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Toronto Water

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New Strategic Plan Maintains Focus on Excellence and Efficiency

Toronto Strategic Venn Diagram

Background

Toronto Water provides water and wastewater services to 2.6 million businesses and residents in Toronto, making it one of the largest water utilities in North America.

Issue

Toronto Water needed to ensure that all aspects of the utility are focused on attaining excellence and efficiency in water service delivery. They wanted a 10-year plan to establish a vision for the utility and identify practical short, medium and long-term goals that would move Toronto Water from they were to where they wanted to be.

Solution

Toronto Water selected Westin to help develop their strategic plan. Planning began with an “Environmental Scan” of peer agencies to identify issues, trends and drivers that are changing how utilities do business. The scan considered socioeconomic; regulatory; workforce demographics; health, safety, and security factors, as well as information technology; customer management; water supply and demand; and environmental management.

A major component of the planning effort was working with Toronto Water’s General Manager and Directors to confirm their mission and vision, articulate core values, and establish guiding principles. These principles (shown below) were used as topic areas to ensure a comprehensive plan spanning all aspects of utility performance.

Using a balanced scorecard approach, each principle was further divided into supporting strategies and actions in a manner that was meaningful and relevant to Toronto Water’s leadership, management, and staff.

The plan also defined communications tactics to ensure that Toronto Water employees understood the plan and its relevance to their daily work.

Outcomes

Toronto Water is implementing their strategies throughout the organization with proactive employee communications. In addition, they have defined performance measures for each strategy that will allow them to monitor progress toward attaining their vision.

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