Community Profile

P Community Profile

The community profile is where you start. It helps your community identify gaps in key information and focus on key performance requirements and results. It sets the context for your work in the remaining categories of the Communities of Excellence Framework.

P.1 Community Description: What are your community’s key characteristics?

a. Community Environment

(1)     Community Definition and Identity What geographic area is included in your community? What are your community’s population and growth compared with that of other communities locally, regionally, or nationally? What is your community identity?

(2)     Community Offerings What are your community’s key offerings to its resident and other customer groups (see P.1a[3]) in the areas of health, education, the economy, and quality of life? What is the relative importance of these offerings to your community’s well-being? What major facilities, infrastructure, and resources (e.g., technology, housing, transportation, and natural resources) support your community’s key offerings?

(3)     Residents, Other Customers, and Stakeholders What are your community’s key resident groups, other customer groups, and stakeholder groups? What are their key requirements and expectations of your community? What are the differences in requirements and expectations among resident groups, other customer groups, and stakeholder groups?

(4)     People and Organizational Resources What key community groups and segments are involved in delivering your community’s key offerings? What recent changes has the community experienced in its needs for these community groups and segments? Who are your community’s formal and informal leaders?

(5)     Regulatory Environment What are the key aspects of the regulatory environment under which your community operates?


P.1a. Throughout the Communities of Excellence Framework, “your community” refers to the geographic region covered by this profile. “Your community excellence group” refers to the people and entities that have come together for your community excellence efforts.

P.1a(1). Include a map that shows the community described in this profile.

P.1a(1). Your community identity consists of the conditions, characteristics, and beliefs that help distinguish your community from others. Identity might arise from, for example, a shared history, shared stories or events, challenges faced by the community, or other characteristics that make your community unique.

P.1a(2). Offerings are the features of your community that it is known for, that attract residents and other customers, or both. Examples are good health care, world-class higher education, tourist attractions, a positive business environment, vibrant/livable neighborhoods, strong ethnic heritage(s), theater and arts, and natural resources.

P.1a(3). Residents and other customers are the people who use or receive the offerings you describe in P.1a(2). Resident groups might be defined by their gender, age, ethnicity, language, geographic origin, religion, political persuasion, affiliation with a movement, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics. Other customer groups might be, for example, tourists, businesses, and people who work but do not live in the community. Stakeholder groups might be neighboring communities and other entities that are affected by your community’s actions and success.

P.1a(3). The requirements of your resident and other customer groups might be related to the economy, health, education, or quality of life. Requirements might include a safe community environment, accessible health care, high-quality education, job opportunities, clean air, good transportation, and clean public areas, among many others.

Stakeholder requirements might be similar.

P.1a(4). People and organizational resources are the people and groups that accomplish your community’s work. They include the groups that offer programs and services to the community, residents who serve as volunteers and in other roles, and workforce groups that are important to the community. Groups include both formal and informal bodies and organizations that are important to your community.

P.1a(4). Community leaders are the formal or informal, paid or unpaid, officially or unofficially designated individuals who guide or direct your community or segments within your community.

P.1a(5). Most communities operate in a complex regulatory environment. Key regulations to include here include those that aid or constrain your community in delivering its key offerings and those that are relevant to your community excellence efforts.

b. Community Excellence Group

(1)     Mission, Vision, and Values Why have you formed a community excellence group? What are the group’s stated mission, vision, and values?

(2)     Composition  What key community organizations, groups, and segments are involved in your community excellence group?  What are the key drivers that engage them in achieving your group’s mission and vision?  What is the backbone organization, if your group includes one?

(3)     Leadership System   What leadership system does your community excellence group use to lead its community excellence efforts? What key community organizations, groups, and segments are involved in this system?

(4)     Programs and Services What programs and services are offered through the efforts of your community excellence group?

(5)     Suppliers, Partners, and Collaborators What key suppliers, partners, and collaborators support your community excellence group? What role do they play in its work systems, especially in producing and delivering its programs and services?


