Lions and Tigers and Budgets! Oh My!

Summary

Impact Statement: 
Budget literacy of health department staff is a key attribute necessary before decentralizing financial management and program oversight. After an assessment that determined that staff had knowledge gaps, an educational intervention was initiated to increase their financial management competency. Although the project is not yet complete, the health department director has indicated that staff are much more prepared for budget meetings, and staff have given positive feedback that the template materials are valuable.
Summary: 

Traditionally, Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) leadership was largely responsible for all budget processes within the various programs, services, and grants offered by OCHD. 

The QI team initiated the project by holding an all-staff training to discuss program budget layouts and terminology, developed a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to be used to better understand program budget numbers and future projections, and developed a monthly budget meeting requirement with the OCHD director. After the QI team piloted the initial interventions and provided feedback, the group finalized the project components and rolled them out to all agency staff. The QI team then developed materials to support staff needs and is now studying the use and effectiveness of the developed materials and budget meeting process. 

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
OCHD
Citation: 

Waksmonski, K. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Lions and Tigers and Budgets! Oh My!. Thu, 11/16/2017 - 13:47. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/lions-and-tigers-and-budgets-oh-my. Accessed August 15, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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Comments

Grace Gorenflo's picture
Submitted by Grace Gorenflo on

Thanks for sharing your effort, and especially your template!  I have several questions:

1. Can you share the core competency assessment tool that you used?

2. Will you specifically measure stress reduction at the end of budget cycles, increased staff ownership, and increased comfort levels as part of your staff satisfaction survey?

3. Can you please elaborate on your 5% variance goal?  How will you measure that, and how frequently?

Finally - I very much look forward to seeing your results! When do you anticipate posting those? 

Thanks!

Grace

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Submitted by kwaksmonski on

Hi Grace,

Thanks for your comment!  

I've tried to answer your questions below:

1. Can you share the core competency assessment tool that you used?

We use a version of this:  http://www.phf.org/resourcestools/Pages/Competency_Assessments_For_Publi...

2. Will you specifically measure stress reduction at the end of budget cycles, increased staff ownership, and increased comfort levels as part of your staff satisfaction survey?

We're considering this for sure, but do not have baseline results.  We're beginning to assemble a broad staff satisfaction survey so this may show up as a question.

3. Can you please elaborate on your 5% variance goal?  How will you measure that, and how frequently?

We have monthly budget reports and so we're trying to be within 5% variance of what was budgeted.  For example, in our expenses column, we're trying to be within 5% of what was budgeted for that month (or quarterly if that makes more sense for some programs).  Does this make sense?  We're trying to stay as close to what was budgeted as possible.  Anything outside of the 5% either way (over or under) requires a justification.

Finally - I very much look forward to seeing your results! When do you anticipate posting those?

We could see results as early as our next competency assessment which will be done by June 2016, I believe.  I'll definitely update the submission then!

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Submitted by dbbailey2 on

K. Waksmonski,

                 I am new to the public health arena, and recently accepted a position as a performance improvement coordinator. I have a steep learning curve in tying certain QI aspects with public health performance. However, I do find everything very interesting.

I have a couple of questions regarding your initiative:

1. Why did you select a 5% variance for your budget attainment?

2. Are you more concerned with going over budget vice under budget?

Good luck with your QI initiative!

Thanks,

Doug

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Submitted by kwaksmonski on

Hi Doug,

 

Thanks for your comment and questions!  Here are my answers:

1. Why did you select a 5% variance for your budget attainment?

After reviewing previous years' final budget reports for various grants, there was an average of around a 10% variance.  We decided that we'd like to be much less than that and so we made it our goal to be at 5%.  

2. Are you more concerned with going over budget vice under budget?

We are equally concerned about both- we want to make sure that we're a reputable awardee to our funders and our community.  Giving money back to funders may decrease our credibility and spending more puts pressure on our tax levy budget- also not good.  We want to be as close to our predicted budget as possible.

Let me know if you have any additional questions!

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Link to the resource where this submission is also published: 
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