Tuesday, April 18

Be clear when reporting performance

The process for performance reporting may be rot with manual effort, costs, time and money but the end result, the monthly, quarterly or annual report, should be presented with a clear and relevant message.

Yesterday, I was given a set of principles for performance reporting used by a state level government. These principles are used as guidelines to produce quarterly/annual reports for public consumption. This guide could be used for internal publications too.

(liberties taken to protect the innocent)

Explain the organization - the why, what, who, how but also how its services are delivered and how it conducts its work. Let the public know the significance of the performance information being reported.

Link goals and results - what the organization intended to achieve and whether they are on track. Provide information where the public can make reasonable judgments about government performance.

Focus on a few critical aspects - limit the goals, objectives, and measures to a critical few that show key issues. The public will have a clear and concise picture of the performance and areas for improvement.

Link resources, strategies, and results - link financial and performance information to show how resources and strategies influence results. This leads to discussions about the choices that government makes and the impact of choices on the people it serves.

Provide comparative information - put expected future results in context by comparing past information and performance of other similar organizations or industry benchmarks. Trend information can help the audience tell whether there is improvements, deterioration, or static performance.

Present credible information - information is based on quantitative and qualitative information that should be fairly interpreted. It should be relevant and reliable, consistent and understandable.

Disclose the basis for judgements - should disclose how the information has been prepared and the limitations that apply to its use. The public will better understand how the performance report should be used.

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