Public works managers often strive to improve their performance and optimize resources. One way to achieve this is to follow the process of becoming a high-performance organization (HPO). Such a designation is defined by the HPO Center by achieving financial and non-financial results that are exceedingly better than those of a peer group over a five-or-more-year period of time (De Waal, 2012). This article describes an HPO and the related advantages. Two examples are provided: one is an agency functioning as an HPO and of the other is striving to become one. The concepts in this effort are outlined and can be applied to any public works organization.
By Khalid Bazmi, PE, assistant director/county engineer, County of Orange; Phil Lauri, PE, assistant general manager, Mesa Water District; and Harry Lorick, principal, PE, PWLF, LA Consulting, Inc.