Author Archives: Mark Nelson

A Performance Culture is Sprouting Roots in Franklin Lakes

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We have been asking some of our customers what specific findings they have from tracking performance data in Revelstone. Franklin Lakes NJ gave us an answer that far outreached the question. Over the last year, Franklin Lakes has been expanding their performance management program into most departments.  Greg Hart, the Borough Administrator, is now meeting monthly with several of the  departments to review data and look for insights.  “When we place the trend charts on the table, questions about the data start to come out automatically,” said Hart.   In fact, Franklin Lakes is one of several customers that told us that asking why was one of the main benefits of using data to manage performance. Franklin Lakes has a mayor and six council members, and each department has a Council committee, consisting of two or three council members, who act as liaisons to each of the departments, having  the primary responsibility for representing the department to the council.  Hart, who works regularly with each of these Council committees, has begun…

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Millburn NJ is Asking Why

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Millburn NJ is tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) to help understand their performance.   To combat the status quo and keep managers thinking… each service department in Millburn tracks a handful of key indicators (or measures) and produces trend charts to visualize performance.   This gives each manager the opportunity to question what’s happening and validate  what they think is occurring is actually occurring. The following examples demonstrate how Millburn: Sets goals for some of its activities and monitors the accomplishment of these goals. Tracks whether its performance is improving or declining. Evaluates if the suspected drivers of performance are what is really driving it. Recycling Millburn expects their recycling collected to increase during the summer months.  Why?  College kids all return home and there is more activity in the home. Backyard parties and BBQs result in more recycling.               Millburn sets a target for their recycling tonnage and then measures actual performance against target.  Because of their theory about the summer, they set the goal…

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Asking Why?

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Human nature is to be inquisitive.  When Galileo looked into the night sky and wondered about those stars…he wanted to learn more.  He improved the telescope and it became his tool to help answer his questions.  When we see things that we don’t understand, it’s human nature to ask “Why?” For example: the following simple chart shows actual expense above budget.  Most managers would want to understand why in order to improve the situation.       In fact, the particular impact of reviewing their data in Revelstone’s trend charts and the opportunity to ask key employees WHY; is often cited as the biggest benefit among Revelstone customers.  Just like Galileo used a telescope to understand the night sky, Municipal Managers are using Revelstone to understand their operating performance. In this blog series, we will review performance data from varied service areas and demonstrate how asking why can lead to learning, innovation, problem resolution, early awareness of new conditions, or confirmation of your operational effectiveness. The following chart was created…

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Know your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) – Part 1: KPI Overview

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According to Wikipedia, a performance indicator or key performance indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement.  An organization may use KPIs to evaluate its success, or to evaluate the success of a particular activity in which it is engaged.  Sometimes success is defined in terms of making progress toward strategic goals, but often success is simply the repeated, periodic achievement of some level of operational goal.  Hence, success is determined by whether the goal for the KPI’s is being attained (e.g. reduction in the number of fires, reduced emergency response times, etc.). Each department or service area should have a handful of KPIs that are meaningful to the work they do or trying to improve.   There are KPI’s for each service area that most local governments agree are important.  We often recommend as a best practice that each service area identify a minimum of three KPIs – a few vital measures that support their desired outcomes.   KPI’s are also important at the overall municipal or county-wide level.  KPI’s for…

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7 Ways for Cities to Innovate

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I just read an article in Government Technology Magazine, “7 Tactics for 21st Century Cities – 7 Ways for Cities to Innovate.”  It’s written by Abhi Nemani, co-director of Code for America.   Code for America is at the intersection of Innovation and Government, so he knows a thing or two about what is leading the way in municipal governments.   In the article he lists 7 things cities should be doing to solve problems through innovation:   Create a space to experiment Use good data for better decisions Design for/with citizens Don’t be an island Tap into the community’s capacity Bias toward open Take tech seriously As you all know… I couldn’t resist commenting on #2 – Use good data for better decisions.   Nemani points out that cities manage lots of data and municipal leaders can make better decisions on matters like resource allocation and setting policies by using that data.   What I find interesting is his caution that all data is not created equal… and he says, “Data gains…

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Data is Top of Mind at ICMA 2013 Conference in Boston

