.




                 Best Value Review

        Performance Management




December 2003

Consideration at the following...
CONTENTS

                                                             Page No.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                        ...
Page No.

TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTING KEY ACTIONS                     30

CONSULTING WITH STAFF AND MEMBERS                ...
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.    Introduction

1.1   During February 2003, the Council commissioned “Pinnacle psg
      (Managemen...
documents and that these cascade down to service plans to individual
             performance via the bi-annual appraisal ...
4.1.5 the need for robust, consistent, relevant and timely corporate reporting,
            at all levels of the Council s...
Best Value Review of Performance Management – Draft Improvement Plan

                        Action                      ...
11.   Separation of all Indicators for             March 04     K. Sewell               To allow comparisons on national a...
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT BEST VALUE REVIEW


SCOPE OF REVIEW

1.    The scope of the review was agreed by Management Team at...
INTRODUCTION

1.    Background

1.1   Sevenoaks District Council serves 109,305 residents across the District with a
     ...
2.2   Externally, performance information ensures accountability with members of
      the public and other stakeholders i...
3.8   Community Planning - A range of “Quality of Life” indicators has been
      developed to help local authorities meas...
CURRENT POSITION

1.    Analysis of Current Position

1.1   An information gathering exercise was undertaken in June 2003,...
1.8    This Community Services Department pilot is intended to: get Heads of
       Service and Managers, who are not curr...
1.20   Same Month Last Year - The actual position for the month being monitored,
       but for the previous year.

1.21  ...
The service officer interviewed also thought that they were in a good position
      to monitor both the speed and quality...
2.10   The indicators are recorded monthly and current performance as well as past
       performance is recorded to ident...
-   Effective democratic and community engagement – good
          communication with all stakeholders; use of the Best Va...
4.    External Challenge by Fairlight Consultancy

4.1   Over the last two years, the Council has made big improvements in...
4.6   The Council’s service plans now provide the ‘sharp end’; of the performance
      management framework, showing how ...
5.    S.W.O.T.

5.1   A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (S.W.O.T) analysis has
      been undertaken of t...
-      Each section’s system should have the BVPI’s and a range of local
       indicators that tell, the Head of Service,...
-      All indicators should tell you something useful, if not, why measure
          them.

Threats
   - The Council has ...
GOOD PRACTICE

1.    What Makes a Good Performance Management System?

1.1   The Government jointly with the National Audi...
service level objectives (service plans) to targets for individual teams and
         individual staff members.

       ...
2.2   Around forty KPLIs have been identified which cover areas of local concern
      not covered by the national suite o...
TAILORED SYSTEM FOR SEVENOAKS

The hierarchy of plans and strategies at Sevenoaks is set out in the chart below.




     ...
1.    Links with Service Planning

1.1   One of the key purposes of service planning is to translate high level
      obje...
1.7   Future plans will include an action plan and accountability framework and
      related budget and performance infor...
this figure is around 8%. A prior examination of the Council’s local indicators
      also revealed a number of inaccuraci...
should be used to inform local people and show how well/poorly we are doing.
      Local indicators should be integrated i...
TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTING KEY ACTIONS

Actions                                                    Start by          End b...
CONSULTING WITH STAFF AND MEMBERS

1.    Results of Consultation with Members

1.1   The Review Team undertook a consultat...
   Need to review the PIs for each area, how they are to be reported and
           how frequently.

         The indi...
   This questionnaire does not give an opportunity for Members to comment
           in the way they would wish. There i...
3.    Training

3.1   The Council already has an annual performance appraisal system for staff,
      introduced three yea...
CONCLUSIONS

1.1   This Best Value review of Performance Management identifies and
      recommends a corporate approach t...
1.9    The performance management framework will ensure that:-

       -   The Community Plan and other Corporate Strategi...
Appendix 1
                                               CABINET

                                           5TH JUNE 200...
areas for investigation, however, without this it is difficult to see how an organisation
would measure its successes or w...
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Best Value Review Performance Management

