#21 – Management Partners

Posted on November 11, 2019

Management partners

This is the company information page for the 2019 #ELGLHaverford award.

Learn more about the award program, and read about all of the honorees.

About Management Partners

Engagement With ELGL:

Working with the Company:

Describe your work and interactions with the nominee – how have you worked with them, on what projects, in what capacity?

  • Management Partners has completed a number of high profile, dynamic and complicated projects in the City of Pleasanton.
  • In 2011, the City of Stockton was in a pivotal moment of crisis. The City had experienced three years of fiscal emergency, lay offs, service cuts and poor morale. The City also experienced leadership challenges in the same time-frame. A newly appointed City Council hired a new City Manager to begin a bold renaissance. As the new City Manager evaluated the organizational challenges and deficiencies, including the probable need to enter bankruptcy, it was quickly clear that the City needed outside support. As Stockton considered consulting firms that could assist with general support and project management, nearly every agency surveyed referenced Management Partners as a high quality partner. Management Partners has worked with hundreds of local governments on successful strategic and technical projects. When Stockton evaluated our list of potential firms, Management Partners easily stood out as the most technically capable firm, they were highly committed to public service and had the most strategic approach as a support partner. Initially, Management Partners provided technical financial expertise to conduct a financial condition assessment of Stockton to ensure we had a good handle on the state of our finances. This review was critical to making difficult decisions for how to restructure the City’s finances. Following this assessment, the City asked Management Partners to provide the project support to manage our lengthy, high-stakes, complicated bankruptcy process. The firm then supported the City’s work in Bankruptcy by performing challenging tasks to negotiate with creditors, develop an appropriate restructuring plan, work with City staff closely to seamlessly communicate and direct teams, manage multi-million dollar project budgets and provide services to effectively manage complex court proceedings. In addition, Management Partners designed a critical tool during the bankruptcy process, an economic forecasting tool called our Long-Range Financial Plan. The firm provided extremely advanced skills and technical assistance to the City to revise, update and develop a fiscal model to restructure short and long-range financial planning. All budget decisions during bankruptcy and since have been vetted through their impacts to the City’s long-term financial forecast. This has been a critical tool to run real time forecasts for how decisions will impact our budget. This same tool has now been developed in multiple other cities to assist with their financial planning. Furthermore, Stockton was not only financially broken, but operationally broken. The City was deficient related to many best practices for modern organizations. Management Partners pulled from a deep bench of experts to conduct an efficiency study to determine more than 20 projects in which we could quickly make significant operational improvements and cost savings measures. Key projects from the efficiency study included a Community Development Services Review, Fleet Analysis an Recreation Operational Plan. The City of Stockton has leveraged the foundational work of Management Partners during the bankruptcy process through continued projects related to financial forecasting, City Council strategic planning sessions and the annual budget preparation process. The services provided continue to be fundamental to the City’s overall financial and agency operational success.

What was the product/outcome of your relationship with the company?

  • One of the most successful outcomes of a project that Management Partners helped facility for the City of Pleasanton was the 12 month long process of integrating our Library and Recreation departments into one large, community facing department. Following 12 months of advance planning by an internal team led by Management Partners staff, the City’s new Library and Recreation Department launched on July 1, 2018. With the help of Management Partners, the City team steadily implemented its plan to merge the two departments through revamped programming, a reorganized reporting structure, and the launch of an effort to widen the scope of library and recreation services to be delivered to the community.
  • Today, the City of Stockton has $80 million in reserves and was named the second most fiscally stable City in the nation (with a population of more than 75,000). The City overcame challenges from the great recession of 2007, and the City’s $26 million budget deficit. With support and leadership from Management Partners, the City maintained solvency with immediate and long-term financial planning. The City has achieved more than $40 million in permanent savings annually, and approximately $2 billion over the next 30 years. The return on investment has contributed to a balanced budget and now healthy reserves. During and since bankruptcy, the City has taken on nearly every large project that municipalities face. The City has experienced a renaissance and is being presented as a turnaround success story. Management Partners was responsible for a number of critical positive outcomes to help us achieve a healthy financial budget, exit Bankruptcy and returning to streamlined, efficient operational success. The City continues to use highly technical tools, information, and resources provided by Management Partners. They have a highly regarded and professional team. The firm has always provided reliable, consistent and unmatched services.