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The ICMA Annual Conference was held in Boston this week.  Everywhere I turned someone was talking about data.  Seems the hot trend of data and data analytics is becoming top of mind for municipal leaders. During Monday’s keynote address, the NY Times best-selling author Daniel Pink inspired the audience by helping us realize we are all in sales!  WHAT! How can this be?   Municipal managers aren’t sales people.   However, in his research, Daniel asks people if their job involves, “convincing or persuading people to give up something of value in exchange for something you offer.”  His research indicates that 41% of all people say yes.   At 8:30 on Monday morning the packed room of 3,000 managers were all stunned to realize they were in sales.  As municipal managers, they knew an important element of their job is persuading, convincing and influencing department managers, employees, elected officials, business owners and citizens!    But no one in the room ever thought their job involved selling. So where does data fit into this discussion?  …

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NPR: Communities Debate Whether Sharing Services Saves Money

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While driving in the car the other day I was listening to NPR’s “Morning Edition.”  The topic was the effects of lower revenues on the communities we live in across America.  This 3-minute radio show highlighted communities in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and New Jersey and the various decisions, including consolidations and sharing of services, which have been selected and undertaken to manage within their lower budgets. There are pros and cons about the benefits of shared services… but having good data can help make informed evaluations and decisions.  Any major change in the way services are delivered can require adjustments later, to “get it right” and ensure that the expected outcomes are realized – be it a change to bring about better services, economies of scale, lower crime rates, or more revenues.  Data helps clarify the need for post-decision adjustments as well. Princeton, NJ is using Revelstone Compass to measure key elements of its two-town consolidation, so that outcomes can be tracked and adjustments made based on real data.  Taxpayers expect…

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When municipalities come together…

What can happen if you bring municipalities, all with the common goal of wanting to manage better, together for a full day of learning and networking? The short answer…a lot. And a lot took place took place on the picturesque campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University just a few weeks ago during Revelstone’s Second Annual Customer Interaction Day. For the second year in a row, municipalities who subscribe to Compass, Revelstone’s web-based performance analytics and benchmarking platform, gathered for a conference-style event of education, networking, best practices exchange and more. Filling the room were municipal managers and department heads eager to hear what others are doing with their performance initiatives and to discuss the challenges and successes that go along with it. Sessions ranged from the latest updates on Compass to open discussions and interactive workshops on implementing a performance management culture and creating a 2013 performance plan. The event provided a forum for municipalities, several of them neighbors, to talk about the one goal they all share—to manage better and…

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Denver, CO – Realizing peak performance levels, one department at a time

“To succeed in an era of scarcity, public agencies must do more than just measure their performance.  Success requires a focus on larger organizational goals that lead to questioning longstanding practices and structures,” writes Charles Chieppo in Governing. Chieppo’s article, Giving Public Workers the Tools for Efficiency, provides an overview of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’ Peak Performance initiative, which is designed for each city agency to “understand who its customers are, how it delivers value to them, and most important, areas for potential improvement.” This initiative is part of a nationwide trend: examining the state of services in order to find efficiencies.  The approach to this is different than in the past.  Identifying efficiencies is not about simply cutting services blindly—it’s about looking at real, empirical data to find ways to deliver higher value to citizens. Denver, like many cities and towns, examined the data on its police department—a common starting place for government performance management initiatives.  The results are eye opening.  Without having to change headcount, Denver was able…

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Can you drive your town without a dashboard?

When I hop in my car, I don’t give much thought to it.  I know with a lot of certainty that my car is equipped to take me where I want to go.  Now,  I imagine if my car was stripped of its dashboard, I would  quickly find myself  asking questions such as:  How fast am I driving?  Do I have enough gas?  Is the engine too hot?  And I would surely be lost without my trusted GPS. Just for fun, imagine yourself driving to work with no dashboard.  You get in and quickly realize that you have no way of knowing if there is enough gas in the tank to get you there.  What options do you have?  You might start driving and hope you get there before running out of gas.  You could call the fleet department (aka your spouse) and ask when was last time he/she put gas in the car and how many miles the car has been driven since.  Good luck – they probably won’t…

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What are Holiday Season Fires Costing Your Town?