  1. 1. . Best Value Review Performance Management December 2003 Consideration at the following Committees: Overview and Scrutiny Board 6th January 2004 Cabinet 22nd January 2004
  2. 2. CONTENTS Page No. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 SCOPE OF REVIEW 7 How the Review was conducted 7 Review Team Members 7 INTRODUCTION 8 Background 8 Why is Performance Management Important? 8 External Drivers for Developing Performance Management 9 Underlying Reasons for Poor Performance Management 10 CURRENT POSITION 11 Analysis of Current Position 11 Good Practice - Internal 13 Good Practice - External 15 External Challenge - Fairlight Consultancy 17 SWOT 19 GOOD PRACTICE 22 What Makes a Good Performance Management System? 22 Examples from other Organisations: 23  Canterbury City Council 23  Telford & Wrekin District Council 24  Chester City County Council 24 TAILORED SYSTEM FOR SEVENOAKS 25 Links with Service Planning 26 Presenting Performance Information 27 Monitoring the Quality of Data 27 Reporting Performance Information 28 Developing a range of Local Indicators and Targets 28
  3. 3. Page No. TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTING KEY ACTIONS 30 CONSULTING WITH STAFF AND MEMBERS 31 Results of Consultation with Members 31 Communication Strategy 33 Training 34 CONCLUSIONS 35 APPENDIX 1. Reporting Performance Management (Cabinet Report) 37 2. Questionnaire to Senior Officers 45 3. Key Performance Indicator Table 47 4. Fairlight Consultancy 1st Report 49 5. Fairlight Consultancy 2nd Report 55 6. Key Performance Indicator Template 59 7. How to develop LPIs and Targets 65 GLOSARY 71
  4. 4. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. Introduction 1.1 During February 2003, the Council commissioned “Pinnacle psg (Management Consultants)” to examine the management health of the authority in the lead up to Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) in March 2004. One major recommendation arising from this was that the Council’s Best Value Programme should be revised to reflect key aspects of the CPA process and, in particular, to use Best Value to concentrate on areas of weakness. The programme was subsequently changed in April 2003 to include this review of Performance Management. 1.2 The Council’s Performance Management arrangements had been publicly criticised by the Audit Commission in 2001 and 2002 through the Management letter, and the external audit of Performance Indicators. It was also recognised that whilst local PIs existed in some service areas of the Council, there was no corporate approach. 1.3 The Review Team consisted of:- Director Doug Williamson Manager Richard Wilson Members Karl Sewell and Ian Bailey 1.4 Others with an involvement in the Review are:- Cllr. N. Dean Cabinet Portfolio for Performance Management Cllr.. P. Fleming Cabinet Portfolio for CPA Cllr. A. Malan Chairman, Overview and Scrutiny Board Cllr. A. Clayton Vice Chairman, Overview and Scrutiny Board Peter Chowney External Consultant 2. Scope/Timescale 2.1 The scope of the Review was as follows:-  Identify a vision and set related objectives for a corporate performance management system  Develop a corporate approach to performance management;  Facilitate a performance management culture across the organisation;  Develop robust systems to fit the Council’s needs and requirements;  Identify and translate good practice internally and externally across the organisation;  Implement consistent, usable reporting and monitoring arrangements; and  Ensure the effective linkage of a performance management system, using key performance indicators, to reflect the priorities set out in the Community Plan, Best Value Performance Plan and Corporate Plan 1 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  5. 5. documents and that these cascade down to service plans to individual performance via the bi-annual appraisal process. 2.2 The Review commenced in early June 2003 and held a number of meetings until draft report stage in November 2003. The intention is to have a corporate performance management system, involving participation across the Council, in place for April 2004. A number of actions have been implemented during the review process. 3. Methods 3.1 A comprehensive review was undertaken of the current corporate position across the Council. This was used to inform a SWOT analysis and identify areas of best practice. 3.2 A pilot scheme was introduced in Community Services during the Review and efforts were made to roll this out to the other departments. 3.3 Members of the Council was consulted by survey with regard to:- 3.3.1 information being received; 3.3.2 what they would like to see; and 3.3.3 experience/views on principles. 3.4 The Council had already employed an external consultant, Peter Chowney, to assist Managers in developing meaningful local indicators. This was taken forward during the Review. 3.5 External Best Practice was sought through other local authorities, in consultation with the Audit Commission, and in the private sector through a national supermarket chain. 4. Issues/Themes 4.1 The main areas arising from the Review are as follows:- 4.1.1 the need to imbed performance management as part of the culture of the organisation, winning recognition that it is part of the day-job; 4.1.2 the need for support to (and between) Managers on a corporate basis, including the introduction of a relevant IT system; 4.1.3 the need to ensure audit trails are in place to back up the quality of the information; 4.1.4 the need to develop PIs which cascade through the organisation and can link the overall corporate strategy to individual officers’ jobs; 2 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  6. 6. 4.1.5 the need for robust, consistent, relevant and timely corporate reporting, at all levels of the Council structure; 4.1.6 the development of local PIs in recognition that many BVPIs are not relevant or helpful; and 4.1.7 the essential need for communication and training across the organisation, at all levels in order to address the other identified issues. 5. Conclusions/Actions 5.1 A scheme of actions in hand, and future actions will be developed as part of the final (post-draft report) phase of the review. 3 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  7. 7. Best Value Review of Performance Management – Draft Improvement Plan Action Timetable Responsibility Comments 1. Training of system administrators for each Dec 04 K. Sewell Six Administrators trained by Dec 11. Department for imputing onto software 2. Loading of all existing Best Value and Dec 03 K. Sewell and Administrators to lead following final day of training on Dec Local Indicators onto software system 11. administrators 3. Critical examination of all indicators Dec 03 – R. Wilson and K. All indicators need to comply fully with the requirements for provided by H.O.S. Jan 04 Sewell with an effective Performance Management Information system as D.M.T. detailed in the Best Value Review report. 4. Identification of where there are currently Jan 04 R. Wilson and K. To ensure consistency and coverage across all Services. gaps in Performance Management Sewell with The Comment above also to apply. Information and to agree Indicators to D.M.T. ensure all relevant Services are covered 5. Training for Heads of Services on by end Feb K. Sewell and The trained Administrators will train other officers required to Performance Management Software 04 System use the system. Administrators 6. Training for (Members on “read only” use Feb 04 K. Sewell As required of software 7. Further examination of all indicators on Feb 04 R. Wilson, K. Appropriate range of relevant Performance Indicators software. Sewell and covering all Services. H.O.S. 8. Commence monthly loading of Feb/March System All information to be input onto the software for the previous information onto the software 04 administrators month by the 15th of the following month. and H.O.S. 9. Review first Month’s information produced March 04 R. Wilson, K. Critically examine results to ensure system fully developed from software programme Sewell and for full implementation by 1st April 2004. H.O.S, 10. Selection of Key Indicators for reporting to March 04 R. Wilson, K. Selection of Key Performance Indicators to be agreed by DMT’s/Management Team/ and Members Sewell and Management Team. on a regular basis H.O.S. 5 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  8. 8. 11. Separation of all Indicators for March 04 K. Sewell To allow comparisons on national and Local Indicators and presentation by:- also to place all National Indicators in performance quartiles BVPI’s against targets Local Indicators Quartile Performing using national targets 12. Agree reporting arrangements for Key Feb 04 Management Initially - DMT - Monthly Performance Indicators Team - MT – Monthly (then down to quarterly) - Cabinet – Quarterly - Select committees – Twice yearly (or call in) 13. Commence internal audits of all National From Jan T. Marshall A clear audit trail required for all Indicators to allow and Local Indicators 04 transparency and ability to verify information and trace performance back to source data. 14. Action plans for relevant H.O.S to be From Jan T. Marshall All identified and agreed actions to be completed as a matter produced following audits 04 of urgency by relevant H.O.S. 15. H.O.S. to discuss Performance Indicators From Feb All H.O.S. To ensure Cabinet Members fully briefed on all areas of with relevant Portfolio Holder 04 performance supported by good relevant information 16. Survey Members, M.T. and H.O.S. to Sept 04 K. Sewell Report to Cabinet, Scrutiny and M.T. on progress assess progress 17. Review process From April Best Value Improvement plan to be monitored to ensure achievement of 05 Review Team all actions and where actions not fully implemented remedial with H.O.S. action is identified and rectified immediately. Continual development of the system to ensure relevancy and accuracy and that all service areas are covered consistently. 6 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  9. 9. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT BEST VALUE REVIEW SCOPE OF REVIEW 1. The scope of the review was agreed by Management Team at their meeting in May was as follows. To:-  Identify a vision and set related objectives for a corporate performance management system;  Develop a corporate approach to performance management;  Facilitate a performance management culture across the organisation;  Develop robust systems to fit the Council’s needs and requirements;  Identify and translate good practice internally across the organisation;  Implement consistent, usable reporting and monitoring arrangements; and  Ensure the effective linkage of a performance management system, using key performance indicators, to reflect the priorities set out in the Community Plan, Best Value Performance Plan and Corporate Plan documents and that these cascade these down to service plans and to individual performance via the bi-annual appraisal process. 2. How The Review Was Conducted 2.1 The Review Team met for the first time early in June 2003, and convened for a total of six meetings, the final meeting taking place in December 2003. Team members were allocated individual tasks throughout the course of the review and their findings contributed to delivering the final report. 