Theme: Reality Focused, Results Driven
In April 2009, Scottsdale’s city manager committed to restart the city’s organizational performance management program. In October of that same year, the city’s Executive Team approved the proposed Performance Management framework and created a Performance Management Team. The initiative spans the organization to measure, analyze and report on the performance of the services provided by the city (https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/performance). Based on best practice research, the team has defined performance management as an “ongoing, systematic approach intended to improve accountability and results through integrating objective performance measures with decision-making processes.”
The initiative and key activities follow the four-step cycle in the Performance Management Process:
Plan – Defining Results – Strategic Planning
Do – Achieving Results – Performance Measures
Review – Assessing Results – Low-cost evaluation, Surveys, Benchmarking and Reporting
Revise – Improving Results – Process Improvement and Goal-Setting
Below is a sampling of efforts to improve the program on an ongoing basis:
2010: Scottsdale started issuing citizen-friendly annual reports, a four-page snapshot intended to give citizens a better understanding of their government and provide a more meaningful debate about fiscal priorities, performance results and future challenges.
2012: Standard training in performance management was developed for employees and hundreds of city employees have participated in continuously improved training courses.
2013: A workshop with the City Council was held to identify a mission statement and identify Council priorities for the Organization Strategic Plan. A quarterly report is issued documenting progress towards meeting these six goals.
2016: Scottsdale joined the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative and started conducting low-cost evaluations and developing an open data program.
2018: Scottsdale was one of five cities recognized on the What Works Cities Certification Honor Roll.
The program has improved the boundaries of ordinary governmental operations by creating collaborative communities, both internally and regionally, to spur performance management innovation, conversation and connection.