CIO Rob Lloyd came to Avondale in 2011, and since then he’s led big changes and garnered equally big commendations, including first-place wins in Government Technology’s annual Digital Cities Survey in 2013 and 2014. Avondale’s technology leadership continually impresses its contemporaries through advances in project management, stakeholder engagement, cybersecurity, sustainability and procurement strategy.
Success, Lloyd explains, starts with people. “In government, we build communities, not stakeholder equity or profit lines, and so what we’re after really is creating an exceptional workplace and culture and from there you take the great ideas that people have and step forward,” he said.
Avondale also has been recognized for its branding efforts, an emblem of the city’s winning technology strategy, which is to involve stakeholders and use that engagement to drive project focus and priority. The city has a greater than 80 percent project success rate, Lloyd said, because its IT strategic plan is based on managing the needs of staff members in all areas and levels of the organization.
Avondale dismantled its traditional project management office — “a quiet revolution,” Lloyd called it — in favor of a more flexible approach that allows different tactics and strategies to be utilized depending on the project, and places more emphasis on goals than exact specifications for projects.
In addition, sustainability efforts cut annual data center power usage by 100,000 kWh and printing by about 1 million copies. To strengthen cybersecurity — an area where Avondale is a regional leader, Lloyd says — the city partners with groups like the Arizona Cyberthreat Response Alliance to gain access to resources that a municipality of its size couldn’t ordinarily access.