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Corporate planning and performance management

2015–2018 City Strategic Plan

City Strategic Plan

The 2015–2018 City Strategic Plan is the key corporate planning document defining what Council plans to accomplish over its four-year term. It contains the Term of Council Priorities (approved by Council in July 8, 2015) and the City Balanced Scorecard, which outlines how performance will be measured through specific objectives, initiatives and performance measures related to the priorities. Specifically, this City Strategic Plan:

  • Forms the foundation of the City's work efforts to deliver quality and relevant services to residents.
  • Provides strategic guidance to all departmental plans, policies and programs.
  • Provides the Corporation with a means of tracking performance through regular reporting process so that we can consistently make sound, informed decisions.
  • Includes enhanced oversight and direction for effectively implementing Council's priorities.

The City Strategic Plan does not provide a complete list of all the services and programs the City provides; it does, however, capture the significant initiatives that address the priorities for the 2015–2018 Term of Council.

2015–2018 City Strategic Plan [ PDF - 4 MB ]

City Strategy Map

Council articulates its priorities for a Term of Council by using a strategy map. With this tool, Council is able to link strategic plans with performance measurement goals by converting strategic objectives into measures and targets, which are then captured in the City Balanced Scorecard.

The City Strategy Map includes the following key elements, which are part of the 2015–2018 City Strategic Plan:

  • Term of Council Vision: Identifies the outcomes the City will use to define success for the 2015–2018 term
  • Constituents: Key stakeholders who will measure the success of the vision
  • Strategic Priorities: Areas of focus for the City's Term of Council that are linked to long-term goals and defined in sufficient detail to offer clear goals for the Mayor, Council, staff and residents
  • Strategic Objectives: Grouped by strategic priority and outline the outcomes that are expected to be achieved for each priority
  • Strategic Initiatives: Programs or projects that support the achievement of objectives, are linked to the budget process, and are measured using targets and metrics contained in the City's balanced scorecard

City of Ottawa Strategy Map

City Balanced Scorecard

The City Balanced Scorecard is a tool used by the City to improve focus on Council's strategic priorities. The City Balanced Scorecard supplements the City Strategy Map with performance measures and targets. Performance measures provide precision in indicating the progress that will be made toward achieving the strategy. Targets convey the expected level of performance to move the strategy forward.

The City Balanced Scorecard forms the basis of the performance management system and it contains both financial and non-financial measures. Senior management will use this tool to assess the progress of the City's strategy and make strategic decisions. Progress toward strategic objectives and initiatives will be reported to Council twice over the Term through the City Balanced Scorecard report, and through reports related to strategic initiatives provided by staff through the Legislative Agenda process throughout the term of Council.

Municipal Performance Measurement Program

Previous to 2014 the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Municipal Performance Measurement Program, Ontario municipalities were required to file financial and performance data with the province, and to publish and/or post the information on the Internet. Since 2014, the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has discontinued performance data reporting.

The City of Ottawa also participated until 2015 in the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative, which identifies and develops performance measures, captures performance data and analyzes results in order to identify best practices that participating municipalities can adopt.

For further information, contact the City Treasurer.

Corporate Planning Framework

The City's Corporate Planning Framework, approved by Council on May 25, 2011, better aligns planning and performance management activities. This framework simplifies the way the City delivers, monitors and reports on Council priorities and objectives, and provides departments with tools to manage their operations.

The Framework enhances decision-making, improves transparency and accountability, and aligns operations with Council priorities.

Specifically, it provides:

  • A process to identify and prioritize what the City intends to achieve during the Term of Council
  • A governance structure with enhanced oversight responsibilities for Council Standing Committees and the Transit Commission
  • Tools to track the City's performance in achieving the strategic priorities, strategic objectives and strategic initiatives approved by Council. These include the Strategy Map, Balanced Scorecard and Strategy Review Meetings.
  • Mechanisms to tie priorities and objectives to City budgets and the Long-Range Financial Plan

The Framework was used by the Mayor and Councillors to develop priorities for the 2015–2018 Term of Council. The Proposed 2015-2018 Term of Council Priorities Report, approved by Council on July 8, 2015, outlines specific objectives the City wants to achieve over the 2015–2018 Term, how those objectives will be achieved, and who is responsible for achieving them.

2015–2018 Term of Council Priorities

For each term Council establishes a set of priorities that help Council and staff make more informed decisions concerning the allocation of resources.

On July 8, 2015, Council approved the Term of Council Priorities for 2015–2018, which include Standing Committee, Information Technology Sub-Committee and Transit Commission oversight for each strategic objective and strategic initiative related to these priorities. Council also approved the associated Performance Measures that inform the City Balanced Scorecard and that will form the basis of performance reports to senior management and Council.


Over the next four years, the City of Ottawa will increase the public's confidence in City government and improve resident, enterprise and visitor satisfaction with City services.


  • Economic Prosperity: Use Ottawa's unique combination of recreational, social, cultural and business assets, and natural environment and physical infrastructure to attract enterprises, visitors and new residents, while at the same time developing and retaining local firms and talent.
  • Transportation and Mobility: Meet the current and future transportation needs of residents and visitors through Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Transportation Master Plan, including ensuring the City's transit services are reliable and financially sustainable. Continued focus on improving mobility during the LRT implementation, and support for alternative transportation methods including cycling and walking, as well as transit.
  • Sustainable Environmental Services: To provide sustainable environmental services that balance protection of our natural resources and support the planned growth of the city with the duty to ensure fiscal sustainability and meet legislative requirements in the delivery of municipal services.
  • Healthy and Caring Communities: Help all residents and visitors enjoy a good quality of life and a sense of community well-being by providing healthy, safe, secure, accessible and inclusive places and services.
  • Service Excellence: Improve client satisfaction with the delivery of municipal services by measurably strengthening the culture of service excellence at the City, by improving the efficiency of City operations and by creating positive client experiences.
  • Governance, Planning and Decision-Making: Achieve measurable improvement in residents' level of trust in how the City is governed and managed, apply a sustainability lens to decision-making, and create a governance model that compares well to best-in-class cities around the world.
  • Financial Sustainability: Practice prudent fiscal management of existing resources, and make sound long-term choices that allow City programs and services to be sustainable.