While Mythbusters found that Christmas tree lights do not cause house fires, the National Fire Protection Association can prove otherwise. The Association reports that U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 240 house fires started by Christmas trees between 2005 and 2009 alone. These fires resulted in: • 13 deaths • 27 injuries • $16.7 million in property damage Although Christmas tree fires are not a common occurrence, the numbers prove they still happen and preparing for these fires is something towns need to be doing every year. To start, municipal officials can educate their citizens. Wishing your town a safe and happy holiday season is no longer enough. A simple fact sheet distributed to citizens and/or posted on your town website could be a great way to bring awareness to holiday season fires. For example, did you know that Christmas tree fires don’t just happen around December 25? Actually 17% started in November or February, 50% in December and 33% in January. Also, these fires are not just limited to…

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Ready, Fire, Aim

There is an old story of a man shooting a gun. Over and over, he keeps firing but missing his target each time.  If you happen to notice him firing, you would assume that he was an expert marksman, never stopping and just firing away.  However, if you saw his target, you would see that nothing was hitting the target.  When his friend stops him to ask, “Why don’t you slow down and take aim before firing?” his reply, “No, I’m too busy firing and I don’t have time to aim.” This story is an old cliché, but one that is played out in municipal departments every day.  Workers are busy working, however, there is often no aiming going on and no targets or goals are being established.  If you ask your managers and workers to measure their progress or activity, the answer is always the same, “We are too busy delivering services for that.”  Yup, firing away and missing the target! However, if your workers started measuring their activities,…

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ICMA 2012 – “Stimulate the Progress” of Local Governments

I’m writing this blog entry from my airline seat at 30,000 feet somewhere over the middle of the country, thinking about all the interesting people I met at ICMA 2012.  I’m reflecting at the awesome number of opportunities facing local government leaders today—opportunities to adopt new technologies, enhance communications and improve citizen’s lives. New technologies to enable local governments to transform how things are currently done were evident all around ICMA 2012.  From the omnipresent use of social media and the ability to attend the conference virtually via the Internet, to the exhibit hall flourishing with new civic startup technology companies, change was in the air.  The Code for America’s session on open source software and specifically Jim Collins’ (author of Good to Great) keynote address were inspiring to all. Jim Collins spoke about innovation, presenting the concept of “preserving the core and stimulating progress.”  The idea of preserving the core is something that I think we all do every day in our professional lives.  We try to keep the…

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Engaging with performance leaders at the ICMA’s 98th Annual Conference

Every day we hear about the struggles facing local governments, from the rising costs of delivering service to slashed sources of funding and increased citizen demands. Revelstone understands the pressures facing municipal leaders, and next week we are bringing our knowledge of performance analytics and creating government efficiencies to thousands of municipal officials at the ICMA’s 98th Annual Conference. Revelstone  shares  the ICMA’s vision of building better communities and is dedicated to helping local governments operate more efficiently while improving the services that are delivered to citizens.  As a conference exhibitor, we aim to “use the floor” to empower attendees to become performance leaders despite the tough economy and the ongoing battle to do more with less. However, to get there you have to first understand how you are performing. Often times municipal managers don’t know where to start, but with performance analytics and Revelstone Compass, managers can begin analyzing their services and costs to make strategic, data-driven changes that will improve the performance of their municipalities.  Compass represents the…

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Why Revelstone is looking forward to the Code for America Summit

As one of the seven companies selected for the Code for America Accelerator program, we’re really excited for next week’s Code for America Summit in San Francisco.  Why?  Not only will we be presenting our Compass performance analytics solution and seeing our fellow Accelerator teams like MindMixer, Captricity, Measured Voice, Aunt Bertha, LearnSprout and Recovers.org, but the overall event looks fantastic!  We look forward to networking with the many forward thinkers that will be there and learning how they are innovating in their governments. If you’re not familiar with the Summit, it’s an invitation only event for more than 200 leaders and innovators in civic technology.  An impressive twenty cities were represented at last year’s event, and more will be at this year’s event. Just some of the speakers are: Emer Coleman, Gov.UK Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco Richard Price, a fire chief Nigel Jacob, new urban mechanic Todd Park, US Chief Technology Officer Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia Anne Milgram, a former attorney general Eric Ries, entrepreneur and…

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What’s your answer to the local government squeeze?

