Since the launch of Citywide Performance Reporting by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2008, city agencies have increasingly reported to the public on program activities and outcomes. While performance measurement promises more transparent and accountable city government, it presents a number of challenges for city agencies. Nonprofit organizations, turning to performance management to evaluate and enhance their effectiveness and to be eligible for performance-based contracts and grants, are encountering many of the same issues as their public counterparts.
In response, RCLA and the management consultancy firm Accenture have launched a series of high-level meetings for public and nonprofit executives to collectively explore the application of performance measures in their sectors. The newly created Working Group on Performance Measurement and Management will focus on data-driven management in public service.
The working group builds on RCLA and Accenture's Leading Large Scale Change quarterly briefing series for senior public officials and managers. The series provides an opportunity for government leaders to learn from other agency heads and experts about navigating the myriad managerial and leadership challenges of implementing large scale change. Sessions have frequently addressed issues of performance management, including a recent forum with Chancellor Klein of the Department of Education that addressed the use of performance management in the City's efforts to improve learning in the schools. The Working Group complements these efforts by enabling participants to discuss and co-design more effective applications of performance metrics.
In the first meeting, NYU Wagner Associate Professor Dennis Smith, who is co-chairing the series with Accenture's Marc Marin, asked Working Group participants to share their experiences and interests regarding the implementation of performance measures.
Although individuals represented such diverse organizations as the New York City Department of Education, the New York City Fire Department, the nonprofit Bowery Residents Committee and the Mayor's Office of Operations, their remarks revealed several key themes that cut across differences in organizational mission and structure. Participants were especially interested in the following core aspects of performance measurement:
In addition to providing a venue for conversation on the topic of performance measurement and management, the Working Group creates the opportunity for organization leaders to connect with individuals facing similar performance measurement challenges. The series is designed so that over time, these periodic exchanges can be leveraged to develop more innovative and effective approaches to performance measurement.
For more information on the Working Group on Performance Measurement please contact Sindri McDonald, interim project associate, at Sindri.firstname.lastname@example.org
"Making Management Count: A Case for Theory - And Evidence-Based Public Management"
By NYU Wagner Associate Professor Dennis Smith
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management Summer 2009 Issue
"Strategic Performance Measurement and Management in Nonprofit Organizations"
By Robert S. Kaplan
Nonprofit Management and Leadership 11, No. 3 (Spring 2001): 353-370