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Strategic Planning Process

The most successful organizations know where they are headed. The strategy process consists of developing a 3-5 year roadmap, helping organizations with creating priorities, rather than random approaches to work efforts. Strategy involves development/review of mission and vision and addresses the organization’s leadership infrastructure. This process includes an environmental scan of the organization, a review of organizational performance, and desired future. Important components of this process include feedback from partners and stakeholders. From this information, a strategy map is developed along with key strategies, goals, objectives, and timelines. Emphasis is placed on the deployment of the plan and institutionalizing a strategic planning process as a core organizational competency.


Master Planning Process

While a strategic planning process addresses the leadership infrastructure, a master plan primarily addresses the physical assets of the agency and is generally a 5-10 year plan. A master plan typically includes a public input process designed according to client need, demographics review, inventory and assessment of parks and facilities, recreation program analysis, review of sustainable practices, identification of gaps of service, capital listing of needed improvements, and strategic recommendations, including priorities and timeframes. This process will be performed with our strategic partners.

Strategic Customer Service System

The creation of an excellent service system translates into the retention of customers and increased revenues. This assessment analyzes customer transactions, relationships, and loyalty and includes access mechanisms such as registration, program marketing efforts, front desk transactions, instructor interface with customers, review of customer satisfaction and loyalty systems, policy review, customer satisfaction measurement, and staff training. The assessment also includes a process to give an organization the tools to use the assessment on an on-going basis to continuously improve service systems.

Organizational Development

This process elevates the level of sophistication of work processes and methods. Applying lean concepts, the assessment will improve work methods, reduce organizational waste, and provide recommendations for improved organizational efficiency and effectiveness. The process will also include a review of staffing levels, labor resource allocation, organizational culture inventory, and organizational structure review. Benchmarks will be developed with our strategic partner, Leisure Vision.

Organization Culture/Change

So many work environments are uninspiring: micro-management, fear, silo mentality, bureaucracy, and the list can go on and on. How about developing an organization that is inspiring, one that focuses on the people and the culture? This process includes an overall culture assessment, identification of boundaries and barriers, and recommendations for creating better dialogue. The intended outcome is the development of a highly spirited and accountable work environment

Recreation Program Analysis

One of the core competencies of a parks and recreation agency is its ability to deliver innovative recreation programs. Yet, many times, status quo thinking and a lack of creativity exist within the program delivery process. This process includes identifying customer needs, inventorying current offerings, review of the program development process, measurement systems, competitive analysis, and marketing initiatives. Ultimately, this process will result in more energy and life in programs, revenue growth, and more customers in programs.

Sustainability Assessments

This includes a review of current green practices. The goal is to develop an overall sustainability system that encompasses all parts of the organization and results in green practices being deployed throughout and results in green practices being deeply impeded in the agency’s culture. The assessment includes a review of building design and renovations, energy efficiency in facility spaces, use of sustainable maintenance practices, recycling and reuse, and sustainable measurements such as carbon footprints.

GIS and Land Planning

Perhaps the largest asset that a park and recreation agency has is its land. Understanding proper land management and how best to distribute and use this resource is key to a successful agency. This can include acquisitions, annexations, new developments, refurbishing of sites, encroachments, easements, and zoning variances pertaining to the village or city code. One of the best tools to assist with such park agency planning is using GIS to track and analyze your park inventory, including park land data, characteristics and amenities. Beyond standard asset management, GIS can also be used to examine demographics, gaps in service areas, locating registration patterns, tax or planning boundaries, benchmarking, reflecting community survey information or referendum data. The opportunities can be endless if you are in search of a graphic geographic depiction to provide better direction in answering a question.

Staff Training, Public Speaking, Elected Official Workshops

Heller and Heller Consulting offers a wide variety of staff training and workshop opportunities. These programs are customized for the needs of the agency. Sessions include topic areas such as sustainable practices, leadership, service quality, planning, public processes, team based approaches, and many others.

Other Significant Services Include

Maintenance Management Assessment
Generally, park maintenance requires a significant investment in labor, equipment, and vehicles. As a result, using best practice approaches such as 5S and lean, use of design and maintenance standards, ongoing replacement schedules for equipment, vehicles, and park/facility infrastructure are all critically important to the overall effectiveness and efficiency of agencies. The assessment will take review work methods, staffing, performance measures, work culture, sustainable practices, and resource allocation.

Pricing and Cost Recovery Studies
This process involves working with agencies to develop true cost of services in order for agencies to have better information for budget purposes as well as having more precise information to assist in the development of pricing for programs and services. A model is developed that can be applied throughout the entire system. In addition, the process includes review and development of pricing policy and pricing techniques that include both monetary and nonmonetary pricing attributes.

