“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” - Alexander Graham Bell
Successful city governments have a defined set of key measurements to be tracked as a way to measure the progress an organization is making towards accomplishing the objectives defined in the strategic plan. The development of SMART goals will include a key result indicator (KRI) which is measured by various key performance indicators (KPIs). Goals seek to improve how an organization is performing in various dimensions which support the overall mission and vision of the organization. The implementation of a program to track specific types of performance measures can be a difficult endeavor, requiring a significant investment of time and energy. This article will discuss seven success factors for performance measures you can leverage to make easier your development of, “What Should be Tracked in Government?”
The Seven Success Factors
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” - H. Ford
1. AlignedPerformance measurements are meaningful when they are aligned and support the overall mission of the organization as defined by the strategic plan. Without alignment, the best strategic plan will never be fully achieved because organizational alignment is the glue that makes strategy execution excellence happen. Alignment can be achieved by carefully evaluating the connections between mission, values, guiding principles, goals and objectives.
2. Significant ImpactA quality KPI cannot be neutral, it must indicate something about the organization. The indicator will have the ability to demonstrate positive and negative impact so the necessary adjustments in strategy can be made quickly.
3. Positive ImpactA KRI is the measure of goal success and as such should have a meaningful and positive impact upon the organization. There are many available KPIs which could be selected, but the organization must exercise focus and discipline to select only those KPIs that can be logically connected to fulfillment of the organizational mission.
4. ResponsibilitySuccessful teams and individuals are goal oriented and thrive on being accountable for results. A team and ultimately a person must be made accountable for the outcome of the goal, action steps, results and indicators.
5. UnderstoodGoals created using the SMART format will naturally provide the proper levels of definition for broad understanding. To ensure success of the KPI it should be thoroughly defined and discussed, so those responsible for the KPI understand the importance of the measurements and connection to the organizational mission. Increased levels of accountability and contribution are created when an individual fully understands how their actions help the organization.
6. Measured RoutinelyThe KPI type and importance will determine the frequency it should be reported. Development of a scorecard or dashboard will make the measurement visible to those responsible for the KPI. A weekly rather than monthly review of the KPIs will provide an opportunity for an agile organization to make adjustments in resources to ensure success.
Leaders at every level of the organization must endorse the chosen KPIs as significantly important and aligned to the mission. Enforcement of the KPIs by leaders is naturally done when a developed scorecard is reviewed and discussed routinely and openly. The discussion around results and indicators will allow leaders to understand the issues, participate in problem solving and ensure the organization has the necessary resources to move forward.
“Action is the foundational key to all success” - Pablo Picasso
With an understanding of the key success factors, you are now equipped to build a performance measurement program which supports your strategic plan. Many organizations have found that an investment in technology such as government software is essential to automating the collection of data such as applications, service requests, building permits, and code violations. Having a software reporting system in place which can routinely translate the collected data into useful measures and metrics will result in high levels of effectiveness and efficiency. MyGov would enjoy the opportunity to learn more about you and help you to implement a solution for “What Should be Tracked in City Government.”