Sterling Model

Florida Sterling Model Implementation Plan v2.0

Executive Summary

  • Pasco County has determined to move beyond the confines of traditional government operations and into the ranks of high-performing organizations, like those more typically found in the private business sector. It has therefore chosen the Florida Sterling Model, based on the Baldridge Model, the national equivalent of Sterling, to guide Pasco County operations to achieve the rare status of high-performing in government and in so doing define “Premier”.  It is the objective of this initiative to elevate the performance of the organization to such a level that with a high degree of certainty, our effectiveness, efficiency, and impact on the citizens of Pasco County will qualify us for most any award offered, with the awards being the evidence of our impact rather than our aim.


Relevant Factors

  • Pasco County government is a conglomerate of sorts, with 2,300 team members representing more than 50 different lines of business to nearly 500,000 customers over 740 square miles. While several Florida counties have made the Sterling journey with individual departments, no county in total has applied for and been recognized with the Sterling Award. It is the intension of Pasco County to become the first whole county to achieve this. This commitment represents a complex and involved undertaking where every member of the Pasco County team will have an ongoing role to play.
  • Pasco County was introduced to Sterling in 2011, and has been participating at different levels since then. A large portion of the organization has attended the Internal Pasco U program, Sterling 101, which provides a basic understanding of the Sterling Model, and why we are using its criteria as our framework for high performance.  Sterling 201 is an intermediate-level course geared towards teaching participants how to improve various functions of their work unit by viewing & evaluating their work processes much like a Sterling Examiner would. A number of team members have been officially trained as Sterling Examiners, with some actively participating on examination teams for organizations who have applied for Sterling assessments or for the award itself.
  • The implementation team will be assembled from the most experienced Sterling Examiners in the organization. They will make up the Core Implementation Team, Category Leads, and back-ups.  We will also select Department Leads who will act as liaisons to the implementation team and as the Sterling SME to their functional team.  The levels of understanding and application of the Sterling Model at these levels will be critical. Additionally, senior leaders (department heads and ACAs), must have a similarly complete comprehension of the Sterling criteria as it applies to business operations.

Sequence of Events (See Timeline)

  • Assemble Core Implementation Team
  • See “Make Up of the Implementation Team (Roles & Responsibilities)”
  • Assign Category Leads & Backups
  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Customers
  • Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management
  • Workforce
  • Operations
  • Results
  • Profile
  • Assign Department Leads
  • Clarify current list of departments
  • Identify potential leads
  • Determine training requirements
  • Provide necessary training
  • Prepare to Assess Organizational Readiness
  • Determine the best process for investigating and reporting the organization’s application of the Sterling criteria at both the systems and process levels (Items e and f).
  • Update the existing Process Improvement model and train the implementation team, including Branch Program Administrators.
  • Team Leaders meet with each Category Leads and backups to review criteria and define the requirements and scope of the assessment.
  • Define Organization-wide Criteria (Integrated Systems)
  • Determine what information is available and how it can be used as a starting point for the current assessment. Some baseline assessments have been done by the LDP (Profile, Cat 1, etc.).
  • What part of the Sterling criteria addresses systems or overarching elements to support integration?
  • How will this apply to our organization?
  • What do we need to identify in each functional area or department?
  • Define Function or Department-Specific Criteria (Processes)
  • What part of the Sterling criteria addresses processes specific to functions or departments?
  • What do we need to identify in each functional area or department?
  • Develop Improvement Plans
  • Based on the organizational readiness assessment results, develop operational plans to address opportunities for improvement in line with criteria requirements.
  • Implement Improvement Plans
  • Recommendations for improvements will be made by category leads and/or the team leaders.
  • Branch Program Administrators with the PDA will lead and assess the improvements.
  • Updates are reported to the Team Coordinator.
  • Final Readiness Assessment
  • What is the best way to make this assessment?
  • Sterling Challenge? Internally?



  • Write & Submit GSA Application
  • Core Implementation Team, Category Leads, back-ups, and Department Leads.
  • One writer of the final for consistency.
  • Prepare for Site Visit

  • Other Relevant Factors
  • Training/knowledge requirements/qualifications
  • Core Implementation Team
  • Category Leads & back-ups
  • Department Leads
  • Department/Division Heads
  • ACAs & CA
  • Communications (to team members, etc.)
  • The objective of the initiative
  • The implementation plan
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Progress of actions and activities
  • Monitoring/measuring progress
  • Who, What, When?
  • BOCC support
  • Ensuring clear understanding of the initiative
  • Cost estimates & approvals