2.2 The Members perspective, as agreed by Cabinet on 10th April 2003 was fulfilled by inviting Councillor Dean (Portfolio Holder for Performance Management) and Councillor Fleming (Portfolio Holder for CPA) to a number of Review team meetings to discuss the progress of the review and future actions it has also been agreed that the draft report will be shared with the Chair and Vice Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Board. External challenge was gained through sharing our findings with an external consultant and the Audit Commission. 3. Review Team Members Doug Williamson Review Director Richard Wilson Review Manager Karl Sewell Policy Representative Ian Bailey Service Representative 7 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  10. 10. INTRODUCTION 1. Background 1.1 Sevenoaks District Council serves 109,305 residents across the District with a wide variety of services, for example, refuse collection, planning, environmental health, community development, strategic housing etc. (a full list of services can be found on page 18 of the 2003/04 Best Value Performance Plan). Approximately 650 staff are employed across the District, the majority of which are based at the Council’s main offices in Sevenoaks. 1.2 Since 1992 the Audit Commission have specified and required local authorities to publish performance indicators for specific areas of the services that they provide. Since this time all local authorities have been encouraged to support the basket of prescribed indicators with a set of local indicators which truly reflect the key ambitions of each Council. This Council, along with many other authorities, has been slow to implement and recognise the importance of continuously measuring its performance, and eleven years on our arrangements in the main remain at an embryonic stage. 1.3 The Council’s performance management arrangements have been publicly criticised by the Audit Commission for the past two years, although they have agreed that some areas of good practice exist, however, this has culminated in strong criticism which was delivered in the Audit Commission Management Letter to the Council in December 2002; the Pinnacle Report and the recent CPA Peer Challenge from Caxton Consultancy. 1.4 The decision to undertake a Best Value Review of Performance Management was agreed by Cabinet on 10th April 2003 following the recommendations from external consultants Pinnacle, who were engaged by the Council to examine the “health” of our arrangements prior to CPA. Following this, at a meeting of Cabinet on 5th June 2003, Members agreed a framework for implementing a corporate system for the Authority (a copy of that report can be found at Appendix 1). 1.5 During March 2003 the Government published the new Best Value guidance for England. Despite widespread rumours that best value would cease following the introduction of Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA), the new guidance emphasised the importance of best value in achieving improvements to services. 2. Why is Performance Management Important? 2.1 Performance information indicates how well an organisation is performing against its aims and objectives. Effective performance information helps identify what policies and processes work and why they work. Making the best use of available data and knowledge is critical to improving the performance of the Council. The development of performance information across the Authority is key to effective management, service planning, monitoring and evaluation. 8 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  11. 11. 2.2 Externally, performance information ensures accountability with members of the public and other stakeholders is transparent. It also allows for a better understanding of the issues to be reported. 3. External Drivers for Developing Performance Management 3.1 Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) - an integral element of the CPA methodology and at the heart of the final assessment is the proven capacity of authorities to improve. The judgments made following inspection rely heavily on interpreting performance information. The Audit Commission in the first round of CPA identified that those authorities which made good use of performance measurement as a key day-to-day management activity showed the greatest improvement in the level of services that they provide. 3.2 District Auditor (now the Audit Commission) - in their management letter to the Authority in December 2002, commented that the “Council does not have a comprehensive performance management system in place and lacks evidence of robust performance monitoring across the Council”. More recently they have recommended that the Authority set up an effective performance management system that identifies the data that Members and management need. 3.3 Members - increasingly in response to pressure from their communities seeking improvements in the services provided by the Council, Members now expect better ways of monitoring performance and have recently stressed the need for an effective corporate performance management system to allow regular monitoring of key aspects of service provision. 3.4 Best Value - and the need for continuous improvement requires local authorities to have strong systems in place to monitor and evaluate performance. 3.5 Attracting External Funding - local authorities are increasingly required to find more innovative ways of attracting external funding in order to resource key areas of its services. Performance data is key in attracting funding e.g. SRB projects and PSAs. This trend is set to continue as Government encourage and legislate for authorities to measure outputs more effectively. 3.6 Increased Partnership Working - Government expect councils to develop strong partnership arrangements to improve common aims and goals. 3.7 Increasing expectations from Communities - An improved complaints procedure, greater communication with our customers and better response levels to customer needs have fuelled and increased the number of complaints received by the Council “Better monitoring systems have improved public access”, coupled with the increasing expectations of a largely articulate community has highlighted the Council’s need to respond effectively to concerns which are raised. 9 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  12. 12. 3.8 Community Planning - A range of “Quality of Life” indicators has been developed to help local authorities measure the effectiveness of their Community Plans. The Community Plan is also supported by a detailed action plan which sets out how objectives will be achieved jointly with our partners. Public Service Agreements have also been developed with Kent County Council and are integral to the delivery of the Plan. 4. Underlying Reasons for Poor Performance Management 4.1 The Audit Commission and IDeA have undertaken extensive reviews across public sector organisations over the past 3 to 4 years and have identified the following points which hamper the development of performance management in the public sector, these are:-  there are too many priorities which can be confusing to staff and Members. Organisations need to make clear which are the most important;  Members do not (in the main) show enough interest in management and improving performance and staff can sometimes feel unsupported;  there is little time to learn, and staff find learning difficult;  staff do not understand that what they do has to change. The task is about change management as well as performance management and managers must be willing to make tough decisions;  sometimes the performance management system does not help, its objectives are not necessarily clear and it may not fit the organisation; and  certain managers find that dealing with under performance from staff is highly challenging. 10 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  13. 13. CURRENT POSITION 1. Analysis of Current Position 1.1 An information gathering exercise was undertaken in June 2003, to gauge the Council’s arrangements to manage performance to meet objectives across all services, including measuring and monitoring performance management information, and the use of performance indicators. 1.2 A questionnaire (example at Appendix 2) was circulated to all Heads of Service requesting information on the performance management information they regularly collect for their services. 1.3 The response rate was 100%. 1.4 12 responses indicated some monitoring of their sections performance using Performance Indicators. One Head of Service indicated no use of Performance Indicators at all. 1.5 Each ‘yes’ response provided a brief description of their system. Number of Respondents Frequency of Monitoring - Monthly 5 - Weekly, Monthly & Quarterly 1 - Weekly & Monthly 1 - Weekly, Quarterly & Annually 1 - Monthly & Quarterly 1 - Quarterly 1 - Varying 1 Indicators - Input 7 - Output 11 - Outcome 10 1.6 Ten indicated their service plan included Performance information and 8 commented that indicators were linked to continuous improvement. Community Service Pilot 1.7 A scheme was introduced in June 2003 into the Community Services Department to pilot a key performance management indicator system. The aim of the system is to track trends in performance and allow a comparison of actual and planned performance for the month and year to date. This system is a useful tool to review performance with management and staff, and as an input to performance improvement. The system enables KPI’s to be reported at Departmental Management Team meetings, to staff, and then onto Management Team. 11 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  14. 14. 1.8 This Community Services Department pilot is intended to: get Heads of Service and Managers, who are not currently regularly monitoring performance by use of indicators, used to a system; to identify a means by which key performance indicators can be communicated upwards to senior management level (DMT/MT) and to develop a method of communicating to all departmental staff how actual performance is against target. 1.9 The system is also designed to allow the introduction of a “traffic light” system for the whole department as a means of conveying a message to all staff on how the department is performing against monitoring targets. The proposed “traffic light” system is:- Green = 80% + to target Amber = 40 - 79% to target Red = Below 40% to target 1.10 The above is obtained from aggregating the percentages of actual performance against target percentages for all Indicators monitored. 1.11 This is a departmental message but the same system is encouraged to be used on a section by section basis and all indicators measured are available for staff information. 1.12 Each Head of Service in the Community Services Department were asked to identify ‘key’ performance indicators for their service areas. These are the basket of key indicators used for reporting upwards, and to calculate the departmental ‘traffic light’ means of communication. It is fully recognised that there are a wide range of other indicators that each section is currently monitoring. Staff have been encouraged to examine all their indicators to ensure the ones reported by this pilot scheme are actually the key indicators to be included in the basket to be reported to senior management. 