Michael Herbert, Lowell’s Data Management Analyst since 2010, is leaving the City on November 29th to become Director of Performance Management in the Mayor’s Office at the City of Newton. Prior to coming to Lowell, Herbert was a Program Manager with the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
As Director of Performance Management, Herbert will be responsible for managing and coordinating city-wide performance management efforts and providing overall leadership for improving municipal core functions and evaluating the impact that systems improvements have on the delivery of services. He will also be responsible for developing and implementing the strategic vision, scope and mission of the Executive Office.
Herbert was hired in May 2010 as the City’s first Data Management Analyst, charged with developing and leading the City’s new LowellStat performance management program. In this position, he began the process of integrating performance management into the Department of Public Works and its various divisions, as well as the newly created Division of Development Services in DPD. He was also charged with assisting in the transformation of the City’s $300 million operating budget from a line-item format to a comprehensiveperformance based budget.
Within the next two years, the success of the LowellStat program began attracting statewide attention, becoming a model for medium to large sized cities that were interested in integrating performance management principles into their culture but were hampered by limited resources. This culminated in the awarding of a $375,000 Community Innovation Challenge Grant to the cities of Lowell, Amesbury, Somerville, Woburn and Worcester to oversee a statewide performance management system that could eventually become a part of city and town operations across the Commonwealth.
Over the course of two years, Herbert’s role expanded, including becoming the Acting Assistant Human Relations Director and the Acting Parking Director.
Accomplishments under Herbert’s leadership include:
- Developing the City’s first Strategic Plan and integrating strategic planning in the budget process. The City’s budget document now articulates the connection between the City’s longer-term goals and objectives and departmental resource allocations. A much more informative document, the budget has grown from 202 pages in FY11 to 374 pages in FY14.
- Saving over $800,000 over the course of three years by outsourcing maintenance in the Cemetery department. This savings occurred without any layoffs of affected personnel.
- Identifying a home-rule petition whereby the City could lien delinquent property owners for outstanding code enforcement fines. This led to $300,000 worth of liens, with over $90,000 collected so far.
- Developing and instituting the City’s first professional development program, allowing 25 city employees to learn new skills in budgeting and finance, labor relations, leadership and performance management.
- Identifying a lack of safety training for public works employees, and securing a $20,000 grant from the Department of Industrial Accidents to provide over 200 hours of training for employees.
“Mike has been a phenomenal asset to the City and a key member of the management team as we’ve worked to make City government more efficient, effective and transparent,” said City Manager Bernie Lynch. “He’s built a foundation for our data driven management efforts though the LowellStat program and helped identify numerous ways to deliver services more effectively and at a lower cost. His work in assembling our strategic plan has been equally important as departments now develop their work program and activities in linkage with the broader goals and priorities of the City Council and City Administration.
“Mike’s versatility has been a management resource ; allowing him to be used in unique situations like assisting in human resource issues such as labor negotiations and the health insurance overhaul; or in taking over the management of the city’s Parking Department,” Lynch added. “While Mike’s departure is certainly a loss to the to the city of Lowell, we will build upon the foundation he has left, continuing to grow and improve the LowellStat model. We wish him the best in his new position.”