Priority Based Budgeting

What is PBB?
Priority Based Budgeting is a way for us to look through a "new lens" when it comes to budgeting for the services we provide to our residents.
PBB is a method in which we, as a city, can achieve fiscal health and wellness. We do this by identifying the role of government in Battle Creek. This involves:
  • Determine results - "What are we in the business to do?"
  • Clarify results definitions - "What do those results mean to us?"
  • Identify programs and services - "What exactly do we do and what does it cost?"
  • Value programs based on results - "What is of the highest importance?"
  • Allocate resources based on priorities - "What can we 'see' differently?"
The City of Battle Creek has determined our results through focus groups, surveys and workshops with staff and city commissioners.
Results are "high-level and over-arching reasons the organization exists in the eyes of the community," are comprehensive, and remain consistent and unchanged over time.
City of Battle Creek Results
  • Access to recreational, cultural and leisure opportunities
  • Connected, accessible and reliable transportation network
  • Economic vitality
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Reliable and up-to-date infrastructure
  • Residents and visitors feel safe
  • Vibrant, healthy neighborhoods
  • Well-planned growth and development
The Denver-based Center for Priority Based Budgeting has worked with the city along the way to fully implementing this process.
The center created our Results Maps -- informed in part by a survey completed by city staff and community members -- which detail the factors that influence the way we achieve our eight results, as well as for our internal governance programs (Fleet Services, Human Resources and others).

City of Battle Creek Results Maps

Continuing the PBB process
Once the results were in place, each city department worked to create an inventory of programs and services offered -- what we do. These are all-inclusive lists of every program and service provided by every department in the city.

We then determined values of each program, based on our results. This includes "costing," giving a dollar value to each program and service, as well as a detailed rating process based on how well the program/service influences the achievement of each result. A peer review process had city staff review and evaluate other departments' rankings.

The CPBB has helped the city develop a method of allocating our resources based on our priorities. Representatives discussed and demonstrated this Resource Alignment Diagnostic Tool during a City Commission workshop on March 31, 2016. The model can be used to help departments prioritize city programs, understand the impacts of those programs and better understand the ongoing and one-time funding sources involved.

PBB presentation on diagnostic tool - March 31