Anatomy of a Priority-Driven Budget Process

Shayne C. Kavanagh
Jon Johnson
Chris Fabian

Governments have traditionally used incremental budgeting, but priority-driven budgeting provides a more strategic alternative. Priority-driven budgeting allocates resources according to how well a program or service achieves the goals and objective that the community values most. This paper explains the eight major steps of priority-driven budgeting: identify the resources available for budgeting; identify priorities in terms of measurable results that have been agreed upon by stakeholders; define priority results precisely; prepare programs for evaluation; score those programs against priority results; compare the scores; allocate resources; and hold employees accountable for producing the results they promised.