A recent Pew Charitable Trusts report, “The Local Squeeze: Falling Revenues and Growing Demand for Services Challenge Cities, Counties and School Districts,”  local governments “have been hit with a one-two punch.” They are faced with declining revenue and demands for increased service. It’s easy to agree that municipalities have a massive challenge ahead of them. As Pew rightly states, the “local squeeze will be felt for years to come.” According to Pew: State aid, which funds nearly a third of local government budgets, fell by 2.6 percent, to $12.6 billion in 2010 In 2012, property tax revenues saw the first annual decline since the mid-1990s – and it was the largest in decades Property tax revenues fell in 2011, and are expected to continue falling in 2012 and 2013. To make matters worse, the ways many cities and towns have addressed this are unsustainable: Raising taxes Reducing spending Cutting services Eliminating jobs Eventually, there will be nothing left to cut. And citizens are never happy about having their taxes raised….

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I believe governments can operate better

Why don’t governments have the newest and coolest software and technology? I’m not sure I can answer that question, but Code for America is on a mission to change governments for the better. Have you heard of Code for America? It’s a small group of smart, talented and dedicated people with a mission to improve the experience of governments by delivering simple-to-use and beautifully designed software that helps governments operate in the 21st century. At Revelstone, we have the privilege of working with the Code for America team in the newly created Accelerator program. I’m writing this post on the plane as I fly home from our first full week in Code for America’s San Francisco offices, and I couldn’t be more energized at the prospect of helping governments become more efficient. When we started Revelstone just a couple of years back, I sat in a room with my co-founders and we envisioned a world where municipal leaders could sit at their desks, easily find their peer cities and learn…

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The Five Myths of Performance Management and Benchmarking Myth #5 – I don’t know where to begin

Performance management is not a new topic in municipal governments, yet its use is often limited to only the biggest of cities.  Through our research and working with municipalities of all sizes, we have identified The Five Myths of Performance Management that have plagued municipal leaders for decades.  At Revelstone, we are determined to help debunk these myths and demonstrate how you can start managing better with quantifiable metrics, depend less on anecdotal stories and help make data-driven decisions in your jurisdiction quickly, easily and cost effectively. Myth #5— I don’t know where to begin If you have read past blog posts here, you probably know that I spend a great deal of my time speaking with municipal leaders talking about performance management.  “I don’t know where to begin,” is probably the one phrase I hear most often, giving rise to this myth.  What I find interesting is that most municipal managers can extol the benefits of performance management: Communicating goals clearly both to the public and within the organization…

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The Five Myths of Performance Management and Benchmarking Myth #4—It’s too expensive

Performance management is not a new topic in municipal governments, yet its use is often limited to only the biggest of cities.  Through our research and working with municipalities of all sizes, we have identified The Five Myths of Performance Management that have plagued municipal leaders for decades.  At Revelstone, we are determined to help debunk these myths and demonstrate how you can start managing better with quantifiable metrics, depend less on anecdotal stories and help make data-driven decisions in your jurisdiction quickly, easily and cost effectively. Myth #4—It’s too expensive Since performance management has historically been practiced by the largest of cities with many resources, the perception is that they probably spend a lot of money on: Software with big, up front capital expenditures New hardware servers Consultants to configure the software In-depth training Endless amounts of data gathering And in the case of the biggest and richest cities, this might indeed be true.  When you add up all the time and costs that big cities have put into…

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The Five Myths of Performance Management and Benchmarking Myth #3—I don’t have the data to compare to others

Performance management is not a new topic in municipal governments, yet its use is often limited to only the biggest of cities.  Through our research and working with municipalities of all sizes, we have identified The Five Myths of Performance Management that have plagued municipal leaders for decades.  At Revelstone, we are determined to help debunk these myths and demonstrate how you can start managing better with quantifiable metrics, depend less on anecdotal stories and help make data-driven decisions in your jurisdiction quickly, easily and cost effectively. Myth #3—I don’t have the data to compare to others. How many times have you sat in staff or council meetings discussing the latest issue and wondered, “How have other towns resolved this issue?”  After all, there are nearly 40,000 municipalities in the United States and chances are that some other town has faced the same issue and resolved it successfully.  Do you pick up the phone and call the three to five surrounding towns that you normally collaborate with and hope they…

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Municipality meltdown: Is your town headed toward a financial crisis?

