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Spring Is In The Air

Greetings from the OPPIA Board Chair!

Spring is always a time of great change. This year is one for the history books! We have experienced storms and new growth, both literally and figuratively. The rapid shift for many of us to working remotely from home came with challenges and opportunities.

The OPPIA monthly Board meetings have become virtual and all correspondence is by phone and email. Forcing all of us to learn new ways of doing things and finding out that there are opportunities in change. While I used to dread scheduling Skype meetings, I now relish not having to find meeting rooms and parking spaces. I have a new found love for collaborative ways of sharing and editing documents as a team. Providing our draft minutes in a shared space, makes us more efficient and accurate. Corrections are made on the spot.

During this time, the OPPIA Board has had some brainstorming sessions on how to provide our members with information, tools and support. If anything, we are stronger than ever for having to learn how to do business in a new way. One of our board members, Sheila Faulkner, used this transition time to update some aspects of the OPPIA website and newsletter. Check it out! (

I have witnessed this transformation in other organizations that were dragged reluctantly into implementing a performance management or quality system (in these cases it was Boeing or Intel telling them to do it or they’d drop them as a supplier). We are natural procrastinators. It often takes a compelling external force to do what we know, at some level, we should have been doing all along. After the hard work was done and the results seen, I’ve heard the strongest opponents say with wonder, “I can’t imagine how we did what we did without it.”

Use this crisis as an opportunity, a lever, to do what you know should be done. Document a key process so if you have to be out, someone else can do what needs to be done. Look at the data you relied on these past few weeks to steer your team, unit or agency to react effectively in a changing landscape and make it part of your dashboard. Take a hard look at what’s important and ask yourself, “What do we really need (tasks, resources, information) to get things done? What can we stop doing and what should we start doing? What action can we take now to keep us from slipping back to a less effective, but very comfortable, ‘business as usual’?” Use this opportunity to create a new normal that is more effective, more efficient, and more enjoyable.

I wish you much success, happiness, and health!

--Victoria Hawley, Chair

Spring 2020 Lunch & Learn: Line of Sight Metrics, May 18, Noon-1p OPPIA Lunch and Learns provide a valuable way to learn and connect. This Spring, we will be connecting in a new way: virtually. Register for our May Lunch and Learn, and we will send session login details the day before the event. And we hope, since travel and parking are not issues, that all of you can take time to attend this great learning opportunity!

Brandon Cobb has a passion for process improvement and an impressive resume. He started his career in state government in 2009. Several of these years were spent working in Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority, where he provided training and coaching on Lean methodologies of continuous improvement. He has managed various continuous improvement projects helping teams to define their purpose, develop meaningful metrics, and set performance measures. He believes that anyone, regardless of their position title, can find ways to make processes better. He not only coaches at work, in his spare time he coaches high school football and enjoys spending time with his family.

Brandon’s presentation, Line of Sight Metrics, will improve your understanding of the connection between metrics and mission. It will help you identify metrics relevant to the work you perform. Metrics are important in determining whether or not a team is accomplishing its mission. Metrics should also be clearly connected to the larger organization’s mission.

(Register before May 15, 2020)

Please share this link with others with a passion (or need for!) performance improvement.

Talk to Us -- Your Feedback Greatly Appreciated! During the recent pandemic crisis, what metrics or improvements did your organization rely on to continue to meet mission critical needs? Were they part of an existing performance measurement system? As a result of what you learned, will you or your organization change the way you use metrics? Please share your stories. Email us at ( and we will post them on our website.

If you have topic you’d like to share or need ideas, please let us know: OPPIA Summer Conference Update OPPIA’s main event each year is the Summer Conference typically held the first week of August at Willamette University. (Check out past conferences on our website.) With the uncertainties around large meetings and availability of onsite facilities, the OPPIA Board has been creatively thinking of ways to bring you the national-level information and inspiration you’ve come to expect from OPPIA. We will keep you posted!

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