“Bottom Line: No state in the nation is better at developing
and sharing information than Washington.”
– Governing Magazine, “Grading the States,” 2008
As government at every level is releasing raw datasets as part of the Open Government Initiative, one of the key questions being asked is, “So what do we do with all this data and how do we leverage it for the benefit of citizens?”
Part of what makes GMAP innovative is the creation of multi-agency teams that help state agencies to prepare performance-based reports. These reports use data about agency results to support focused management discussions – in open public forums.
These reports currently focus on seven areas:
– Economic Recovery
– Economic Vitality
– Government Efficiency
– Health Care
– Vulnerable Children and Adults
Past reports have zeroed in on improvement in Environment and WorkFirst initiatives.
How does GMAP work?
– The Governor and her leadership team hold regular, public meetings where agency directors report in person on the most important management and policy challenges they face in achieving results.
What are GMAP’s Guiding Principles?
1. Engage the leader(s) at the top of the organization. GMAP stresses the personal presence of senior managers and others needed to make decisions.
2. Do not measure for measurement’s sake. To do so is a waste of resources. GMAP is a management tool, not a presentation. Effective measures require clarity on:
– what programs and services expect to influence, and
– how agencies will use measures to manage programs and get results.
3. Develop and use timely and accurate performance data to set targets and inform decisions.
4. Reward candor in identifying and diagnosing performance barriers and creativity and commitment to overcoming them. It is OK to identify missed targets. It is even more important to know why you missed targets and to have a plan to address barriers to meeting them.
5. When the data indicates needed action, quickly and clearly specify what needs to be done, who will do it, and when it will be done. Action plans should primarily focus on what can be done prior to the next performance report (typically 3-4 months away).
6. Persistent follow-up and clear accountability. Agency leadership should relentlessly follow up on commitments made in action plans. They should also monitor results over time to verify change is real and sustainable.
7. Create a continuous learning environment. Agencies should use process improvement tools to get better results.