1.13 The monitoring report format adopted is reported at Appendix 3. 1.14 For each key performance indicator the following is measured each month, or for Community Development indicators quarterly or half yearly as relevant. 1.15 Actual out-turn last year - The actual position achieved in the whole of the previous financial year i.e. (2002/03). 1.16 Annual Target - Position targeted to be achieved for the whole of the current year. For continuous improvement, it should be an improved target on what was actually achieved in the previous year. 1.17 Target to Date - The profiled position for that month to date to be on course to achieve the annual target. 1.18 This Month - The achieved position for this month only. 1.19 Last Month - As above, but for the previous month. 12 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  15. 15. 1.20 Same Month Last Year - The actual position for the month being monitored, but for the previous year. 1.21 Year to Date Last Year - The accumulative total for the year to date for the previous year. 1.22 Year to Date - The accumulative total for the year to date for the current year. 1.23 Percentage of Actual Against Target - A monthly measurement of how the indicator is performing year to date against the profiled target, expressed as a % to target for each indicator. 1.24 For the traffic light system calculation, the percentage of actual against target for each indicator is recorded in the final column (maximum 100% per indicator to avoid over achievements masking the effects of any under achievement). A percentage per section is then calculated based on the total percentages per indicator in the column, divided by the number of indicators to get a percentage to target per section per month. The Department percentage is obtained by aggregating all the percentages and dividing the number of sections. While it is recognised that the calculation of averaging percentages is not statistically/mathematically accurate, it does provide a useful and valid overview of performance. 1.25 Once a corporate system for the Council is adopted, using the commissioned software, this will replace the Community Service pilot scheme, but the introduction of a corporate system will not prevent a traffic light system of communication to all staff being continued if it is found to be useful in achieving it’s objectives. 2. Good Practice – Internal 2.1 A review of local performance management at Sevenoaks District Council was undertaken by Fairlight Consultancy in December 2001. Although this report was generally critical of the Council’s approach to performance monitoring, at that time, some areas of good practice were noted. A further review was conducted in December 2002 to assess progress. The reports on the outcome from these reviews is attached as Appendices 4 and 5. 2.2 Development Control - National BVPI’s exist for this service, relating to the speed of processing planning applications. Development Control has recently been subject to a Best Value Review, and from this some local performance indicators have now been developed, as well as five year targets for the service. Results of monitoring against the existing PI’s are reported quarterly to the Development Control Committee, and every six months to the relevant scrutiny committee. Overall the officer interviewed was enthusiastic about performance management and believed it would be helpful to develop it further for the planning service. 2.3 Customer Services - Telephone monitoring, in terms of speed of answering, is carried out electronically, and the achievement of targets regularly reported. 13 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  16. 16. The service officer interviewed also thought that they were in a good position to monitor both the speed and quality of responses to letters for the whole authority. The officer interviewed recognised the need for further indicators and targets, and seemed keen to develop them. 2.4 Information Technology - The service level agreement (SLA) contains many local indicators relating to outputs and users efficiency. The IT section uses performance information from the SLA indicators to help staff organise and run their work. The officer interviewed believed this to be helpful and important in maintaining an efficient service, and would like to develop performance management further within the section. 2.5 Council Tax and Benefits - There are BVPI’s for this service, both for the collection of Council Tax and for the speed of processing benefit applications. The BVPI’s were monitored continuously and the results used regularly by staff for day to day management of the service. 2.6 Direct Services - The officer interviewed stated that all of the services had clear aims and objectives, and a comprehensive set of indicators covering input, output, and outcomes were developed. Staff use the data derived from monitoring against the indicators to help them manage the service. If the system is comprehensive, and complete, further work is unlikely to be necessary, beyond keeping the system up to date and making sure it fits with new corporate performance management systems. It may even be possible to use performance monitoring in the DSO as a template for a Council wide system. 2.7 Fairlight Consultancy followed up the work done in December 2001 and after a series of sessions with Heads of Services in May 2003, provided an update on the position. 2.8 The Consultant commented that there seemed a lot more enthusiasm for developing local Performance Indicators than when he last visited in 2001. The Heads of Services and their representatives he spoke to, in most cases had already given some thought to developing local indicators, and were able to establish further indicators between the initial ‘surgeries’ and the follow up meetings. 2.9 The Direct Services section is one of the most advanced sections of the Council who regularly use performance management Indicators to measure and manage performance. A considerable number of indicators have been developed over the years which are shared with:- Portfolio Holder - at regular meetings Director - at 1:1 monthly meetings Managers - at monthly meetings Supervisors - at monthly meetings All employees - displayed monthly on mess room notice board 14 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  17. 17. 2.10 The indicators are recorded monthly and current performance as well as past performance is recorded to identify any trends. All indicators have targets, linked to continuous improvement measures based on actual performance the previous year. 2.11 Currently 85 indicators are monitored monthly for a range of quality, performance, productivity and financial information across all of the Direct Services functions. Each indicator has an annual target based on achieving continuous improvement. Each indicator is measured for the current month; previous month; same month previous year; accumulative total for current year to date and total the previous year. 2.12 An example of a completed monthly return is provided at Appendix 6. 2.13 This performance management indicator information is used in the annual Service Plan; monthly discussions on performance and as part of the individual appraisal process to link individual objectives to service plan objectives. The information is also regularly discussed with the Director of Community Services and the Portfolio Holder for Community Health and the Street Environment. 3. Good Practice - External 3.1 Chester City Council - The performance management framework for Chester City Council:- (a) Clearly defines performance management (b) Identifies what the Council needs to do to improve their performance (c) Identifies what characteristics their performance management system should include (d) Identifies how and where this should start (e) Identifies what the critical success factors should be (f) Identifies what the potential barriers and inhibitors could be Their framework aims to have: - A clear vision – a clear community vision with corporate objectives to show how efforts will help realise the community’s aspirations with SMART targets for measurement. - A focus on outcomes – required outcomes translated into corporate priorities, a coordinated system allowing Members and managers to take action based on performance information; suitable review methods; an IT system to support these functions, and robust targets. 15 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  18. 18. - Effective democratic and community engagement – good communication with all stakeholders; use of the Best Value Performance Plan; active support by elected Members. - Commitment and Accountability – leadership from Members and senior management to motivate and promote commitment; a clear understanding of how day to day work contributes to achieving objectives and clear accountability for results. - A strategic and enabling corporate framework – corporate capacity to support effective performance management enablement and empowerment of staff to deliver improved service whilst maintaining a corporate focus. Chester City Council’s comprehensive performance management framework aims to ensure that: - - The community/corporate plan will impact and connect with internal practices and processes. - Best Value thinking and action becomes integrated to the way the Authority works. - Members and managers receive timely and appropriate information to make informed decisions about service improvements based on facts. 3.2 J. Sainsbury Plc In July 2003 the Community Service DMT visited the Sevenoaks Sainsbury’s Supermarket at Otford, particularly to discuss performance management methods and the use of Indicators to communicate to staff how they are doing as an individual supermarket against Sainsbury’s national targets. Measurements are used which are set against targets for all Sainsbury’s stores, these are based on:- Mystery Shopping – on produce; special offers out of stock products; other areas of the store; queues; customer interaction at checkouts. Training and Development plans. ‘How well am I doing’ surveys Talkback (staff) surveys Their results are totalled each month and displayed conspicuously for all staff to see. These results are then used to illustrate as a traffic light system with:- Green - good performance - to and above target Amber - overall performance good - but some areas of concern Red - performance below target - areas identified for action. 16 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  19. 19. 4. External Challenge by Fairlight Consultancy 4.1 Over the last two years, the Council has made big improvements in the way it measures the performance of its services, and in developing a coherent performance management framework. Two years ago, performance management was not a high priority for senior managers – now, the value of good performance information is recognised and significant efforts have been made to develop local indicators that provide managers with the information they need to manage their services effectively. 