PADM 520 - Public Administration and Society Octavia Melvin Case Study
Dr. Kevin Fandl
Operations management and customer service in a political environment are crucial skills for public and non-profit managers. The Snow Removal case is a classic in public administration for teaching ways to analyze operational circumstances. To many students and instructors, analyzing capacity and demand often seem daunting. But this case, and a companion case on service delivery systems Case Processing of Welfare Assignment Collections allows plain language, low-math skills approaches, which take into account important dimensions of politics and resources. In a compelling presentation of how to deal with the seeming unpredictability of a snowstorm (which could shed light on how to prepare for other seemingly unpredictable circumstances), the case provides a backdrop for teaching students to develop demand projections for geographically dispersed and highly seasonal municipal services to estimate service capacity in a man-machine system given a series of constraints on productivity and resource availability. To outline ways efficient resource allocation can increase the capacity of a public service delivery system. To explore the political dimensions of performance failures in a basic municipal service. The case is used in warm weather and cold weather areas of the country with nearly equal success.(Electronic Hallway, 2013)
Encouraging your people to take the long view: Measuring the performance of people, especially managers and senior executives, presents a perennial conundrum. Without quantifiable goals, it's difficult to measure progress objectively. At the same time, companies that rely too much on financial or other "hard" performance targets risk putting short-term success ahead of long-term health -- for example, by tolerating flawed "stars" who drive top performance but intimidate...
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