Novak Consulting Bringing solutions into focus

Michelle L. Ferguson, Senior Manager – Organizational Assessment

Michelle Ferguson

Michelle L. Ferguson,
Senior Manager – Organizational Assessment

  • Education
    Master of Public Administration,
    University of Kansas
    Bachelor of Arts, Loyola University-Chicago
  • Professional Certification
    Lean Certification

  • Industry
    Tenure: 26 years
    Consulting: 16 years
    Local Government:
    10 years

Michelle has over 20 years of management experience in local government, and she currently serves as the organizational assessment practice leader for The Novak Consulting Group. She has been with the firm since its inception.

As organizational assessment practice leader, Michelle has spearheaded the work of nearly 200 local government reviews in some of the foremost governments across the country. Michelle has completed detailed organizational reviews of entire jurisdictions and recommended improvements to the structure, staffing, and processes within departments of all sizes. Specific department reviews have included development review, parks and recreation, public works, human services, human resources, capital budgeting, and finance.

As a LEAN certified professional, Michelle excels at helping local governments continuously improve and rely on data-based decisions to make informed choices about services to the public. She is skilled in project management, process improvement strategies, performance measurement, consent building, and public process design. Additionally, she has provided customized training in the development and use of performance measures to assist numerous organizations continuously improve service delivery.

Michelle is also a skilled facilitator, able to bring diverse groups of people together to articulate shared visions and priorities. She has led strategic planning engagements at the community, organizational, and department levels, and she has facilitated numerous staff and governing body retreats.

Michelle began her consulting career in 2005 following ten years of direct experience in local government management, which included serving as assistant county manager in Arlington County, Virginia. During her tenure with Arlington County, Michelle oversaw the daily management and implementation of the County’s capital program. She also led the organization-wide performance measurement initiative establishing their Balanced Scorecard. Before Arlington County, Michelle served as assistant city manager in Overland Park, Kansas.

Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola University-Chicago and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. She is a member of the International City/County Management Association. She also served as the president of the Metropolitan Association of Local Government Assistants in Washington, D.C, and has presented at state and national conferences on topics such as strategic planning, effective governing bodies, and council-staff relations.