Monthly Archives: April 2012

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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Is service efficiency in the “eye of the beholder”?

Efficiency is a major component of municipal performance management, but deciding exactly what to measure isn’t always so straightforward.  A good example of this challenge is with recurring maintenance, such as mowing of parks and fields.  You have to deal with factors such as frequency and level of quality desired for things like manicured fields or golf courses.  Balancing efficiency versus desired outcomes is not the only challenge.  Let’s explore this issue further. Many performance management systems use the cost per acre to be mowed as the measure of efficiency.  Town A spends $50,000 a year mowing five acres of fields and they mow them about 40 times.  Town B, which just cut its recreation budget, now spends only $20,000 on its five acres, but they did that by letting the fields get a bit shaggy before mowing (which resulted in only 10 mowings a year). Using the example above, Town A spends $10,000 per acre and Towns B spends only $4,000 per acre to be mowed.  When this comes…

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