What are three words you’d use to describe the company?

  • Thoughtful, dedicated, strategic. 

Describe the on boarding process for your work with the company – either when you personally started working with them, or when your organization did. What could someone else in local government know about starting work with this company?

  • Management Partners is seemingly up to any challenge involving leadership, collaboration or management. Even when a project or goal isn’t fully realized on tangible, Management Partners staff helps to facilitate dialogue, create conversation, and collectively guide the group towards the best possible outcome for the organization. 
  • The City was not an easy client with which to onboard. Management Partners came on board during high stress and historically challenging times, the City was profoundly insolvent from a service and budget perspective and teetering on the verge of cash insolvency. With great tact and diplomacy the nominee came on board to join team Stockton during a time others would not. Their professionalism, commitment to excellence and “roll-up-your-sleeves” attitude made onboarding a smooth process. They have change management and project management expertise, so they took the time to go through the valuable steps of building trust, establishing norms, identifying the problem, and creating a clear, actionable action plan. They built a solid project management team and used strong communication to keep everyone in the loop and hold the team accountable. Management Partners stood by the City’s side to provide much needed service and support. Management Partners navigated highly challenging times with a steady hand and quality service. Any other local government could engage with Management Partners with a high degree of confidence that they will listen, build trust and deliver.

What is the company’s pricing structure? Please be as descriptive as possible.

  • Standardized pricing based on hourly rates per the employees involved in the project.  

What’s the most interesting or fun aspect of your work with the company? 

  • Management Partners has an expert for every topic. Whether you need an expert to help manage your new garbage and recycling contract or help to create internal work plans for staff as part of a department strategic plan, someone of their team always has the relevant subject matter expert to lend their expertise. 
  • Management Partners hires consummate professionals. The majority of staff have worked for municipalities and know our challenges. The professionalism, skills, and dynamic team was a natural fit that produced interesting and meaningful results. But most rewarding is the humor, positivity and personable approach that they bring to the work. We experienced significant stress through the bankruptcy process and Management Partners always brought a positive attitude and kept us smiling. We really enjoyed the support and the exceptional characteristics each team member provided, in particular, Jan Perkins, Vice President, and lead consultant Andy Belknap, and assistance from Lynn Dantzker, Bob Leland and Larry Lisenbee.

How has your relationship with the company evolved or changed over time? How has the company reacted to or addressed any changes that your organization has requested in the scope/focus of your work together?

  • Over the years, the team at Management Partners has played a pivotal role in the success of many of Pleasanton’s major initiatives, helping to guide, conduct research, manage and successfully launch several projects that have helped the City succeed in its goals and objectives. The Management Partners team has become very familiar with the City of Pleasanton’s organization and staff, allowing them to quickly assess our goals for a given project and work closely with staff to achieve those goals. There is a high degree of trust between staff at the City and Management Partners, which is one of the key elements of the two groups continued collaborative success.
  • Because we have worked with Management Partners for so many years, there have been several adjustments to their scope and multiple different projects. Management Partners is a strategic partner with the City, not a one-and-done project consultant. While the heavy lift of bankruptcy has been completed and our projects with Management Partners are more targeted, we view the leads from Management Partners as colleagues and members of the Stockton family. The relationship with Management Partners has evolved into a very trusted and reliable partnership. The work that has been accomplished over the years has contributed not only to ongoing financial planning, efficiencies and strategic planning, but the work of Management Partners has been so influential that they have had a tangible impact on the positive culture changes and rebirth that has occurred in Stockton.
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