Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More from the Performance Management Conference

I gave you a quick update on the Fourth Annual Performance Management Conference in Seattle last week, and a link to the AGA blog where they are providing information on the sessions.

Now there's more information, courtesy of the Perspectives on Performance Newsletter from the AGA. I thought you might be interested in these reports -- see their write-up after the break.

Getting Started: Two Experts Offer Advice at Performance Management Conference

Preparing a performance report for the first time is no easy task, but two professionals who coordinated those efforts shared their experiences--the good and the bad--and offered tips during AGA's Performance Management Conference in Seattle last week.

Rebekah Stephens, Planning and Performance Coordinator for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, TN, said the Metro government, which has a budget of $1.58 billion and covers 56 departments, had not done a performance report in 30 years when the job was taken up again amid citizens' demands for greater accountability and transparency in government. (
Read the 1976 report.)

Step one, she said, was to examine the award-winning reports under AGA's Certificate of Achievement in Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting, including reports published by the cities of Des Moines and Portland, OR, and the reports done in King County, WA. All mayoral departments implemented a comprehensive "managing for results" system. The Metro government team also considered its audience, and concluded that the report should be citizen-oriented.

"Brevity is the key," she said. "Citizens do not want to read through reams and reams of data to get to the point."
Read more, including insights from Sharon Daboin from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Top Minds in Performance Management Brought to PDC

Did you miss the Performance Management Conference this year? Not only was the weather gorgeous in Seattle (sunny and 65 degrees), but we had a wonderful cadre of speakers including
Ron Sims, King County Executive, King County, WA, and Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag, (left) representing state and local governments.

A conference highlight was the presentation from
Paul Posner, Director of the Public Administration Program at George Mason University and Harry Hatry, (left) Director of the Public Management Program at the Urban Institute. Both gentlemen spoke about their years in cultivating performance management and reporting for governments.

Robert Attmore, GASB Chairman, and Robert Shea of Grant Thornton LLP, former Associate Director of Administration and Government Performance, Office of Management and Budget, each gave an overview of, and insights into state/local and federal government performance reporting. Shea offered his thoughts on what the next administration's performance management initiatives might be.

Attending were 150 dedicated and passionate attendees from federal, state and local governments who believe in promoting government performance management and reporting. Our presentations covered the gamut of best practices, benchmarking, activity-based costing, getting started and sustaining a performance management system.

If you missed the conference, contact
Evie Barry for information on the conference sessions. As one conference attendee noted, "This is only performance conference that talks about performance reporting in detail." Stay tuned for more details about next year's event.


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