Priority-Based Budgeting (PBB)

What is Priority-Based Budgeting (PBB)?

PBB takes a comprehensive approach to align the City’s budget to the City’s strategic plan. PBB aims to identify the cost of all City programs and services and align our budget with the strategic priorities set by the City Council by answering the following questions:


Three Critical Questions

What do we do?

What does it cost?

How closely does it align with our strategic priorities?


PBB starts with City departments creating an inventory of all their programs, identifying revenue and costs associated with those programs, and determining how closely each program aligns with the Council’s priorities. This process will ultimately produce citywide insights about all programs offered and help the City make decisions on how best to allocate resources, improve efficiencies, increase revenue, and enhance City programs.



This Process is Broken Down into 4 Steps

1. Program Inventory – Determine all programs and services we offer.


2. Program Costing – Allocate line-item budget expenditures/revenue to programs to identify the true cost of programs.



3. Program Scoring – Assign scores to programs based on alignment with Council’s Strategic Priorities and basic program attributes.


4. Take Action & Apply the Data – Use program insights to optimize our resources for maximum program efficiency.



Strategic planning process, first identify our priorities for the next 5 years. City council direction. Next, program insights, apply our findings to optimize our resources for program efficiency. Next, budget development, develop a budget based on strategic priorities and program insights.


Year 1 Accomplishments

  • 55 team members participated from all City departments
  • PBB webpage, video and email communications distributed
  • 606 City programs identified establishing the City’s first baseline
  • Costing, scoring and peer review completed for all programs
  • 168 program insights identified:
  • Top Insights included in department budget presentations (high impact/low effort)


Year 2 Accomplishments

  1. Refined program inventory and scoring criteria.
  2. The Executive Sponsor team served as a Peer Review Panel for program scoring.
  3. Conducted joint Executive Leadership Team and Deputy Leadership Team workshops to identify critical unfunded needs and review PBB insights for potential resource reallocation.
  4. Utilized PBB scoring criteria to score critical unfunded needs to facilitate budget discussions and funding decisions.
  5. Identified seven Insights to implement which are expected to generate new revenue or savings in future budget cycles.


Year 3 Goals

  1. Implement Insights vetted and approved by departments during FY 2022-2024 budget development cycle.
  2. Refine programs/grouping of programs and costing.
  3. Clarify scoring; include departmental program overview presentations.
  4. Encourage cross-departmental collaboration and coordination.
  5. More clearly define the role of & actionable tasks for the Executive Sponsorship team and City Manager in the implementation process.
  6. Focus on change management; learn from other agencies who have successfully implemented PBB.
  7. Measure the effectiveness of PBB.
  8. Integrate a methodology to effectively introduce new programs, aligned with Strategic Plan, but not currently budgeted
  9. Increase number of staff participating in PBB and the budget development process
  10. Explore options for robust community engagement in the budgetary development process and PBB discussions


What does the timeline look like?

PBB is an ongoing, year-round process of evaluating program and funding needs and implementing Insights. Staff is currently working on the research and implementation of Insights identified in Year 2. Year 3 implementation began in September with the creation of Year 3 implementation goals.


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