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Zero-based reviews

Efficiency and effectiveness program

As part of the new approach to business planning and budgeting, Council approved an organization-wide strategy for improving service efficiency and effectiveness including the implementation of zero-based service reviews.

Zero-based reviews (ZBR)

Zero-based reviews (ZBRs) are a new and important element of the efficiency and effectiveness strategy. Zero-based reviews examine all aspects of the business under review to ensure that every dollar is used well, in creating the city that Calgarians have said they want to live in. The ZBR program is housed in the Chief Financial Officer’s department, with the Service Efficiency and Effectiveness team, in the Corporate Initiatives division.

The following documents outline the process and tools, methodology and basics of the ZBR program, specific to the various audiences who participate, or who are interested, in the Program.

Zero-Based Review Program Overview

  • an overview and orientation to the Program
  • for City business units, staff and interested external parties

How to Prepare for a Zero-Based Review 

  • information on data collection, project planning and communications to aid preparation
  • for City business units selected for a ZBR

Zero-Based Review Method

  • standardized details on the scope and approach to be taken for each ZBR
  • for firms conducting the ZBR and City business units selected for a ZBR

Fleet Services Pilot Project

The City’s first zero-based review pilot project is now complete. Fleet Services piloted this innovative approach to improve efficiency and effectiveness through the first half of 2012.

Administration tested the Zero-Based Review approach and methodology through the ZBR Pilot Project, Fleet Services. Administration was able to identify areas that worked well, as well as areas needing improvement before use in future zero-based reviews at The City.  From the preliminary analysis of the pilot, a number of lessons learned have been identified along with specific improvements.

For more information see Zero-based review: Fleet Services pilot project.

Additional information

For additional information on The City of Calgary’s ZBR program, please contact:

Mandi Sandhu, Lead, Service Efficiency and Effectiveness

Elizabeth Dewart, Manager of Corporate Initiatives