Some Performance Measures That People Use

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  • May want to insert, after this slide, the one about what they have learned.
  • May want to insert, after this slide, the one about what they have learned.
  • May want to insert, after this slide, the one about what they have learned.
  • May want to insert, after this slide, the one about what they have learned.

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  • 1. Trailblazing in Government: Adding the Voices of the People to Government Performance Measurement, Reporting and Management AGA National Performance Management Conference Seattle, Washington November 6, 2009 Barbara J. Cohn Berman Center on Government Performance National Center for Civic Innovation and Fund for the City of New York
  • 2.
    • One of several programs of the Center on Government Performance
    • All aimed at adding the voices of the people to government performance measurement and reporting
    Trailblazer Program
  • 3. If these measures are used to assess how a government is doing, and if they are different from the way the public judges government, a major disconnect is the result Agency workloads, inputs, outputs, costs, FTEs, revenues, etc. Why? Typically, performance measures are developed by governments without consulting the public Cross-agency work, outcomes, the results of government’s efforts, quality, relevant information, being treated with respect The Public Government
  • 4. Makes effective performance management difficult. © National Center for Civic Innovation, 2009 Confusion on the part of employees; Low public opinion of government -- perception of poor performance; Frustration and anger for both the public and government….
  • 5. How do we know? Focus Groups: 1995, 2001, 2009 45 different groups– people from many neighborhoods, income levels, ages, racial and ethnic groups. How do they come to judge local government performance? Work with many governments.
  • 6. Listening to the Public book
    • Describes our work and the importance of citizen-based performance measurement
    • Introduces/suggests over 120 specific new measures, as described by the public, for 21 agency functions
    • Describes three examples of applying new public-suggested performance measures
    • Calls for others to join in this work
    • www.fcny.org
  • 7.
    • The public : Wants and needs information from government; understands government work can be difficult; lacks trust in government; feels powerless
    • Government : Some think public involvement has to be contentious; will be more, unwelcome work; lacks experience in non-confrontational and non-defensive communication
    We heard
  • 8. The Government Trailblazer Program
    • A partnership among:
      • An international foundation
      • Us: Two related nonprofits with a long history of introducing innovations in government and in performance measurement, reporting and management, and
      • Local, county and other governments
    • Governments receive small incentive grants
      • Share questions, ideas and experiences with us and one another via listserv and annual meetings
    • Evolved and expanded since its inception in 2003
  • 9. The First Three Years: 2003-2006 (24 governments)
    • A demonstration project
    • Major thrust: Testing and applying the criteria in the GASB’s 2003 Special Report: Reporting Performance Information: Suggested Criteria for Effective Communication
    • Governments agreed to:
      • Produce reports applying all or some of the GASB Suggested Criteria
      • Get feedback from the public about their performance measures and reports
      • Implement some/all suggestions from the public
      • Disseminate new, revised versions of reports
      • Institutionalize the process
    • Pre-requisites:
      • Have been collecting some performance data already
      • Support from the top of the government
  • 10. The Following Two Years: 2007-2008 (23 governments)
    • Raised the bar:
    • Broaden the outreach to the public when listening and disseminating performance reports
      • Use professional market researchers and facilitators
      • Go to a neutral space
      • Experiment with different approaches (focus groups, satisfaction surveys, electronic polling)
      • Web communication
    • Expanded into Canada
  • 11. The Next Two Years: 2009-2011 (25 governments and counting – one more round next year)
    • Raising the bar again….
    • Get feedback from the public about performance measures , not just reports
    • Be concerned with the quality of the data (accuracy, timeliness, etc.)
    • Look into how the measures and reports are and can be used for management purposes
  • 12. The First Three Years: 2003-2006 (24 governments)
  • 13. 2003-2006 Grantees
    • Alpharetta, Georgia
    • Ankeny, Iowa
    • Austin, Texas
    • Bellevue, Washington
    • Chattanooga, Tennessee
    • Des Moines, Iowa
    • Durham, North Carolina
    • Eugene, Oregon
    • Irving, Texas
    • Lauderhill, Florida
    • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (Michigan)
    • Maricopa County, Arizona
    • Miami-Dade County, Florida
    • Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Oklahoma Health Care Authority
    • Oregon Progress Board
    • Saco, Maine
    • Salisbury, North Carolina
    • San Diego Unified Port District, California
    • State of Iowa
    • Tucson, Arizona
    • Washington County, Minnesota
    • Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration
    • West Hartford, Connecticut
    © National Center for Civic Innovation, 2009
  • 14. The Following Two Years: 2007-2008 (23 governments)
  • 15. 2006-2008 Grantees
    • Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County, Ohio
    • Cambria County, Pennsylvania
    • City and County of Denver, Colorado
    • Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
    • Decatur, Georgia
    • Derby, Kansas
    • District of Maple Ridge, British Columbia (Canada)
    • Guilford County, North Carolina
    • King County, Washington
    • Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee
    • Newark, New Jersey
    • Newport, Rhode Island
    • North Las Vegas, Nevada
    • City of Ottawa (Canada)
    • City of Toronto (Canada)
    • City of London (Canada)
    • City of Greater Sudbury (Canada)
    • Region of Waterloo (Canada)
    • Palm Bay, Florida
    • St. Louis County, Minnesota
    • Snohomish County, Washington
    • Somerville, Massachusetts
    • Vancouver, Washington
  • 16. The Next Two Years: 2009-2011 (20 new governments and counting – one more round next year)
  • 17.
