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Top Performance Management Resources


Performance management is your key to efficient and effective local government service delivery—for the public and for internal "clients." Successful managers recognize the importance of performance management for assessing and improving operations. As the leader in local government performance management for decades, ICMA provides this selection of resources to help you use performance data to facilitate decision making and promote accountability, transparency, and top-quality services.

Think It Can't Be Measured? Think Again.

The goals established in a community's strategic plan are often difficult to quantify. How do you measure Quality of Life? Economic Vitality? Environmental Sustainability? Here are some approaches local governments have found to "measure the unmeasurable."

Monitoring Economic Development Performance

A "Best Practice" from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) suggests indicators for tracking the progress of economic development activities.

How Are You Doing? Performance Information for the Public

Reporting performance information to the public can be scary, because whatever data you collect can become grist for public records requests, disgruntled bloggers, public hearing gadflies, or local media--often looking for a scoop about "government inefficiency." Here are some tips for using scorecards, dashboards, and other visuals to help put performance data into perspective for the public.

Performance Data: Avoiding the Pitfalls

You need performance data as a starting point for assessing the quality of local government services and making improvements going forward. But pitfalls lie in wait for the unwary. Here are three common ones, along with suggestions for avoiding them.

Performance Measurement: Overcoming the “Fear Factor”

As a manager, you know you can’t find out if your organization is doing a good job unless you measure what you’re doing. But you also know that you’ll face resistance within the organization, increased workload, and the risk of discovering that you’re not performing as well as you thought. Here are tips for overcoming the performance measurement “fear factor.”

Compared to What? Using Comparative Data to Improve Services

You’ve initiated performance measurement, identified key service areas, and collected data to measure effectiveness and efficiency. So how do you know how you’re doing? Learn how comparative data can help you to answer that question.

Local Government Examples

Oklahoma City: Engaging Citizens to Improve Public Performance Reporting

Oklahoma City has gone a step beyond performance reporting by soliciting direct citizen feedback on the quality and content of the city's publication. Here's how they went about it.

Excellence in Performance Management: Clayton, Missouri

Even smaller cities can excel in performance management. See what Clayton, Missouri, did to earn a Certificate in Excellence in Performance Management from ICMA.

Kansas City: Improving Neighborhood Services Using Performance Data

Kansas City, Missouri, dramatically improved the efficiency and effectiveness of its Neighborhood Preservation Division through a combination of key indicator data analysis, updated technology, and strong leadership. Learn how they did it.

Using Performance Measurement for Effective Strategic Planning

Strategic planning can fail without staff commitment, adaptability, and the right goals for your community. Rock Hill, South Carolina, used performance measures throughout the strategic planning process. Learn what they did.

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