This article landed on the front page of the New York Times. I urge you to read it and start thinking about the actions your town should make to avoid a municipal meltdown. From California to New York, municipalities across the nation are facing a financial emergency. An emergency so extreme, that it will require officials to make difficult choices in order to avoid potential seizures from state oversight boards. These choices are not easy to make. Think about your own town and ask yourself, “Would I rather cut the police force patrolling my streets or the number of teachers in my schools?” Your answer would probably be neither, but what if you are one of the many municipalities that HAVE to make this choice? This is a harsh reality for many government officials, but the truth is municipalities didn’t get there overnight—these meltdowns have been years in the making. The economy, falling property values and rising pension costs are all factors in the equation for failing local governments. Municipalities…

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The Five Myths of Performance Management and Benchmarking: Myth #2—I can’t compare to others; I’m unique

Performance management is not a new topic in municipal governments, yet its use is often limited to only the biggest of cities.  Through our research and working with municipalities of all sizes, we have identified The Five Myths of Performance Management that have plagued municipal leaders for decades.  At Revelstone, we are determined to help debunk these myths and demonstrate how you can start managing better with quantifiable metrics, depend less on anecdotal stories and help make data-driven decisions in your jurisdiction quickly, easily and cost effectively. Myth #2—I can’t compare to others; I’m unique. You’ve heard this myth before… possibly in your own town.  “We can’t compare to other towns because we have a _____ [insert one of the following: a shopping mall, a university, a downtown district, a volunteer fire department, etc.] and the other towns near us don’t have that.”  It’s the classic apples-to-oranges comparison dilemma.  While it may be true that your neighboring towns might not have a mall or volunteer fire department like you do,…

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The Five Myths of Performance Management and Benchmarking: Myth #1—My people are too busy.

Performance management is not a new topic in municipal governments, yet its use is often limited to only the biggest of cities.  Through our research and working with municipalities of all sizes, we have identified The Five Myths of Performance Management that have plagued municipal leaders for decades.  At Revelstone, we are determined to help debunk these myths and demonstrate how you can start managing better with quantifiable metrics, depend less on anecdotal stories and help make data-driven decisions in your jurisdiction quickly, easily and cost effectively. Myth #1—My people are too busy. Municipal departments are, in fact, short-staffed and very busy.  But a common problem we see in many municipalities is that staff members sometimes do things that aren’t necessary.  How often have you dug into a problem or task to ultimately ask, “Why are we doing this?” only to hear the common answer, “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Is your staff really too busy to measure performance?  How do you decide what “too busy” really…

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The Five Myths of Performance Management and Benchmarking

Performance management is not a new topic in municipal governments.  Excellent examples of a performance-based management approach are well documented in New York City and Baltimore’s successful CompStat and CitiStat programs.  With governments struggling today to find efficiencies in their service delivery, the need for good data to base decisions on is needed more than ever.  So why haven’t smaller local governments followed suit and adopted their own performance management programs like those that have worked so successfully in larger cities? Our research has shown there are five common myths that have become so ingrained and accepted that the mere notion of a performance management program is almost automatically dismissed as impractical unless you have the budget and staff of a large city like New York City. I’m writing a five-part blog series in an effort to help debunk the five myths of performance management: I don’t have time; my people are too busy I can’t compare to others; I’m unique I don’t have the data to compare to others…

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What if they didn’t keep score at the Superbowl?

Can you imagine the Superbowl if they didn’t keep score?  What if the refs said, “Sorry, we’re too busy, we don’t have time to track the score”?  Would anyone find this acceptable?  How would we know who won the game?  How could you measure your success if the score wasn’t counted?  Let me ask you an important question about your jurisdiction—can you tell if you are delivering services well and making good decisions if you aren’t measuring the important activities and outcomes?  How often do you hear the same excuse, “Sorry, we don’t have time” from your workers when asked to measure or count performance? Someone famously said, “Football is a game of inches.”  Everything in football is measured and counted and we sports junkies track each and every stat.  The newspapers are filled with wonderful statistical analysis to slice and dice the entire game from quarterback passing yards, number of first downs, totally yards rushed, etc.  For fun, let’s imagine the Superbowl were managed the way most local government…

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“It’s easy to do nothing.”