4.2 The Council’s performance management framework demonstrates a clear ‘cascade’, whereby overriding Council priorities, and community priorities as expressed in the community plan, are devolved through the local performance plan and corporate plan to service plan objectives and targets attributable to named officers. This process is consistent across all services, and matches good practice as outlined by the Audit Commission in various recent publications on performance management, as well as recognised good practice in other sectors (for example, in the private, academic and health sectors). 4.3 Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Council now is to draw the performance management framework together more tightly, into a clearer and better defined structure. As the framework grows, there is a danger that conflicts will arise between different elements of the framework. These elements could become too large and unwieldy to be readily understood by councillors and more junior staff, who need to be able to make sense of the framework and to get the information they need. For example, the local performance plan is already becoming very long and complicated. It also overlaps to some extent with the corporate plan, and the separate purposes of these two documents are not immediately clear to the ‘non-expert’ reader. 4.4 The performance management framework should help staff to understand how they fit into the Council’s overall priorities, and how they can help to achieve these priorities. It should be well structured and transparent to the Council’s staff, members and other stakeholders – this could be lost if simplicity is not maintained. 4.5 Introducing performance management software, as proposed, could help to make better sense of the performance management framework and help staff and members to navigate through it. However, the Council needs to make sure that the system under consideration provides all stakeholders with the access and information they need – access to the system through licensed users rather than a general interactive window on the internet or intranet could prove to be expensive as more and more users start to demand access licences. In the Council’s survey carried out for this review, over two-thirds of Council members said that they wanted better performance information. The Council needs to be sure that this software will allow members (and others) to ‘drill down’ into areas of particular interest and concern, rather than just giving them passive performance reports. 17 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  20. 20. 4.6 The Council’s service plans now provide the ‘sharp end’; of the performance management framework, showing how service objectives are translated into targets for managers and ultimately individual staff through the performance appraisal system. While a common template has been produced for these service plans, there is still some inconsistency in the way this template is applied. Furthermore, while consistent terminology is used to describe different elements of the plans (for example, ‘objectives’, ‘aims’, ‘targets’, ‘milestones’, ‘actions’), these terms are not defined and are used differently in different service plans. In some plans, this has led to a lack of clarity about how objectives will be achieved, because the ‘milestones’ and ‘targets’ in place do not adequately measure the achievement of the stated service objectives. And while many new performance indicators have been introduced, there is a lack of outcome measures across most services, making it difficult to use performance monitoring to judge whether overall aims and objectives for a service have been achieved. The Council needs to consider producing a balanced set of measures for all objectives across all services. 4.7 The way in which performance information is used in different services also varies. In the best departments (Direct Services, for example), performance information is used regularly and actively at team meetings to motivate and involve staff, and to consider future targets for the service. However, this process is not consistent across all departments. Direct Services have long been recognised as an example of good practice in performance management within the Council. Their example should be used to develop performance management in other areas. 4.8 There are also some significant areas of national policy focus that are not well addressed in the performance management framework, particularly at the service plan level. Issues such as equality of access to services, and environmental sustainability in service delivery, have been singled out for special attention in recent CPA assessments of district councils, with otherwise high-performing councils criticised for their lack of attention to these issues. The Council needs to examine the extent to which these and other national policy priorities are addressed in its performance framework and service priorities. 4.9 In conclusion, the Council has made huge improvements to its performance management framework and has developed performance indicators for most of its services. But at a service level, the framework lacks consistency and ‘tails off’ into a matrix of measures, targets, objectives, aims, milestones and actions that make it difficult to assess whether service priorities, and consequently cascaded corporate priorities, have been achieved. Historically, this may have been difficult to address because of corporate governance problems and the inability of the corporate centre to impose sufficiently strict planning and management disciplines on service areas. However, the Council has now decided to strengthen the performance and policy functions at the centre of the Council, which should significantly enhance its ability to develop further a comprehensive and effective performance management framework. 18 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  21. 21. 5. S.W.O.T. 5.1 A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (S.W.O.T) analysis has been undertaken of the performance management systems in place across the Council as at June 2003. 5.2 This revealed the following:- Strengths - 12 out of 13 Heads of Service regularly monitor some performance - 7 monitor input indicators - 11 monitor output indicators - 10 monitor outcomes - 10 have performance indicators in their services plans - 8 have indicators linked to continuous improvement - BVPI’s and some local indicators are established - A range of quantity, quality and financial indicators are monitored. - Some indicators are monitored against targets, and trends in performance are identified from previous months, previous years etc - Some indicators are effectively used to manage resources - Some use the information to brief staff and also to update their Director/Portfolio Holder - Regular monitoring – most on at least a monthly basis Weaknesses - No corporate lead – no consistency over performance management - One Head of Service not monitoring performance at all - Lack of consistency over range, type and quality of indicators monitored - Level of monitoring across all sections, to say the least, ‘patchy’ with many indicators purely input basis (i.e. volumes) but not linked to effect (output and outcome) - Some confusion over what is meant by input, output and outcome indicators - In only a few sections are indicators being fully used for management of resources, staff briefing, reporting up etc - Only a few sections demonstrate a use of targets, monitoring of trends etc - Lack of Member involvement Opportunities The objective would be to use illustrations of existing ‘best practice’ available, and to develop a performance management system using measurable indicators, to have a consistent approach across the Council. Each sections performance management system, measuring indicators on a regular basis, should have the following elements:- 19 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  22. 22. - Each section’s system should have the BVPI’s and a range of local indicators that tell, the Head of Service, their staff, and their Directors, how their business is performing. - The indicators should explicitly reflect the service objectives. - All indicators to be relevant, measurable, understandable, and record inputs, and outputs and allows measurement/view of outcomes. - Indicator to be recorded on at least a monthly. This easily allows quarterly and annual returns to be made. - Each indicator should have a target, aimed at securing continuous improvement. Targets to be specific, realistic and achievable. Indicators to be measured against targets. - The system should allow measurement of trends by comparing this month with last month, this month with same month last year, allow cumulative totals for the year, and compare with position the previous year. - Indicators should be used in service plans and allow key indicators to be ‘picked out’ to channel upwards to DMT, MT, Members. Also indicators should be used to cascade down to individuals objectives via the appraisal process. - An understanding and use of input (measures, volumes, numbers, occurrences etc); output (result of inputs) and outcomes (the overall effect of input and outputs) indicators. For example Street Cleaning Input - No of regular cleaning schedules achieved Output - No of complaints regarding street cleaning Outcome - percentage of random inspections achieving an ‘A’ standard For example CCTV Input - No of cameras/times/locations monitored Output - No of ‘incidents’ recorded on tape Outcome - Reduction in fear of crime expressed by population - Indicators should allow effective use and assist with management, tackling problem areas, allocating resources etc. - Indicators should be ‘shared’ with staff, i.e. to let them know how they are doing. They can be used as a motivational tool or, as necessary, to identify poor performance. 20 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  23. 23. - All indicators should tell you something useful, if not, why measure them. Threats - The Council has been criticised in the past for ‘patchy’ or ‘poor’ performance management. We do not want the same criticism levelled again. - A robust performance management system forms an integral part of the corporate governance agenda and will be considered as part of the CPA process. We need to have something in place before the CPA assessment in March 2004. - A lack of reliable, up to date measurable information will seriously hinder sound performance management. - Not having indicators measurable against targets will prevent any measurement of continuous improvement. - It is difficult to communicate to staff, Members, Management Team, the media, the community etc how we are performing, without something to be measured by. Examples of best practice of thorough use of performance indicators do already exist within the Council (good examples are Direct Services and Development control) and are currently being developed and extended in the Community Service department pilot scheme. The system to be developed as a corporate performance management system should meet, as a minimum, the criteria outlined in the opportunities section of the S.W.O.T analysis. 21 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  24. 