Talking About Performance (Without Complicating It)
Sports are a world of measurement. Let’s take a sport like basketball. Suppose I tell you a player averages 15 points per game. Is that a good player? A bad player? A great player? A good coach would know that based on this limited information it would be impossible to answer that question with any certainty. Basketball is about more than just scoring. Players can block shots, rebound missed shots, steal the ball and assist others in scoring. So, now what if I told you the player averages 15 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals per game. Is that a good player? A bad player? A great player? A good coach would still realize that these statics only measure certain aspects of effectiveness. To truly assess this player you still need more information. How many shots did they take? How many minutes did they play? How many possessions did their team have during the game? A good coach wants to know how the player made use of their resources. The business of government is no exception. Performance measurement allows policymakers, managers, and citizens to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of government services.
The Johns Hopkins University Center for Government Excellence has created this short video to help governments get focus on the substance of performance measurement. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa3gtv7TRxk