Performance measurement is often defined as the process of measuring inputs and outputs. The measurement and subsequent analysis can then be used to determine an agency’s efficiency and effectiveness in achieving stated goals and outcomes.
Performance measures can provide a number of benefits to the City including:
- Supporting a better decision making process by providing managers with information pertaining to services, and programs
- Promoting transparency and accountability by equipping policy makers and citizens with information that helps inform what the City does
- Providing better and more consistent information for allocating scarce resource
The implementation of a city-wide performance measurement program was added to the City Strategic Action Plan as part of the Council’s “Fiscal and Resource Management” Focus Area. The roll-out of such a program has resulted in the creation of CITYSTAT. Along with aligning department strategic plans with the City Strategic Action Plan, CITYSTAT’s measurement of performance will become another critical link in the effective management of the organization.
In developing the program the project team used a “Statement of Service Approach” that sought answers to three basic but very important questions: What do we do? Who do we do it for? Why do we do it? This was used to develop departmental mission statements that serves as the basis for deciding on the performance indicators chosen for each department. Additionally, three subcategories were used to categorize measures:
- Customer Benefit- Focuses attention on service outcomes, a fundamentally critical component of any performance measurement program
- Strategic- Identifies activities that tie directly back to the City’s Strategic Action Plan and are used to ensure progress
- Activities/Workload- Counts units, but are often necessary to provide perspective regarding an activity, or are used to create other measures (per capita, ratios, etc.)
The CITYSTAT report includes various ways to view datasets from easy to read bar graphs, with comments about the measure, to more detailed statistics and standard deviation tables. Additionally, every measure includes a Target Status to indicate how close the measure is to meeting the established targets/estimated activity to whether the measure is there for informational purposes. These statuses are intended to serve as a starting point for data exploration but more details pertaining to the performance of the measure is embedded in the bar graphs, comments, and statistical information. The Target Status describes one of the following:
We hope you feel provided with a latitude of ways to access the information important to you in a format you find precise for your needs.
The “Target/Estimate” column represents the overall target for each measure. The target may be a monthly or annual average, an annual total, or benchmark levels. Please refer to each individual performance measure sheet for additional information regarding the target type. The “Frequency Reported” column notes the intervals at which the data is updated.
The Valley Benchmark Cities Group began in October 2011 as a consortium of staff from the largest cities and towns in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The group includes the eleven largest communities in the Valley (Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Peoria, Surprise, Avondale and Goodyear) and also includes the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and Arizona State University (ASU). The purpose of the Valley Benchmark Cities initiative is to improve local government performance in the metropolitan area by working collaboratively with designated representatives: (1) to identify common demographic, financial, and performance information; (2) to provide and discuss that information to better understand similarities and differences between complex and diverse operations; and (3) to share information, resources and best practices.