24. GOOD PRACTICE 1. What Makes a Good Performance Management System? 1.1 The Government jointly with the National Audit Office, Audit Commission Office for National Statistics and H.M. Treasury have developed a checklist to assist local authorities develop and design appropriate corporate performance management systems. 1.2 The six criteria developed jointly with Government are that the system should be:- Focused - on the organisation’s aims and objectives; Appropriate - to, and useful for, the stakeholders who are likely to use it; Balanced - giving a picture of what the organisation is doing, covering all significant areas of work; Robust - in order to withstand organisational changes or individuals leaving; Integrated - into the organisation, being part of the business planning and management process; and Cost Effective - balancing the benefits of the information against the costs. 1.3 Components of an effective Corporate Performance Management Information System  A corporate IT software system in place for collecting, monitoring and forecasting all data for BVPI’s and local indicators, and linking these to objectives and targets.  Clear definition of indicators measured so as to avoid any confusion on what is being measured and the method of measurement/calculation.  A clear audit trail for all Indicators to allow transparency and ability to verify information and trace performance figures back to source data.  A clear understanding of input, output and outcome indicators.  Use of performance indicators to support service plans and individual objectives through the appraisal process, and to publicise results to all staff.  Use of targets for indicators to demonstrate ambition to achieve continuous improvement, challenging, but realistic targets, driven by actual performance in the previous year.  Establishment of a clear ‘cascade’ of information from high level organisational objectives (Community Plan; Corporate Plan; BVPP) to 22 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  25. 25. service level objectives (service plans) to targets for individual teams and individual staff members.  Use of performance information to involve and motivate staff; manage resources; support a strategic or tactical objective; and assist in managing service, team and individual performance.  Targets to demonstrate ambition to deliver continuous improvement, but must be shared by those responsible for delivering them; should reflect the expectations of service users; be realistic; challenging to stretch the organisation, but not unachievable.  Use of in-house audit team to validate national and local indicators information published.  Involvement of staff and Members in setting targets, and to ensure objectives set for services reflect the Council’s priorities.  Measurement and comparison with indicators recorded from past performance to allow direct comparison, identification of trends etc. Use last month; same month previous year; accumulative actual to date previous year; total last year.  Use of ‘profiling’ of indicators to measure actual position to date against position should be at to achieve annual target.  Allow the selection of a ‘basket’ of key performance indicators to report upwards to DMT’s; MT and Members on a regular basis.  All indicators should be useful and measurable.  Any system needs to be flexible enough to allow any necessary changes to indicators, targets etc to be easily achieved.  A system to be developed to require regular reports of key performance indicators to Cabinet and to Select Scrutiny Committees, highlighting variances between actual performance to target, trends and other variations, and providing explanations for any variations or trends. 2. Examples from other Organisations 2.1 Canterbury City Council - As part of Canterbury’s performance management arrangements, the Overview Committee considers quarterly monitoring reports on BVPIs and KLPIs. Overview Committee is required to keep a broad perspective on the overall performance of the Council and refer any areas of concern to the relevant scrutiny committee to investigate in detail. 23 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  26. 26. 2.2 Around forty KPLIs have been identified which cover areas of local concern not covered by the national suite of indicators. Performance against the KLPIs is subject to the same monitoring arrangements as BVPIs. As it is not possible or meaningful to record quarterly performance information for all of the BVPIs and KLPIs, around half of the indicators are monitored on a quarterly basis. The indicators are presented using a “traffic light” monitoring system. Red indicators - show where performance is not meeting the agreed target and is not improving. Amber indicators - show where performance is improving but is not meeting the agreed target and is not improving. Green indicators - show where performance is meeting or exceeding the agreed target. Where performance is not improving and is not up to target, Heads of Service are required to provide an explanation, and where appropriate, say what action will be taken to improve performance. 2.2 Telford & Wrekin District Council - The Telford and Wrekin approach to performance management involves four key levels:-  Corporate Plan  Portfolio Plans (Policy area documents)  Business Plans; and  Personal Plans Through these levels, corporate objectives are developed and linked to service-level objectives, which are measured using local and national performance indicators. Targets are attributable to named managers and devolved to individual staff through their personal development and action plans. The system is based around extensive and detailed documentation and summary documents. The purpose of this is to bring together and co- ordinate all of the Council’s statutory and financial planning process. 2.3 Chester City Council - In Chester, each performance indicator has a named accountable officer and Portfolio Holder. A checklist has been developed which is used to monitor and evaluate the general health of their performance management framework over time. Another major influence on the arrangements is the Council’s own political management structure, which is supported by these measures and provides members with the appropriate information to carry out their executive and scrutiny roles of developing policy and monitoring performance. 24 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  27. 27. TAILORED SYSTEM FOR SEVENOAKS The hierarchy of plans and strategies at Sevenoaks is set out in the chart below. Community Plan strategic priorities Best Value Performance Plan more detailed aims and objectives Corporate Plan internal plans and performance measures/standards Service Plans detailed plans linked to performance and targets which are owned by Service Heads Individual Staff Appraisals During 2004/05 the Council aims to rationalise its plans and strategies in line with recommendations from Government. Further information will be made available once the details of this approach has been agreed. 25 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  28. 28. 1. Links with Service Planning 1.1 One of the key purposes of service planning is to translate high level objectives into management action which is clearly linked to performance measures in key aspects of the service. Service planning currently takes place throughout the organisation and cascades down to individuals responsibilities. However, just as service planning cascades through the Authority, performance information should also be collected and used at all levels. 1.2 Results of the SWOT analysis and the results from the questionnaire circulated to Heads of Service have confirmed that the arrangements across the Authority are weak in some areas and not co-ordinated. 1.3 Strong performance information will help to inform management and Member decisions as well as indicating whether the required level of performance has been achieved. It should also help in deciding how to allocate resources. Effective service plans are inherently supported by strong and relevant performance information. The Council’s service planning arrangements will now need to include relevant performance information to support key objectives. The current service planning framework is already designed to incorporate this information and Heads of Service will be further supported to ensure that this fundamental aspect of service plans is not overlooked. 1.4 Service plans are written predominantly for a Member/officer audience. They act as a management tool for the organisation to plan its business and set out its service priorities. It is also a vehicle to describe the key thrust of the service and show how the Council’s priorities/aspirations are translated into reality. 1.5 For the first time during the summer of 2003, all services developed advanced plans for 2004/05. This was well received by the Peer Challenge Team. The next step for the Council is to involve relevant Portfolio Holders in finalising these as part of the budget setting process. These will then form the backbone of ensuring that key priorities are debated and delivered. The Council are also planning to develop longer term plans linked to budgets. Cabinet will consider these proposals in January 2004. 1.6 Our service plans as an absolute minimum need to:-  Set out objectives for the service within the context of agreed strategic and organisational priorities;  Set out how we can improve performance against those objectives;  Show how those objectives will be delivered, achieved and resourced (both in terms of capital and revenue);  Provide an accountability framework for monitoring and evaluating progress;  Communicate the actions and targets within the organisation. 26 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  29. 29. 1.7 Future plans will include an action plan and accountability framework and related budget and performance information. In addition, future plans will act as an audit trail for senior officers and Members when agreeing budgets and performance targets. 2. Presenting Performance Information 2.1 Over the past months the Council has investigated the use of appropriate software to support its performance management arrangements. Demonstrations have been organised from three potential providers. Trials of each of the demonstrated software packages were undertaken on the Council’s Citrix Metaframe environment (IT server) to test their compatibility with our system. One product emerged from this process as being able to meet all the system requirements and as importantly, offer the range of facilities and flexibility within the software to satisfy our needs. 2.2 The system (which is expected to be in place by December 2003), will be centrally administered by the Corporate Policy Team with individual administrators in each department. In addition, a further 25 officers, mainly Heads of Service, will have limited input access and full read facility. Licences have also been initially procured for five Members to have read only access. Once up and running the public and all staff will have access to the information through the Council’s website. This is a significant investment for the Council and a budget of £30,000 has been identified to implement this element of our performance management arrangements. 