2020 State Standard of Excellence
2. Performance Management / Continuous Improvement
Did the state or any of its agencies implement a performance management system aligned with its statewide strategic goals, with clear and prioritized outcome-focused goals, program objectives, and measures; and did it consistently collect, analyze, and use data and evidence to improve outcomes, return on investment, and other indicators of performance?
Performance management helps state governments monitor and improve customer service, program performance, and outcomes for their residents.
In response to COVID-19, the state built a comprehensive public data dashboard that tracks health and economic data, including response data on hospital capacity, critical care supplies, child care, and funding. The dashboard also tracks the disparate impacts of the virus on communities of color to enhance collaboration with stakeholders and “eliminate systemic barriers so communities of color and indigenous communities can recover with dignity and resiliency.” Such a collaboration includes an ongoing partnership with J-PAL North America that is leveraging the data to identify how to increase take up of COVID-19 testing in Black and Latinx communities based on local needs and preferences.
California’s Department of Health Care Services has a performance dashboard initiative that aggregates enrollment, client demographic, access, and coverage data. The information is also available on the California Health and Human Services Open Data Portal. The state’s Department of Social Services uses the Cal-OAR system to continuously improve county-based CalWORKs programs by collecting, analyzing, and disseminating outcomes and best practices. The California Department of Education’s California School Dashboard documents state and local education performance. The state indicators include: academic information, English learner progress, chronic absenteeism, graduation rate, suspension rate, and college/career readiness.
A 2013 Colorado law required all state agencies to submit annual performance reports to the Colorado state legislature, which must include: (1) performance measures for the major functions of the department; (2) performance goals for at least the subsequent three years; (3) a description of the strategies necessary to achieve those goals; and (4) a summary of the department’s most recent performance evaluation. In 2019, the Governor asked agencies to identify Wildly Important Goals that roll-up to the statewide Bold Four goals and to align their operations to achieve those goals. Reported monthly on the Governor’s dashboard, these goals are aligned to the state’s budget and are coordinated by inter-agency working groups.
In 2019, the Governor of Connecticut announced a Performance and Results Agenda, which included linking data to generate cost-savings, cross-agency collaboration, and streamlining digital services. In addition, the Department of Public Health has a performance management system, which tracks the state’s COVID-19 indicators as well as measures for the Healthy Connecticut 2020 State Health Improvement Plan.
A 2014 Florida law created the Florida Department of Children and Families’ results-oriented accountability program. This program monitors data from service providers and other entities to report progress via a public child welfare performance dashboard. In addition, the Department publishes interactive scorecards with detailed information on program performance for: community-based care, federal child welfare indicators, child protective investigations, and adult protective services. Pursuant to the law, the Office of Child Welfare publishes an annual performance report.
The Illinois Budgeting for Results Commission is the state’s performance-based budgeting initiative. The Commission’s annual report summarizes the state’s performance improvement efforts across seven statewide results areas: education, economic development, public safety, human services, healthcare, environment and culture, and government services.
As required by a 2013 Maryland law, the Maryland Department of Budget and Management’s Managing for Results initiative publishes annual performance reports as part of the state’s budget process. These reports track agencies’ key goals, objectives, and performance measures. The Maryland Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement, established by a 2015 executive order, assists “agencies with measuring and managing performance information” to support the state’s efforts. Further, the Maryland Children’s Cabinet maintains a Child Welfare Scorecard, which tracks indicators for eight statewide child welfare goals.
Massachusetts’ data-driven performance initiative is designed to improve constituent-facing services by publicly posting annual performance reports with specific targets and progress metrics. Additionally, the state’s COVID-19 Response Reporting platform provides daily and cumulative updates on cases, testing, hospitalizations, weekly reports on care capacity, and cases by city and town. The dashboard’s raw data is downloadable and has been used to inform state decision-making.
