More control over your municipality with only 1 KPI

There are many interesting lessons to be learned from the corona crisis that are relevant for people, companies and government. In this way, there is more attention and time for meaning and mental health. How do I feel today and what makes me happy? Can I spend enough time on things that make me happy? And am I really doing it? How high is my happiness level? Isn’t this the only KPI that matters? Only in a crisis does it become clear what is really important. Where are you, and above all: where do you want to go?

I will come back to the interesting lessons in a moment. First the coronavirus. What is going on? As a result of the crisis, we as a society and as individuals have become more aware of what is really important. After all, the news always revolves around the question of what risk level we are at and when it will get better. The number of positive tests and hospital admissions influences the current level of risk. Ranging from vigilant, worrisome, serious, very serious to lockdown. This is the guiding critical performance indicator (KPI). This determines what we do.

What can we learn from the corona crisis?

Experts largely agree on the following success factors in a crisis:

  • To have a boss’ who is accountable and responsible.
  • There is a need for vision and clarity why we do what we do.
  • Creating and preserving support base.
  • Continuing to look at the problem from different angles. Prevent tunnel vision by frequently validating, checking and adjusting.
  • Discipline in the execution where everyone from his or her own contribution takes responsibility and contributes.
  • Good tuning with all stakeholders and setting priorities.
  • It’s okay to make mistakesif you learn from it.

Harder than it looks

These lessons seem simple and an ‘open door’, but appearances can be deceiving. Often there are ingrained ‘programmed’ patterns. Everyone – government, people and companies – wants to get a grip on their situation and change where necessary.

I recognize these programmed patterns from my daily work. These are very relevant in the (impending) crisis in the social domain. This concerns the responsibility that the municipality has for encouraging self-reliance and independence of vulnerable residents on the basis of the Youth Act, the Participation Act and the Social Support Act. The need is high. Finances are often insufficiently under control, there is no grip on the quality of service and insufficient attention to the above-mentioned success factors.

In line with the way in which we fight the coronavirus, it would also be good to make a broad problem analysis within the social domain. And to think and work from just one KPI, just like in the corona crisis. The grip level is ideally suited for this.


The good news is that municipalities, within their sphere of influence, have opportunities to get a better grip on the expenditure and quality of basic aid, supplementary aid and specialist help. Purchasing, information, finance, contract management, management and monitoring in particular can play a major role in getting a structural grip on services in the social domain as a municipality.

In the Municipal Grip Level Roadmap we recognize three levels: serious, vigilant and in control. Municipalities can test these levels (or have them tested) on relevant subjects. This gives stakeholders in the social domain insight to gain more control with appropriate measures.

This requires a business style within municipalities, in which clear frameworks and objectives are provided to be ‘vigilant’ and ‘in control’ by means of social and business management in the social domain. The result is a better quality-to-expense ratio. This provides stakeholders in the social domain with tools, joint insight and support to get a better grip on expenditure and quality. And this with an appropriate and mandatory package of measures. We call this the Municipal Grip Level Roadmap.

The Roadmap

With a roadmap, organizations can get a better grip on the ‘crisis’ in order to manage expenditure and quality of service. This also includes attention to available reliable data for the accountability process. And making underlying documents available to send.

It offers municipalities a guideline to become a knowledge organization in the social domain in an appropriate and controlled manner that optimally combines care and knowledge. In particular, it gives aldermen, administrators, policy makers, controllers, purchasers, contract managers and supervisors in the social domain insight and more support for an approach that gives them a better grip on expenditure and quality.

The Municipal Grip Level Roadmap consists of a number of features, challenges and a large number of working practical measures. These are based on implementations and experience gained at various municipalities, implementing organizations and their chain partners in the social domain in recent years.

We recognize nine subjects for this as standard, which I will briefly explain below. The point is to determine for all subjects which of the three levels applies to the current situation and where the organization wants to stand for each subject and overall as an ambition in the future.

This can be done through a short-cycle approach. You question a number of stakeholders with specific questions and you simultaneously examine the available documents, protocols, working method and preconditions. This approach creates a concrete, neutral and supported image per subject. This is complemented by our best practices in the social and public domain with many quick wins and proven structural changes from implementation and practice.

The 9 topics of the Roadmap

  1. Organization
    Typical organization ranging from a reactive organization, proactive organization to a knowledge organization for which we have defined characteristics.
  2. Ask for care
    Degree to which the organization has insight into the demand for care ranging from insufficient, good to predictive insight.
  3. Policy goals & strategy
    The extent to which central and decentralized policy goals and strategy are available. And the extent to which there is support for the choices made within the organization and among chain partners.
  4. Steering on care offer
    The extent to which there is a central insight and control of the performance of the care partners with whom we work together. In addition, consider the steering measures and steering mechanisms deployed.
  5. Purchasing and contract management
    The extent to which work is done with recording, measuring and improving agreements via agreed fixed points of contact, uniform contract management and maturity of reports.
  6. Financial and legality supervision
    The extent to which there is control over the planning and control cycle and the maturity of correct and complete accountability. This also includes protocols, information standards, effort-oriented versus result-oriented agreements and declarations. And compliance with collective process and work instructions in the region and chain.
  7. Information
    The extent to which there is a centrally available and largely automated municipal monitoring dashboard for Youth Assistance, Social Support Act and Participation.
  8. Systems
    The extent to which systems and technology work for employees in the execution. This includes functionality, ease of use and integration to optimize supplier performance and implementation processes with the chain.
  9. Staff members
    The extent to which employees are aware of quality, their behavior and support the policy direction of the organization. Think of support for management, preconditions, HR policy, maturity of tasks, authorities and responsibilities.

People & questions

The three levels ‘serious’, ‘vigilant’ and ‘in control’ have been further defined for each subject. This allows you to see where your organization is now for every topic. Typically, the following people in particular are interviewed for this purpose:

  • controller,
  • buyer,
  • informatiemanager,
  • team manager Youth and Social Support Act,
  • contractmanager,
  • executive coordinator Youth/WMO, and
  • a number of employees to be determined in the implementation and, if necessary, chain partners.

Finally, you answer the following questions:

  • What are the ambitions in terms of grip level?
  • Where does the municipality stand in terms of grip level in the social domain?
  • What can we improve in the short and long term and where do we start?
  • What is an appropriate and feasible strategy to achieve this?

To work

Risk level, happiness level and grip level… What is important to you or your organization? What does this radar look like? And above all: is it on track or is there one somewhere reset required?

Start today with these steps:

  1. What topics are on your radar? What is the ambition? And where do you want to be in the future as an organization or person per subject?
  2. Where are you now? Do self-examination and get outside help where necessary.
  3. Identify improvements and steps at a pace that is appropriate and necessary. Set priorities and draw up a realistic implementation plan.


Source: Frankwatching by

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