2.3 Performance information needs to be presented in a way that is accessible to the audience that will be using it. The software package will allow us to present graphs or charts to make the main message from the data (trends) more readily identifiable. It will allow for movements in performance to be quickly picked up by the audience and help Members and management make sense of the data presented. 2.4 Outputs from the system will need to be evaluated periodically to ensure they are still measuring what needs to be measured, and providing value for money in the way the measurement takes place and the way the information is used. 3. Monitoring the Quality of Data 3.1 The effective use of performance measurement depends on indicators that are accurate. BVPIs for example are expected to have a high degree of accuracy and are subject to external audit from the Audit Commission each year. The quality of performance information is increasingly becoming an issue as authorities agree local public service agreements (PSAs) and as CPA is rolled out to all authorities. 3.2 A recent audit of the Council’s BVPIs for 2002/03 identified a number of indicators which were inaccurate (some 50% of those collected). Nationally 27 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  30. 30. this figure is around 8%. A prior examination of the Council’s local indicators also revealed a number of inaccuracies. 3.3 The quality of the information will depend on the systems used to compile the data. To ensure that this is achieved, Management Team agreed that the Council’s Internal Audit Section undertake regular audits of the processes used to collect local indicators across the Authority. These arrangements are scheduled to commence from April 2004. 4. Reporting Performance Information 4.1 As set out in the report agreed by Cabinet on 5th June 2003, (see Appendix 1), the approach for Sevenoaks should include the following:-  reports should present information in an accessible way using charts where practical rather than tables (this will be facilitated by the performance management software);  we should avoid information overload limiting the number of indicators in any one report;  reports should highlight indicators where performance is causing concern and offer commentary, for example by using “traffic lights”;  reports should set out what actions will be taken to bring performance back on track;  report what is meaningful and clearly linked to the main aims of the work of the Committee;  project management indicators should be included to ensure that new developments (e.g. Leisure Trust, Document Management System, Customer Relationship Module and Edenbridge Relief Road), are achieved as planned;  reports should ensure that the three levels of indicators are reported to the appropriate audience:-  national indicators - public, stakeholders, Government, politicians and senior managers;  local indicators - public, stakeholders, local politicians and senior managers;  management information indicators - managers and staff  information that is presented more frequently than quarterly cycles should be used primarily for managers of the service rather than being reported to Members. 5. Developing a range of Local Indicators and Targets 5.1 There are many types of indicators which are used for different audiences and varying purposes. Some will be needed for good management, but others 28 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  31. 31. should be used to inform local people and show how well/poorly we are doing. Local indicators should be integrated into key strategies and plans and have clear links to special objectives. 5.2 When devising performance indicators and performance review systems we need to consider:-  Who is the information for?  Government;  Elected Members;  Citizens, residents, tax payers;  Service managers;  Staff  How often should performance information be reported?  How and where should it be reported/  What are the key objectives of the service? 5.3 Having considered these points, officers should then begin to develop an appropriate set of local performance indicators. Details of how to do this are set out in Appendix 7. 5.4 Having devised local performance indicators, we then need to think about which indicators we need to set targets for, and at what levels these targets should be set. While it is possible to set targets for all good indicators, it is not necessary to set targets for them all. To do so could be confusing and blur the focus of effort on areas that are most important. 5.5 The level to set targets at may be difficult to judge. Staff should be involved in this process and targets should stretch the organisation without demotivating staff by setting unachievable goals. Councillors, service users and the wider public should also be consulted with where these targets directly affect them. 5.6 The IDeA and the Audit Commission are giving practical help to authorities by jointly developing a library of local performance indicators to provide “off-the- shelf” indicators with detailed and consistent definitions. These help authorities use indicators more effectively for comparisons and benchmarking. The Commission has also developed a suite of Quality of Life indicators for local authorities to help measure the effectiveness of Community Strategies. 29 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  32. 32. TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTING KEY ACTIONS Actions Start by End by Responsible Officer(s) and Portfolio Holder 1. MT and Cabinet agree to undertake a Best 10/4/03 - K. Sewell Value Review of Performance Management. (Cllr. Dean) Review Team identified 2. Develop and seek agreement for a 5/6/03 - K. Sewell performance management framework for the (Cllr. Dean) Council 3. Review commences 13/6/03 Dec R. Wilson 4. Purchase software to support framework November - K. Sewell 2003 (Cllr. Dean) 5. External input (Fairlight Consultancy) November Dec Review Team 2003 6. Implement performance management November - K. Sewell software 2003 (Cllr. Dean) 7. Roll out a training programme for staff December - K. Sewell using the software 2003 8. Finalise draft report for MT December - Review Team 2003 9. Draft report circulated to Cllrs. Dean, 1/12/03 D. Williamson Malan and Clayton 10. Draft report to Cabinet briefing 4/12/03 - D. Williamson 12. Prepare draft Improvement Plan December R. Wilson 2003 12. Report to Overview and Scrutiny Board 6/1/04 - D. Williamson 13. Report to Cabinet January - D. Williamson 2004 14. Implement Improvement Plan February - R. Wilson 2004 15. System in place 1/4/04 - Review Team 16. Review progress April 2004 - Review Team 30 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  33. 33. CONSULTING WITH STAFF AND MEMBERS 1. Results of Consultation with Members 1.1 The Review Team undertook a consultation exercise with Members to assess their views about the Council’s performance management arrangements. A questionnaire was circulated to all 54 Members which set out a number of issues to be considered. The response rate to the questionnaire was 35% with 19 Councillors returning their responses. 1.2 The key findings of the survey are as follows:-  Members were asked if they receive performance information on a regular basis. Only a third (37%) said this was currently the case with the remainder of Members receiving information occasionally or not at all..  37% of those who received performance information were given this on a monthly, 16% on a quarterly basis and 16% every six months.  58% of respondents felt that the information they received was easy to understand.  Members had mixed views on how information should be presented with 21% favouring graphs, 26% tables, 10% text and 63% preferring a mixture of all of these.  Members felt strongly (68%) that better information would help them in their role as a councillor. 1.3 When asked how the current arrangements could be improved the following comments were received:  Use of the Communications Team to improve presentation of the Performance Management Reports  Make it relevant to the subject discussed and have an effective monitoring system.  Ensure that the base data is on a consistent basis for all activities. For example, do not compare PIs calculated on expenditure minus overheads and capital charges with PIs calculated on expenditure including overheads and capital charges.  Include expected benefits from proposed strategies for improvement(s) and how they will be delivered.  Regular performance reports against targets with variances over a rolling twelve month period.  By first thinking what information is relevant and important. 31 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  34. 34.  Need to review the PIs for each area, how they are to be reported and how frequently.  The indicators used should be those that are important to Central Government, as they will influence our success as a progressive Council. Also those that officers within the Council consider to be important. It may be that elected Members will add occasionally to this list. 1.4 Members were also asked what type of information they would like to receive and a number of their responses are set out below:-  Impact studies on effect of proposed or actual changes in Council policy on local communities and local economies/businesses.  Details on all major services.  Performance on local and national indicators - the local ones are usually more valuable.  On front line service delivery, support service delivery, all other net expenditure. Ensure that no item of income/expenditure escapes from being PI’d.  Public transport enhancement schemes. Affordable housing schemes. Improved targets for clean air strategies. Outcomes of legal action enforcement e.g. anti-social behaviour, noise, pollution etc. Staff job satisfaction  Relevant information that shows trends  Spending against budget profile. Efficiency of departments against agreed targets i.e. processing of applications/benefits etc.  Too much information is as bad as too little. 1.5 Other comments received:-  The use of PIs should be pressed forward as a matter of urgency. The Council is compared by using national PIs, so it is essential to ensure that all local PIs reconcile back to the appropriate national PI.  Information to include the likely effect on communities/residents of performance management. I think we are doing well insofar as waste collection data is concerned. All our staff work very hard and we need to tell them so from time to time. 32 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  35. 35.  This questionnaire does not give an opportunity for Members to comment in the way they would wish. There is a dearth of information which seems to be deliberately suppressed.  Check the information to ensure that it is correct before it is presented to Members and made public. 2. Communication Strategy 2.1 The Council acknowledges that it will be important to communicate the purpose and outcomes of the Performance Management Best Value Review to all staff in advance of the implementation timetable of 1st April 2004. The Council already has an established hierarchy of staff briefings and meetings, which can facilitate this process. 