Problem: Community centers play a vital role in any town, large or small, to provide otherwise not available social, cultural and athletic programs. Community centers also build strong ties among residents of the community. It was not surprising then that one large municipality grew very concerned over the low utilization of its community centers. In order to reverse the situation, the municipality wanted to understand if the problem was with the design of the facilities, the programs, the management processes or a combination of all. The municipality contacted Draker Cody to conduct an assessment of the centers, including utilization, staffing, hours of operation and the underlying business process and management practices.

Best Practice Consulting

Approach: Our approach was two-fold. We interviewed managers and held multiple focus groups with the general public. We also visited other municipalities that had successful community center programs to learn about their management processes. On completing our assessment of the local and neighboring facilities and their business process management policies, we provided a detailed report, a recommended phased plan of action, and an implementation program.

Results: The municipality hired us to implement our recommended management processes. After, six month period of time, the new business process management policies resulted in a computerized registration and check in system that counted not only the number of people visiting the centers but what activities they were using. From the data collected it became possible to modify staffing patterns to better accommodate the busiest times when guests were in the building and to modify programming by eliminating underutilized programs. Another result was to recommend that new centers not be built until the existing centers were fully utilized, thus reducing community center expenses due to over staffing and underutilized centers. The municipality continues today to implement our program.