Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured, gets done.” If you don’t measure results, you can’t tell success from failure, and if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage or improve it. What eludes most local governments is how to create performance management systems that align measures with what they are trying to accomplish:
- How well are we doing?
- Are we meeting our goals?
- Are our citizens and stakeholders satisfied?
- What improvements or changes are necessary?
So how do you get started? It doesn’t have to be a daunting task! Successful performance management systems adhere to the following guiding principles:
- Appoint a champion. Leadership is critical in designing and deploying effective performance management systems.
- Identify the key activities and outcomes to measure. Revelstone’s Compass makes it simple by providing a library of more than 500 key metrics to choose from.
- Involve the people who are responsible for the work to be measured and give them a sense of ownership.
- Establish accountability for results that is clearly assigned and well-understood.
- Establish performance goals, standards and benchmarks.
- Measure only what is important and focus on metrics that impact citizen and stakeholder satisfaction.
- Measure outcomes and compare results to gather actionable information.
- Centralize your data in one easy-to-use and readily accessible repository to house all the data you will collect and report on. Revelstone’s Compass is an intuitive and low cost web-based performance management system.
- Meet on a regular basis. Holding regular meetings with department managers enables open dialogue and a review process to ensure you are meeting goals.
- Communicate results and progress toward goals with employees, citizens and stakeholders on a regular basis.
Once you start measuring, you can manage better, make smarter decisions and strengthen accountability to citizens—leading to overall improvements in your community. With a management system in place, you can answer these questions:
- Are department managers meeting their service delivery goals?
- Are we as efficient as other comparable towns?
- Are we meeting citizen’s expectations?
- Where can we reduce costs and increase revenues?