Technology Assessment and Planning
This task will be completed by our technology expert who has been involved in completely rebuilding technology systems for three park districts. The process involves a technology audit and the development of a strategic system for technology. In addition, the focus for this task is to assist agencies with the ability to leverage technology to improve their ability to use data for decision making, such as the creation of dashboards. Another result is to provide recommendations about leveraging technology to improve service to external and internal customers.

Leadership Development/Executive Coaching
This includes a one on one series of sessions intended to strengthen leadership skills of individual managers. The process includes a leadership assessment through 360 degree feedback review and employee and individual interviews. This establishes the basis for coaching and is performed in a series of five meetings.

Speaking / Training and Upcoming Presentations

Service Quality Initiatives
Developing organizational service systems. This involves creating systems to develop customer knowledge, customer relationships, and operational systems that support excellence in service delivery. The session also explores ways to reduce variation in service quality among facility and programs.

Measuring Customer Satisfaction
How to develop customer relationships, determining key contact requirements, complaint management and determining how to improve service through customer feedback is the focus of this seminar.

Moving from Customer Satisfaction to Customer Loyalty
A loyal customer base yields a greater return on investment than merely satisfied customers. This session explores ways to develop and measure loyalty.

Building Internal Customer Service
Creating an environment that focuses on relationship building across departments. One of the greatest barriers to good service and high productivity is the creation of silo mentality among departments. This session includes identifying key support processes, ways to improve interdepartmental relationships, and developing ways to improve employee satisfaction.

Leadership: Now and for the Next Generation
Moving from administrator and manager to visionary, strategic thinker, and one who can align organizations around vision and values is what leadership is all about. Leadership is producing change, setting direction, and aligning constituencies.

Organizational Transformation
Changing the culture of an organization from a bureaucratic jungle to an organization that responds to customer needs through enlightened leadership that includes employee involvement is one of the most difficult things to do. This session outlines a nine step process for changing culture.

Becoming a Strategy Focused Organization
One of the most important leadership competencies is the ability to create and develop strategy. This session explores how to develop a clear picture of the organization?s future and outlines a model to put into place in your organization.

Creating Organizational Innovation
Organizational life naturally gravitates toward the status quo. It is easy to remain complacent. Yet, a common ingredient of great organizations is its ability to foster creative thinking and risk taking. Explore how to motivate employees to change.

Process Management/Improvement
Identifying processes that are most important to internal and external customers is critical to having overall service quality throughout all of the elements of park and recreation services. An important role of management is to develop ways to continuously improve upon processes to achieve maximum productivity.

Using Team Based Approaches
How to align work processes and methods around the use of teams. Decisions are best made when those affected by the decisions are involved in the process. This session explores team skills, facilitation skills, types of teams, and creating success for team decision making.

Creating a Way Cool Organization
How to lead an organization in the creation of excellence and building an inspiring place to work. Create an environment in which employees will actually want to get out of bed in the morning to go to work.

Measuring Performance
Absent measurements, an organization?s leaders have no idea how it is actually performing. Explore ideas about what to measure, how to compare yourself to the best, and ultimately how to improve your efficiency and effectiveness in delivering services.

Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness
Developing systems to perpetuate productivity and high customer satisfaction. Discover ways to get the best return on investment with your financial resources. In other words, this session explores how to do more with less and drive accountability throughout the organization.

The Use of the Balanced Scorecard
This session explores the four balanced scorecard perspectives of customer, financial, internal business and employee learning and growth. It integrates the perspectives with overall organizational strategy and creates a set of metrics to determine how you are performing.

Revenue Enhancements
It takes an entire organization to produce revenue. The components of revenue include: development of a revenue strategy, backstage support, operational excellence, revenue drivers, and things that eat your lunch (costs). When you are able to put all of these elements in place, revenues will increase.

Five Key Revenue Drivers
Agencies that rely on revenue production have a better ability to control their use of resources as a result of continued loss of tax support. Don?t leave money on the table and build your percentage of non-tax dollar support through areas such as pricing, program development, facility operations, marketing techniques, and sponsorships.

Recreation Program Development
Recreation programs should have a consistent approach to their quality and customer experience. This session explores ways to develop a systems approach to creating robust and dynamic program offerings, including the marketing and pricing of programs. It also includes information about lifecycle and age segment analysis of programs.

Pricing Recreation Services, A Marketing Perspective
The pricing of services is an art, not a science. Aside from developing cost recovery targets and cost of services to support programs and services, there are many pricing objectives to consider in the establishment of price. This includes elements such as identifying pricing objectives, resident and elected official push back, managing the benefit variable when increasing fees, and keeping residents informed.

Sustainability and Green Initiatives
This session explores the connection of the green revolution to the parks and recreation industry. What does sustainability mean to parks and recreation agencies? This session explores contemporary practices around the country that support the need to be green in park design, maintenance practices, facility and building operations, and recreation programming.

Creating a Legacy of Leadership through Succession Planning

Integrating Needs Assessment with Organizational Strategy

The Application of a Sustainability Framework Planning Tool for Park and Recreation Management