning department.

One person requires a larger parking-garage entrance, while someone a few desks away demands a narrower garage entrance. What this is indicative of is a department comprised of a group of “silos” rather than the “best practices” of the 1980s (or before) of cross communication within the department.

This speaks to a failure by the department management to create a culture of intra-departmental communication. It is indicative of a department that does not collaborate on projects. Rather than address the root cause, notably the failure to communicate and collaborate, departmental management has convinced even more senior management that an additional layer of personnel is required, to hover above the silos, and mediate a solution. So rather than breaking the sides of the silos, their proposed solution is to spend even more money.

As a mentor once patiently explained to me, first you have to become effective, which is doing the right thing, before you can become efficient, which is doing the right thing with fewer resources. Throwing more resources at doing the wrong thing is compounding the problem.


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