Performance Management

Performance management in the public sector is an ongoing, systematic approach to improving results through evidence-based decision making, continuous organizational learning, and a focus on accountability for performance. Performance management is integrated into all aspects of an organization’s management and policy-making processes,

transforming an organization’s practices so it is focused on achieving improved results for the public.

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Performance management comprises the concerted actions an organization takes to apply objective information to management and policy making in order to improve results.1 Performance management uses evidence from measurement to support governmental planning, funding, and operations. Better information enables elected officials and managers to recognize success, identify problem areas, and respond with

appropriate actions – to learn from experience and apply that knowledge to better serve the public.

GFOA has developed a number of resources to assist governments with performance management and offers consulting services, training seminars, and networking opportunities for governments and practitioners looking to improve.   Our approach to performance management is based on our ongoing research efforts to identify best practices and learn from past experiences in the public sector to develop a system that provides relevant data to decision makers to be effective.  When this occurs, performance management is a powerful tool to help the organization meet established targets, become more responsible to changing conditions and priorities, and communicate more effectively to be more transparent and accountable.

GFOA’s Research and Consulting Center is available to conduct training, coaching, or lead engagements with individual organizations to help plan for performance management, identify measures, develop processes that use measures for decisions making, and ultimately improve the overall capability of an organization to take advantage of a performance based approach to planning, budgeting, and management.  For more information on GFOA’s research and consulting center, visit

National Performance Management Advisory Commission:
The National Performance Management Advisory Commission, a joint effort of 11 leading state and local public interest associations developed a framework to help state, provincial, and local governments to continually improve the results they provide to the public through performance management.

The framework identifies seven performance management principles and describes how incorporating these principles PM Framework Cover Image into governmental processes and decision making in planning, budgeting, management, and evaluation can lead to learning and improvement, enhanced accountability, and, ultimately, better results for the public.
The framework was issued after two years of research by the Commission and a four-month public review period.  The report provides a model for public sector performance management, describes performance management concepts and practices, outlines the benefits of performance management, offers guidelines for governments to use in implementing performance management systems, and presents case studies from governments that practice performance management.

The final report from the Commission is available for download at  

For more information on GFOA’s performance management efforts, to ask questions, or to inquire on how GFOA can assist your government with performance management, please contact  Mike Mucha.

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