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, is your town really that unique?

Imagine you are a town with a university.  The reason you’re not comparing to the more than 2,500 towns across the United States with an accredited university is because your managers don’t have relationships or data from those towns.  In the past, when thinking about performing comparisons, towns have looked only to their neighbors and found that not all towns are created equally and service delivery methods vary widely.

At Revelstone, we’ve resolved the apples-to-oranges comparison issue with the concept of “service profiles.”  Service profiles are based on over 60 different attributes that address unique features or service delivery methods to identify “peer” towns—towns just like yours.  You can create self-selected benchmarks filters based on the service profile such as:

  • Towns with populations 10,000 – 20,000 and  a volunteer fire department
  • Towns with a shopping mall, downtown district and daytime population of 50,000 – 75,000
  • Suburban towns with a hospital
  • Towns that provide trash pick-up twice a week with 1,000 – 3,000 collection stops

Service profiles help bust the “I can’t compare to others; I’m unique” myth wide open by enabling you to easily find your peers so you can start comparing apples to apples.

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How do you like them apples?  Add a comment and share your view.

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