Rise of Centralized Mechanistic Decisionmaking

Professor Bhide notes that managers recognize the need for balance between centralized command-and-control and individual initiative and judgment.  But he observes that in recent times “a new form of centralized control has taken root – one that is the work not of old-fashioned autocrats, committees, or rule books but of statistical models and algorithms.” 

Finally, a Name!

The six initiatives were announced back in July with little fanfare, but today’s memo provides high level visibility and press that “review our approach to performance management, detail our strategies and key initiatives, and describe the early progress we have achieved.” 

UK Public Service Agreements

Volumes have been written on how to develop performance measures and targets.  However, comparatively little has been written on how to use measures to monitor or manage.  In the U.S., there have been efforts via the Clinton-era Presidential Performance Agreements

Delivering over one billion gallons of quality drinking water daily to over 8 million NYC residents

How does NYC DEP protect the environmental health, welfare and natural resources of the City and its residents?

What does it take to deliver over one billion gallons of quality drinking water daily to over 8 million residents?

How is NYC greening its operations and making them more sustainable?

What steps are being taken to maintain NYC's water system for the next hundred years?


Re-Thinking Performance Metrics in Federal Agencies

In a Federal News Radio conversation with reporter Francis Rose and two other guests – Robert Shea, a former OMB executive, and Jon Desenberg, with the Performance Institute – we talked about the Obama Administration’s performance initiatives to date, and the potential implications for agency efforts to measure performance.

Friday Round-Up, August 6

Privacy vs. Transparency?

Four items have caught my attention this week, spurred by this post on GovLoop, "Internet: Defining privacy in a public space

Eliminating Government Program Duplication and Overlap

A recent survey by the left-leaning Center for American Progress find that most Americans lack confidence in government and one of the leading factors is that three-quarters feel that government agencies duplica

An Agenda of Key Reforms

The Obama Administration’s favorite think tank, the Center for American Progress, launched a “Doing What Works” initiative earlier this year.  The staff pulled together a 16-point plan, which was recently the focus of an opinion poll survey.  The highest rated item: “Require every federal agency to set clear goals

Beach Reading for Performance Wonks

A newly-released book by a trio of authors, Performance Management in the Public Sector, (available August 2nd) takes a strategic and theory-based look at performance approaches. The authors – Wouter Van Dooren, Geert Bouckaert, and John Halligan – are well-known academics in the field from Belgium and Australia. Their book provides useful context for people new to the field

Should We Create a Performance Management Framework?

OMB last month released a memo on its next steps on improving agency performance.  Rather than defining a government-wide, all-encompassing framework, it focuses on defining a framework for agency “high priority performance goals” and tra