2.2 Team meetings are held regularly, which enable the exchange of information from departmental team meetings (DMT) and Management Team. Currently Strategic Services and Community Services have regular DMTs, while Corporate Services have a partial arrangement led by the Chief Financial Officer. It is anticipated to widen this group to represent the whole department, subject to the recommendations of the Organisational Design Review. Performance management and local performance indicators are discussed regularly at DMTs. 2.3 In addition, the notes of the discussion at team meetings are considered by DMTs. To supplement this exchange of information there are also regular team leaders meetings, a Council-wide “Sounding Board” and staff briefings on relevant items. For example, the Community Services Department arranged a series of three briefings for staff on performance management in September 2003 and all staff have been briefed on the Council’s preparations for Comprehensive Performance Assessment. 2.4 Council employees receive an in-house electronic magazine called In Shape People, which has been utilised to disseminate important corporate initiatives, most recently regarding the Organisation Design Review. Shared Directories on the Council’s Outlook system also provide a useful source of information and it is anticipated that the Performance Management Best Value Review Action Plan will be included. 2.5 Heads of Service have monthly meetings where performance management is a regular item. 2.6 Members also receive regular bulletins electronically and have access to the shared directories on Outlook. Hard copies of relevant documents are also made available in the Member’s Room at the Council Offices in Sevenoaks. Some Portfolio Holders currently receive performance management feedback from relevant Heads of Service and the Council is considering extending this across all service areas. Member briefings and/or training will also be considered. 33 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  36. 36. 3. Training 3.1 The Council already has an annual performance appraisal system for staff, introduced three years ago. Amendments to the procedures were introduced in summer 2003 to ensure that individual training requirements are addressed at the interim appraisal stage. This allows time for training budgets to be set in advance of the following year’s budget. It also takes account of any service plan bids for the following year. 3.2 Objective setting, if appropriate, and training for staff (for example, for any performance management software that may be introduced) will be identified through the appraisal process. It is further proposed that the appraisal system be used to promote the ownership of Best Value Performance Indicators by individual members of staff through their personal objectives. The outcomes of the appraisal system will in turn inform future service plan bids to ensure that performance is linked to the Council’s priorities and resources. 3.3 During 2003 the Council appointed a consultant, Fairlight Consultancy, to meet with, assess current practice and provide advice to Heads of Service in preparing local performance indicators. Heads of Service have been able to use the findings in two reports by Peter Chowney in refining their local performance indicators. 34 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  37. 37. CONCLUSIONS 1.1 This Best Value review of Performance Management identifies and recommends a corporate approach to Performance Management for Sevenoaks District Council by developing a robust system to fit the Council’s needs and requirements. 1.2 The system development aims to be:-  Focused – on the organisations aims and objectives  Appropriate – to, and useful for, the stakeholders who will use it  Balanced – to provide a picture of how the organisation is performing  Robust – flexible enough to withstand essential change  Integrated – part of business planning and management culture  Cost effective – benefits against costs 1.3 The tailored system proposed for Sevenoaks District Council aims to translate high level objectives into Service planning and Management actions linked to sound performance measures in key aspects of service delivery. Good Performance Management Information should be used to link the Council’s hierarchy of plans and strategies from the Community Plan at the Corporate level, cascading down to individual staff appraisals and measurement of performance. 1.4 Good performance information will help inform Management and Members indicating whether performance targets are being met; assisting in allocating resources; Support Service planning and identifying key priorities. 1.5 Reporting performance information will be key to keeping Members, Senior Management, the Public and all Staff informed, as well as supporting preparation of national indicators. Relevant local indicators will also be established across all Services to support a comprehensive system of performance management. 1.6 It is recognised that there are already existing examples of good practices on performance management within the Council. However there are many areas where systems need to be introduced and fully developed to support the Council’s aims and objectives. Effective consultation and training for many Members and Staff will be essential to achieve the key milestone of having a effective system in place by April 2004. 1.7 The Improvement Plan indicates key actions necessary to achieve the milestones necessary to have an effective system in place by April 2004 and all identified stakeholders commitment is necessary to fully achieve this. 1.8 Making Performance Management arrangements work effectively is critical for Sevenoaks District Council if it is to deliver the range and quality of services expected by Members; Central Government; external assessors and most important, the residents of the District. 35 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  38. 38. 1.9 The performance management framework will ensure that:- - The Community Plan and other Corporate Strategies will impact and connect with internal practices and processes - Best Value thinking and action becomes integral to the way the Authority works - Members and Managers receive timely and appropriate information to make informed decisions about service improvement, based on facts. 1.10 By improving our services, we improve the quality of life for all in the District. By demonstrating our performance to our Partners, we gain their trust and cooperation that will generate further improvement through Partnership working. By demonstrating our performance to external assessors we can gain greater freedom and flexibilities to improve our Services further. 36 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  39. 39. Appendix 1 CABINET 5TH JUNE 2003 REPORTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT ITEM FOR DECISION The Council is striving to develop an effective performance management system, which meets the needs of the organisation. Key to any adopted system will be appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms at management and Member level. This paper sets out the key tasks and issues which should be considered before a comprehensive system of reporting is adopted by the whole organisation to ensure that it is robust. RECOMMENDATION Members are asked to consider the contents of this report and offer comments as appropriate. Background (1) The District Audit, in its Management Letter to the Authority in December 2002, commented that the “Council does not have a comprehensive performance management system in place and lacks evidence of robust performance monitoring across the Council.” More recently they have recommended that the authority set up an effective performance management system that identifies the data that management needs. (2) Performance management assists authorities to run and improve services. “If you don’t know how good or bad you are you can’t identify the scope for improvements.” Authorities which make good use of performance measurement as a key day-to-day management activity have shown a marked improvement in the level of services that they provide. The Audit Commission in the first round of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) has used the experiences of high performing and good authorities as a bench mark which other authorities should learn from. (Case studies are available should Members wish to refer to them: please contact Karl Sewell for details.) Authorities which are unable to demonstrate effective performance management are unlikely to receive a favourable assessment. (3) Weaknesses identified by District Audit, Best Value Inspectors and early indicators from Pinnacle psg, coupled with the forthcoming Comprehensive Performance Assessment in March 2004, underline the importance for the organisation to adopt an appropriate system as a matter of urgency. (4) The CPA will test ten corporate themes. The Commission, in developing the methodology, has recognised that performance management is one of ten CPA 37 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report
  40. 40. areas for investigation, however, without this it is difficult to see how an organisation would measure its successes or weaknesses. The ten corporate themes which the District will be tested on are:  Ambition  Prioritisation  Focus  Capacity  Performance Management  Achievement in Quality or Service  Achievement or Improvement  Investment  Learning  Future Plans (5) Despite the performance management arrangements in the authority being patchy, some services (e.g. waste and Development Control), are areas of good practice which other services could easily learn from. These Service Heads currently report performance issues to their Directors on a regular basis, and report progress to Members more regularly than is seen from other services. This is in addition to using the information to manage and improve the performance of the services. Underlying Reasons for Poor Performance Management in Local Government (6) The Audit Commission and IDeA have undertaken extensive reviews across public sector organisations over the past 3-4 years and have identified the following points which hamper the development of performance management in the public sector; these are:-  there are too many priorities which can be confusing to staff and Members. The Organisation needs to make clear which are the most important;  Members do not (in the main) show enough interest in management and improving performance, and staff can sometimes feel unsupported;  there is little time to learn, and staff find learning difficult;  people do not understand that what they do has to change. The task is about change management as well as performance management, and managers must be willing to make tough decisions;  sometimes the performance management system does not help, its objectives are not necessarily clear, and it may not fit the organisation; and  some people do not perform and managers find that dealing with under performance is highly challenging. 38 S:chiefexecscorporate policePolicy Karl Sewellperformance managementPerformance Management Report

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