I spend a great deal of my time speaking with leaders of local governments about improving performance of municipal operations.  This week, I was speaking with a business administrator of a small city and he acknowledged that it’s not uncommon for a town to be delivering services that could be improved or made more efficient.  What he said next, surprised me, as if exposing a dirty little secret of managers, “It’s easy to do nothing and just let it be, and that has been the strategy of many towns for the past 15 years.” Today, it’s a completely different story.  With revenue shortages and little ability to raise taxes to cover budget shortfalls, administrators must find new ways to become efficient or risk having to stop delivering a service.   I just learned of one New Jersey town that reduced garbage pickup to once a week.  As you might imagine, the residents are not happy and very concerned about the smells that will likely come, when the weather gets warm this…

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Revelstone does its part in “Creating a Community with a Common Vision”

Creating a Community with a Common Vision was the theme behind this year’s New Jersey League of Municipalities (NJLM) Annual Conference, and as a first-time exhibitor, Revelstone was excited not only to participate but also to offer a solution for local governments that tied directly into this messaging. On November 15th-17th over 10,000 attendees gathered down in Atlantic City for what is considered to be the largest gathering of public officials in New Jersey.  Over this three-day event, the NJLM hosted educational panels, clinics and workshops while commercial, government and association exhibits displayed the latest products and services for municipal government.  The Revelstone team had the opportunity to participate in these sessions, tour the exhibit floor and network with new and familiar faces. As an exhibitor, our goal was to communicate how Revelstone is helping local governments operate more efficiently.  Through our innovative performance management solution, Compass, we are enabling local governments to track their own performance data, benchmark against peers and learn from each other to improve. We believe…

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Are Extreme Cuts Coming to Your Town?

Before you read on, I invite you to first watch this video that recently aired on NBC featuring communities being forced to make extreme cuts.  It’s a “sign of the times” or so they say.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/vp/44910124#44910124 Proposing government employees bring their own toilet paper to work in an effort to save money?  That’s really extreme.  This is truly a sign of the times—a sign that governments are continuing with the struggle to do more with less, or as Brian Williams put it, “less with less.”  Have you started to consider extreme cuts that once may have seemed unthinkable?  How exactly can governments continue to deliver the same programs with the same quality of service on an extremely reduced budget?  I don’t think there is an easy answer to this question. Another controversial question is how governments are determining where to cut resources.  For the sake of citizens and the programs they depend on, one can only hope that research has gone into these decisions and towns are relying on facts…

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The 26 Mile Goal

On Sunday I completed a life-long goal and ran the New York City Marathon.  Since I was 12, I’ve always wanted to run the NYC Marathon.  When I was younger I made all kinds of excuses about not having enough time to train, however, secretly, I just couldn’t imagine that I could actually run 26 miles.  It just seemed like an unachievable goal. A few years ago, with a milestone birthday, I was struck with a simple idea—run half a marathon.  It was sheer genius!  I convinced myself that if I could run a half marathon, then I could think about trying to run a full marathon. What I later realized was that I had set a realistic goal for myself.  Not so much intentionally, but what I had done was set a long-term goal, something almost unconceivable to accomplish and then set smaller goals that were achievable to measure my progress.  First I learned to run 5 miles, then 10 miles, then half a marathon.  After a year of…

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Moneyball your Municipality

Have you seen the new movie Moneyball with Brad Pitt, or read the book of the same title by Michael Lewis?  It strikes me that there is an uncanny similarity from what the Oakland A’s faced in Major League Baseball to what local municipalities are facing in today’s challenging economic times. The central premise of Moneyball is that the collective wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts and the front office) over the past century is subjective and often flawed.  Common baseball statistics such as “stolen bases,” “runs batted in” and “batting average” have historically been used as the gospel to gauge a player’s performance and are relics of a past way of thinking.  The book/movie argues that the Oakland A’s front office took advantage of more empirical measures of player performance to field a team that could compete successfully against richer teams in Major League Baseball. Rigorous statistical analysis had demonstrated that new measures like “on-base percentage” and “slugging percentage” are better indicators of offensive success, and…

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Should You Measure for Today or Tomorrow?

A common question I hear when talking to township officials about performance management is, “What do I measure?” Deciding on what to measure involves focusing on today’s challenges and tracking areas that are in immediate need, or planning ahead and collecting information that may help you solve future problems. The choice you face is whether to concentrate on measures that address short-term issues to detect and solve today’s challenges or take a longer term approach and track measures that will help detect and solve future problems. For example, if you are having current issues with evaluating the size of your police force, you would probably want to track the following measures: Number of police calls for service Average response time for emergency calls Overtime hours Conversely, if you have increasing costs in your fire department, a common solution is to consider a shared services arrangement. You will be better prepared to make current and future decisions regarding this by tracking these measures: Number of calls responded to in your jurisdiction…

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