Government Performance Summit Provides Insight on Future of Management Policy

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The Performance Institute Summit Discusses the Art of Performance Management and Creates Debate

The Government Performance Summit 2013 (GPS) continued to expose attendees to cutting edge techniques used to understand government performance and achieve maximum agency and program performance. Day 2 provided GPS participants with a duel perspective of the more artistic traditional approach to government performance management and how it relates to the more data-driven model.

Dr. Robert Behn, Lecturer at Harvard University provided his expertise on performance and the next steps in government management. After over 20 years in the industry, Dr. Behn was able to share his insights regarding the future of government management, using anecdotal evidence and scientific data. Dr. Behn shared his thoughts on how PerformanceStat has affected government performance. The PerformanceStat leadership strategy combines traditional methodologies and more modern concepts, to motivate individuals and teams to produce results. “By analyzing very current performance data the leadership team can discern and highlight the performance deficit that the organization needs to eliminate to mitigate,” stated Dr. Behn. To complement the data, Dr. Behn, encouraged, “a relationship between the leadership of the people that are charged with running the organization and the impact it has on everybody that works there.”

Strategic Objective Annual Review (strategic reviews) as management policy is currently being developed and shaped by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Mark Bussow, Performance Team Lead for OMB, shared the policy under development for the strategic reviews. These strategic reviews will be conducted internally by agencies, using various sources of evidence, and create a framework for the analysis of Strategic Objectives and determine improvement actions.

According to Bussow, Strategic Reviews are designed, “to act as a scan that says, what did I learn over the last year and what are the implications? These are meant to incentivize organizations to support a culture focused on learning and improving performance,” stated Bussow. OMB will be asking agencies to identify those objectives with “Noteworthy Progress/Significant Challenges.” The strategic reviews will facilitate the internal decision making within each agency and will also act as the formal process used to inform budget discussions and strategic decisions with OMB.

A lively panel discussion featuring thought leaders in the traditional artistic aspect and the more modern Data-Driven Government model debated the merits of each approach to Performance Management. Panelists included Jon Desenberg, Policy Director, The Performance Institute who positioned, “There is no strategy in performance there is executing against your strategy.” While John Kamensky, with the IBM Center for the Business of Government challenged agencies to, “think creatively as the blend of Art and Science.” Other Panelists, Brenna Isman, Project Director for the National Academy of Public Administration and Kathy Newcomer, Director, George Washington University Trachtenberg School shared thoughts on expectations of leadership and the future of improving performance.

Speaker, Bethany Blakey of the Performance Improvement Council unveiled the Peformance Learning Center website designed to enhance the future of performance management for Federal employees.

As more information is collected, researchers can continue to gain insight into the field of Performance Management. Executive Director, Ted Kniker of The Performance Institute concluded the general sessions at GPS by challenging individuals to consider, “the art and science of implementing and managing performance is about creating learning and trust, and then building that culture within an organization "
About the Government Performance Summit
Since 2000, GPS has brought together federal management employees to offer insights and share knowledge on the latest trends in performance management and policy.

About The Performance Institute
The Performance Institute is a nonpartisan, private think tank seeking to improve public and private sector performance through the principles of transparency, accountability, performance and engagement.
Through our best practice research and strategic consulting services, interactive training programs for government and private sector managers, and our national conferences on pressing issues, The Performance Institute provides cutting edge expertise in the design, implementation and evaluation of strategies to solve operational and managerial challenges and enhance organizational performance.

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Samantha Nielsen
The Performance Institute
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