Use and The Effects of Using Performance Measures for Budgeting Management and Reporting

Diane Artrip
Performance measurements are nothing new to the city of Phoenix. The city began its shift to using outcome-oriented measures in the early 1990s. It was a slow-moving process that took more than five years to implement in every department. In fact, as many interviewees told us, the process is never finished. There continue to be new efforts to improve measurements. Phoenix took a very different approach from that of many other governments. There was no ordinance or law drafted to force the use of measures, no official office created to develop and monitor measures, and no specific timeline set for implementation. When talking about the performance measurement focus in the city, one interviewee said, “I would not call it a system . . . intent was to focus folks away from activities, and focus on why we do things, not what we do.” Instead, the city strived to make outcome measurements a part of their culture. One of the city’s “Visions & Values” that staff live by is even built around this notion. It simply states, “We focus on results.” The city of Phoenix credits its success in measurements to citizen input. Management found that the key to a measurement’s being useful is that it needs to measure what is important to the citizens. Departments saw citizen input as important, so they focused on measuring satisfaction and improving services. They also saw the importance of communicating the outcome of the measures back to citizens. Strides have been made in this area, but the city continues to develop new ways to communicate with citizens. This case study gives many examples of how performance measures have improved services and how they have been successfully implemented. It also discusses lessons learned over the years that others can learn from. As a pioneer in the public sector in the area of performance measures, the city is always willing to share its trials as well as successes.
Access through the Cases and Simulations Portal from Rutgers SPAA
Copyright © 2018, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights reserved.