    • Alachua County, FL
    • Amesbury, MA
    • Columbia River Gorge Commission
    • Duluth, MN
    • New Bedford, MA
    • Solano County, CA
    • Springfield, MA
    • Stanly County, NC
    • University Place, WA
    • West Boylston, MA
    • Woodbury, MN
    • City of Hamilton*
    • City of Thunder Bay*
    • City of Windsor*
    • District of Muskoka*
    • Regional Municipality of Durham*
    • Regional Municipality of Halton*
    • Regional Municipality of Niagara*
    • Regional Municipality of Peel*
    • Regional Municipality of York*
    * Participating governments of the Ontario Municipal CAO’s Benchmarking Initiative 2009 Grantees
  • 18. Six Key Observations © National Center for Civic Innovation, 2009
  • 19.
    • In the first (2003) round of grantees, nine out of 24 people (37%) worked in budget/finance offices. By 2009, in the expanded group of 67 governments, 16 people (24%) worked in budget/finance.
    • In fact, in the latest group of 20 governments, only one person works in a budget/finance office.
    1. Profiles of those preparing performance reports are changing
  • 20. In 2003, Budget and Finance had the largest slice of the pie (out of 24 governments)
  • 21. As of 2009, most Trailblazers work in Performance Operations units as managers, coordinators, analysts (out of 67 governments)
  • 22. 2. Government structure is changing, accommodating a new function of performance operations, monitoring and management
    • “ Performance” units and titles have emerged with functions often originating within the executive office and sometimes, subsequently, separating from it
    • Examples:
      • Performance Management Director
      • Manager of Performance Measurement
      • Performance Analyst
      • Coordinator of Quality and Performance
      • Performance and Outreach Coordinator
  • 23.
    • No performance reports or foot-high budget documents
    • To imaginative, creative, separate reports, e.g.:
      • New formats (Scorecards, newspaper inserts)
      • Reports on themes, not departments (infrastructure)
      • Hard copies illustrated by local artists and school children
    • Reports for internal use only
    • To broad distribution, e.g.:
      • Every household gets a copy
      • Accessible on government’s websites
      • Websites that enable the public to drill down for details
    • Just good news
    • To all the news
    • Unreadable reports
    • To reports that are easier to understand, include graphics
    • Huge reports
    • To reports discarding old measures that prove unneeded;
    • introducing new measures defined by the public
    3. Performance reports have changed From From From From From
  • 24. Trailblazers changed the reports because they heard that:
    • People dislike many of the traditional performance measures and reports governments produce about them
      • Many of the measures are irrelevant and inconsequential to them
      • (“So what? Who cares?”)
      • Reports are hard to understand, ponderous and otherwise unappealing
    • People want:
      • Reports and information presented clearly and simply
      • Honest reports about how government programs are working
      • To understand the challenges that their government and their community are facing
      • To know how and where they can obtain additional information about services and key issues
      • To be able to evaluate information for themselves, without “spin”
      • Outcome measures and quality measures
      • To know what other jurisdictions are doing and how they are doing in comparison
  • 25. 4. Government managers have a new perspective
    • Creating new, understandable reports is “a welcome, creative challenge”
    • “ Glad to learn that people are interested in what we are doing”
    • Comments from the public “eye-opening,” “interesting,” “useful”
    • Learning new communication skills
  • 26. 5. Government managers' observations and advice
    • Support from the top is needed
      • Navigating political seasons is challenging
    • Struggled at first
      • Not accustomed to listening to the public without a defensive pose
    • Initially unsure about how to reach out to the public – turned to nonpolitical market research professionals
    • Expert market research assistance is highly recommended; trying to do it themselves did not work
    • Expect resistance:
      • “ Some legislators were resistant to the idea of a city office running neighborhood meetings.”
      • “… . ‘push back’ from some department heads.”
      • “… .concerned that this not create more work for their staff.”
      • Loathe to change existing reports
      • Disinclined to report “bad news,” especially staff of elected officials
    • [NOTE: We observed a major shift in attitude and performance reports in a year’s time.]
  • 27. 6. Citizen-informed performance measurement and reporting is no longer a novelty
    • Interestingly, the second group of Trailblazer grantees was more familiar with citizen-informed performance measurement and reporting than the first round of grantees when they began the program
    • The third group is even more familiar, comfortable and experienced with consulting with the public
  • 28. Why are citizen-informed performance measurement and reporting and performance management catching on?
    • “ It is the right thing to do.”
      • An important role in government transparency and accountability
    • “ Elected officials use the language of our program when talking and they use the outcomes as a filter for decision making.”
    • “ Changing our budgeting process to one based on needs and measurable results rather than being primarily political- [pressure] based is a huge step.”
    • “ Slowly the managers are taking ownership of the data and are reacting, in a positive way, i.e., by looking for ways to improve.”
    • “ Awareness of the data is encouraging the public to communicate with public officials about what they do….”
  • 29. Research in progress…
    • Who becomes a Trailblazer? Why?
    • Who doesn’t? Why?
    • Which types of governments?
    • Circumstances necessary and sufficient to start and sustain
    • Conditions that derail and/or discourage
    • How management and performance are affected, if at all
    • And many other related questions
  • 30. Thank you! www.civicinnovation.org The Trailblazer Program is supported in part by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.