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Stats System

With a “Stats” systems, department heads and representatives meet regularly with executive officials to discuss performance data and develop strategies to improve or sustain the performance of each participating department.  Meetings enable department heads, staff, and executive officials to review and analyze measurements of department performance and efficiency.  A stats system is based on the idea of holding department directors responsible for results through a regular review of performance data.  If any programs or services are not performing as expected, strategies are then developed to quickly correct any problems.  Because a stats system relies on real-time access to operational level data, and resources to develop strategies to quickly correct problems, it requires an investment in technology and commitment from executives.  

Stats systems at times are viewed as confrontational as department directors are “put on the spot” for poor performance.  This however, is not their intent.  The purpose of a stats program is to focus decision makers attention on operational level data to identify and correct unwanted trends before they become big problems.  Stats systems are most effective when operational reviews are connected with achievement of defined goals and objectives.

Example: City of Minneapolis, MN

The City of Minneapolis recently began an effort called Results Minneapolis to monitor progress toward achieving the City’s recently adopted five-year goals and 20-year vision.  Results Minneapolis is a performance measure accountability effort whereby each week a different department head stands before a review panel of city leaders to track progress and discuss strategies on key outcome measures.  The discussions are informative and constructive.  By regularly tracking performance data at “progress conferences,” city leaders can identify areas where the City is excelling, as well as opportunities for improvement, and implement management changes in a proactive manner for improved results.

Example: City of Somerville, MA

In September 2004, the Mayor of the City of Somerville began SomerStat, a performance measurement and accountability program with the goal of improving the efficient delivery of services.  The SomerStat system collects performance data from administrative systems and produces reports that are used by staff to analyze the City’s performance in regular forums attended by key decision makers.  Leaders are able to identify opportunities for improvement, and track success and failures of different strategies over time.  The meetings also provide an ongoing conversation for city leaders to discuss where the city should be headed.  

Along with SomerStat, the City also implemented a program-based budget that integrates performance data from SomerStat with financial information to develop a set of organizational priorities and goals, and allocate resources most appropriately.  Additionally, the City put in place a 311 call center that establishes a direct line to residents allowing them to provide real-time feedback on how well the city delivers its services.  Data from the 311 center are regularly studied in SomerStat meetings and integrated in the program-based budget.

Example: City of Baltimore, MD

In 2000, the City of Baltimore launched CitiStat, a statistics based performance management system to review, analyze, and improve department performance.  Participating departments attend bi-weekly or monthly CitiStat meetings and present performance data to a panel composed of the Mayor or Deputy Mayor and city executives from other departments.  While these departments attend CitiStat meetings with the city's executives, the departments also hold meetings internally to compile, review, and analyze performance data from divisions within the departments before attending CitiStat meetings.

The CitiStat system includes CitiTrack, a 3-1-1 CRM system which is the single point-of-communication to provide work order management, and feeds into the CitiStat process and department databases.  Through this program, the City of Baltimore claims to have realized over $70 million in savings since CitiStat's inception due to reduced overtime costs, elimination and reduction of programs, generation of new revenues, and increased efficiency.

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From Innovative Performance Management in Multnomah County: MultStat Concept paper, Matt Nice, November 2006