The Together We Improve Services Team (TWIST) was formed in late 2018. The idea was to establish a cross-departmental group to tackle projects and processes that improve citywide operational effectiveness. This group exists in the context of the Together San Rafael program and embodies the spirit of the Learning Labs.
Over the past few years, departments across the City have begun to develop new “analyst” type positions. These positions encompass a variety of department-specific responsibilities, but at the broadest level they work to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency. This includes financial management and budgets, policy development and analysis, research and special projects. These positions are key liaisons between their home department and other departments throughout the City.
This group began meeting informally, with existing staff sharing their knowledge and experience with new staff. The group also met with representatives from different City departments (City Clerk, Finance, City Attorney) to understand how to best work cross-departmentally. The group, with support from the City Manager’s office, also saw an opportunity to work on cross-departmental projects that would enhance Citywide operations and management.
Project Selection Process
In April 2019, TWIST met with their department Directors and the Assistant City Manager to identify the top priority projects for the group to focus on. After brainstorming a list of potential projects, the Directors and group members prioritized projects using the following criteria:
- Does it touch multiple departments?
- What is the level of risk/liability?
- Does it generate revenue or provide cost savings?
- What is the degree to which it would ease pain points?
The group identified two new projects that TWIST could spearhead and two existing projects where the team could provide critical support. The projects are:
- Contract Process and Management (Lead)
- Race and Equity Impact Analysis (Lead)
- Master Fee Schedule (Support)
- Wildfire Prevention and Protection Action Plan (Support)