Before deployment, the city identified seven priority areas for the SC2 initiative to focus on: criminal justice, economic development, workforce development, health and human services, information technology, operations, and sustainable communities.27
Having already established work groups and goals, the New Orleans SC2 team was primed to begin work promptly upon deployment in September 2011. During the first week of deployment, team members met for one full day of meetings to develop a comprehensive and shared work plan. The one-day planning session was held with team members and their city counterparts to refine the scope of work for the first three months after the planning session. The team decided to approach their work from two fronts for the first three months, focusing on 1) identifying and achieving opportunities for “quick wins,” and 2) developing a work plan for longer-term goals and activities.
A lot of effort went into developing a detailed plan, which outlined the SC2 team’s goals and deliverables, the responsibilities of individual team members, deadlines, partnerships and resources, and indicators of success. This plan enabled team members to make contact quickly with local stakeholders to begin their work, and it provided a clear path forward and a means of tracking progress. Over time, the team came to value flexibility in planning, as some of the most ambitious plans set forth at the beginning of the pilot did not come to fruition as anticipated, including economic development plans associated with the new hospital.
27 Two areas, information technology and operations, were ultimately removed from the implementation plan when it was determined that the federal government could not help the city address those specific goals.