P.1b(1). In some communities, the community excellence group might propose or adopt a mission, a vision, and values as a first step. Your community might eventually choose to adopt them.

P.1b(2). The group could take many forms. Whatever the form, it should include community leaders and key community groups (see P.1a[4]) that represent the various sectors within your community (e.g., business, education, government, health care, and nonprofit). It should also reflect the diversity within your community (e.g., race, religion, color, gender, national origin, language, disability, sexual orientation, age and generation, education, socioeconomic status, geographic origin, and skill characteristics, as well as ideas, thinking, academic disciplines, and perspectives; see the definition of “diversity” in the glossary).

P.1b(3). Your community excellence group’s leadership system consists of the way leadership is exercised, formally and informally, throughout the group. A leadership system includes structures and mechanisms for making decisions; ensuring two-way communication; selecting and developing leaders; and reinforcing values, ethical behavior, directions, and performance expectations.

P.1b(4). These programs and services are those offered by or under the auspices of the community excellence group; they do not refer to those offered by individual entities within your community. However, in its community excellence efforts, your group may be able to leverage programs and services offered individually.

P.1b(5). The terms supplier, partner, and collaborator are used to distinguish three types of relationships between your community excellence group and other entities. The terminology you use may be different. In your response, you should use your own terminology.

Suppliers provide critical goods, services, or materials to the community excellence group. Examples may be city/county government (e.g., providing workers, knowledge or technical assistance) or a foundation that is providing funding for an initiative.

Partners are key organizations or individuals who are working (often formally) with your community excellence group but are not members of the group. They might help to achieve a common goal, improve performance, and accomplish your mission and vision. For example, a partner may be an organization that is actively engaged in deploying your group’s strategy or in support processes but is not an official member of your group.

Collaborators are organizations or individuals outside your community excellence group who cooperate to support a particular activity, event, or initiative or who cooperate intermittently when their short-term goals are aligned with or are the same as yours. Examples could be a neighboring community or elected officials.


P.2 Community Situation: What is your community’s strategic situation?

a. Competitive Environment

(1)     Competitive Position With regard to its key offerings, what is your community’s competitive position relative to similar or nearby communities? What other communities are your community’s key competitors?

(2)     Competitiveness Changes What key changes, if any, are affecting your community’s competitive situation, including changes that create opportunities for innovation and collaboration for your community excellence group, as appropriate?

(3)     Comparative Data What key sources of comparative and competitive data about your community are available to your community excellence group? What limitations, if any, affect the ability to obtain or use these data?

b. Strategic Context

(1)     Core Competencies What are your community’s core competencies, and what is their relationship to your community excellence group’s mission?

(2)     Challenges and Advantages What are your community’s key strategic challenges and advantages? How do these challenges and advantages relate to your community excellence group’s mission and vision?

c. Performance Improvement System

What are the key elements of the performance improvement system used by your community excellence group, including its processes for evaluating and improving key projects and processes?


P.2a(1). Key competitors might include other communities that seek to attract potential residents, other customers, and resources also sought by your community. Key competitors might also include other communities that provide similar or competing offerings.

P.2a(3). Comparative data should address overall community outcomes (e.g., overall health, educational, or economic indicators) as well as the performance of specific programs and services.

P.2b(1). Core competencies are your community’s areas of greatest expertise or strength. They are your community’s strategically important capabilities that are central to its success or provide an advantage in its environment.

P.2b(2). Strategic challenges and advantages might relate to health, education, the economy, safety, or quality of life. They might involve natural resources, geography, climate, research institutions, history, educational opportunities in the community, labor shortages or abundances, affordable housing, transportation, and access to technology, among others.

P.2c. This question is intended to set an overall context for your approach to performance improvement. The approach you use should be related to your group’s needs. Approaches compatible with the systems approach provided by the Community Excellence Framework include Lean, Plan-Do-Study/Check-Act (PDSA/PDCA), Lean, and Six Sigma. Compatible community frameworks include the Community Capital Framework, collective impact, Healthy Communities, and Community Visioning.

Terms in SMALL CAPS are defined in the Glossary of Key Terms