Background

In November 2017, CAWCD Board President Lisa Atkins announced the formation of the Customer Service Task Force. The purpose of the Customer Service Task Force was to examine the service that CAP provides and determine what changes may be warranted to offer the best customer service experience within CAP’s atmosphere of continuous improvement. The scope of the Task Force was to identify actionable improvements to CAP customer service processes, keeping the focus on processes and not specific outcomes or decisions. An external consultant was hired to provide objective and independent facilitation.

Conclusion

After extensive outreach by the consultant and the four interactive Task Force Meetings, The Task Force adopted several recommendations that were later adopted by the full Board on September 6, 2018.

The Board approved recommendations 1-6 as listed:

  1. Create ways for stakeholders to provide comments and ask questions online prior to meetings and in real time. (electronic blue cards)
  2. Create more effectiveness and efficiency of committees and task forces in order for the Board to have confidence in and rely on the work done in those committees.
  3. Conduct more discussions with stakeholders before Board meetings, include their perspectives in Board briefs (directed toward staff).
  4. To increase engagement, give more advance notice of issues, which will be considered by the Board and Committees, including timely posting of documents. 
  5. Invite stakeholders to participate in roundtable discussions on specific issues as an information-gathering exercise.
  6. Identify opportunities for more efficient, effective and inclusive stakeholder input beyond what is included in other themes, including possible formation of stakeholder advisory groups.

And to:

  • Direct staff to create short term action plans for these items and bring them back to the Board for consideration. Identify the role the Board and staff will play for each action item.
  • Direct staff to report to the Board quarterly on progress for the Customer Service Task Force Recommendations, to maintain all ideas and action steps identified in the Discovery Phase


While these are the first steps that will be taken, none of the data that was collected throughout the process will be lost.

Implementation

At the January 3, 2019 Board Meeting, the Board approved short term action plans for recommendations 1, 2 and 4.

1. Create ways for stakeholders to provide comments and ask questions online prior to meetings and in real time. (electronic blue cards)
Short Term Action Plan: Add a form to the CAP website to allow the public to submit testimony in advance of Board meetings. This will be monitored daily, and any forms submitted up and until one hour prior to a meeting will be given to the Chair with any blue cards submitted in person. The information requested on the electronic form will be very similar to what is on the current hard copy blue cards.

2. Create more effectiveness and efficiency of committees and task forces in order for the Board to have confidence in and rely on the work done in those committees.
Short Term Action Plan:Post a Summary of Actions within 3 business days following each meeting (as is currently done for full Board meetings), notify the Board when the video of Committee meetings are posted online, and provide a brief summary of the Committee meetings in the Board meeting packet with an active link to the video. This will be in addition to current practices to send agenda and packet information for Committees to the full Board and to send any requested follow-up information to the full Board.

4. To increase engagement, give more advance notice of issues, which will be considered by the Board and Committees, including timely posting of documents. 
Short Term Action Plan: Create a page on the CAP website to list tentative agenda topics for meetings looking 45 days out.


At the April 4, 2019 Board Meeting, the Board approved short term action plans for the remaining recommendations 3, 5 and 6 as follows:

3. Conduct more discussions with stakeholders before Board meetings, include their perspectives in Board briefs. (directed toward staff)
Short Term Action Plan: Staff will begin to include stakeholder perspectives in Board briefs when they are clearly known. The summaries will be generic in nature.

5. Invite stakeholders to participate in roundtable discussions on specific issues as an information-gathering exercise.
Short Term Action Plan: Staff will begin to organize quarterly stakeholder roundtable meetings. The topics will be focused on timely issues that relate to upcoming Board decisions. 

6. Identify opportunities for more efficient, effective and inclusive stakeholder input beyond what is included in other themes, including possible formation of stakeholder advisory groups.
Short Term Action Plan: Increase opportunities for the Board to engage with stakeholders to better understand perspectives. Produce a customer feedback form for customers and stakeholders to provide input on services received from CAP staff and Board. 


Staff will continue work on implementation of the short term action plans, and provide ongoing quarterly reports to the Board.

Members

Co-Chairs: Lisa A. Atkins, Benjamin W. Graff
Members: Alexandra Arboleda, Jennifer Brown, Karen Cesare, Terry Goddard, Jim Hartdegen, Pat Jacobs, Heather Macre, Sharon B. Megdal, Mark Taylor

Reports

Discovery Phase Feedback Report
Report on June 21, 2018 Action Planning Exercise

Meetings

April 19, 2018 – Meeting #1 (video)
May 17, 2018 – Meeting #2 (video)
June 21, 2018 – Meeting #3 (video)
August 18, 2018 – Meeting #4 (video)