In keeping with Neubrain Holiday tradition, here is another gift of visualization best practice.
During the course of working with various organizations that have deployed performance dashboards we have discovered 4 major success factors to implementing them successfully: (1) proper sponsorship and adequate resources for the project; (2) creating the right metrics and standardizing their meaning; (3) designing a compelling user interface and the proper technical infrastructure to manage the metrics collection and analysis processes; and (4) planning ahead to ensure end-user adoption and managing organizational change.
In this blog we would like to briefly address the second factor: creating the right metrics and standardizing their meaning. Organizations should invest the time towards developing a well-rationalized, well-balanced set of leading indicators and operational metrics aligned with their strategic objectives and priorities. This step is crucial when implementing a sound performance management capability. Here are a few tips on how to start:
Large and complex organizations maintain a strategic focus on processes and systems to manage their workforce. Despite being one of the largest expenditure items, workforce expenditures are typically neglected and left to finance to manage with a complex set of spreadsheets. Oftentimes there is not enough collaboration between HR and finance groups, leaving a huge disconnect between people and dollars.
The United States is a country with a mature and educated digital population, where citizens constantly question whether their tax dollars are being put to good use. It’s no surprise, then, that they want to collaborate with their government on designing future public services.
Citizens want a clear and stable vision of the government services available to them. One way to provide that is through transparency in financial and performance reporting. Sharing formulated strategy, implementation progress and performance results help taxpayers understand how strategic or priority goals translate into dollars, so they can see how their money makes a difference. But citizens are not the only beneficiaries in this scenario. Transparency forces government administrators to run operations more efficiently. Fostering citizen engagement through data sharing helps government officials better understand the priorities of individuals and communities.
Now that we know what sharing can provide to citizens and government workers alike, the next step is determining what information to share. Here are some ideas:
Traditional line-item, or black box, budgeting that explains year-over-year incremental changes has resulted in diminished credibility and left more citizens questioning whether taxpayer dollars are being put to good work. Consequently, this type of budgeting is fast becoming a relic, giving way to a new, more strategic approach of budgeting called Performance-based Budgeting (PBB) and its variants - priority-based budgeting and budgeting for outcomes.
Government mandates to be more transparent have gone a long way to make information more available to the public, but posting raw data on a website doesn’t automatically make it accessible or digestible. Agencies still need to present the information – often about budget and performance – in ways that make immediate sense to average citizens. Sharing formulated strategy, implementation progress and performance results help taxpayers understand how strategic goals translate into dollars, so they can see how their money makes a difference.
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