The Missouri Chief Operating Officer, a position established in 2017, works with all state departments to define strategic priorities and achieve results. Departments represent their priorities and main strategic initiatives on “placemats” that are shared throughout the organization and with the public. All Missouri departments publish annual performance data on core programs as part of the annual budget process. Missouri also established in 2019 a cross-department Operational Excellence community to build a network of Lean Six Sigma practitioners to drive improvements across 16 executive departments.
The New Jersey Governor’s Performance Center publicly posts key performance indicators for each department and tracks department operations.
Since 1999, a New Mexico law required all state agencies to submit annual performance-based budget requests, which include: (1) the outputs and outcomes for each program; (2) performance measures and targets for each program; and (3) an evaluation of each program’s performance. This information is released annually in the state’s policy and fiscal analysis, which shares individual agency performance reports and information on the cost effectiveness of different programs.
A 2016 Oregon law required all state agencies to develop and use performance measures. Each state agency submits an Annual Performance Progress Report to the Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office detailing agencies programmatic outcomes and performance measures, which are reviewed during the state’s budget process.
The Oregon Department of Education has established a continuous improvement program for school districts to monitor program success and evaluate current services to ensure students are receiving the best possible education. The framework ties together strategic planning, needs assessments, and monitoring and feedback loops to “support ambitious, priority-driven action plans where routine collaboration and decision-making among district leaders is reflected throughout implementation.” The continuous improvement processes relate the Department’s broader Oregon Integrated Systems Framework to support inclusive policy and practice, including the use of evidence-based education programs.
In 2016, Rhode Island’s Governor launched the state’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force Action Plan, which was updated in 2019, and set statewide goals to save lives by preventing drug abuse and overdose. The Task Force publishes dashboards tracking progress on the state’s overdose prevention goals.
Tennessee’s Governmental Accountability Act of 2013 established a statewide performance management system, Transparent Tennessee. The Office of Customer Focused Government and the state’s Chief Operating Officer continuously track and monitor performance data and report publicly available operational performance on Transparent Tennessee’s dashboards, which include specific goals, targets, and performance data for each of the state’s strategic priorities. The site also includes state fiscal data as well as OpenMaps, which showcases key metrics and an interactive budget tool.
In March 2020, Utah’s Governor released Utah Leads Together, a dynamic, data-informed, and unified plan for Utah’s health and economic response to COVID-19. The plan conveys three phases of response accompanied by specific, measurable goals, with strategies and tactics to achieve them. The Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget oversees the project management structure, creation of a dashboard, and dynamic modeling to monitor daily progress towards the transmission rate goal and other key indicators.
The Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget uses a standard performance management framework across all cabinet agencies, which is also used to inform the state’s performance-budgeting. Agencies have embedded operational excellence specialists who report directly to agency leadership, assist in the routine reporting of performance data, and pursue operational projects to improve outcomes. Training on continuous improvement is offered in workshops and at the annual Utah Ops Conference to state personnel.
Vermont measures progress towards the goals of its five-year strategic plan, established by a 2017 Vermont executive order, through dashboards that track progress on the economy, affordability, vulnerability, and modernization. As required by a 2014 law and a related executive order, the Office of the Chief Performance Officer also publishes annual Programmatic Performance Measure Budget Reports and annual Outcomes & Indicators Reports aimed at integrating strategic planning, performance management, and budgeting.
A 2013 Washington State Executive Order established Results Washington to strengthen performance management and continuous improvement throughout Washington state government. From 2014 to early 2020, Results Washington conducted Results Review meetings with the Governor 10 times per year. The meetings, recorded and publicly posted, allowed the Governor and state agency directors to discuss objectives, improvement strategies, and metrics. Results Washington is currently refocusing its efforts toward a new Public Performance Review process. This new process creates the opportunity to better partner with state agencies on complex, cross-enterprise projects. The state’s is to develop an approach that fosters partnership and focuses on the outcomes that matter to state agencies, the Governor, and ultimately the state of Washington.