Academic journal article The Public Manager

Performance Management in San Diego

Academic journal article The Public Manager

Performance Management in San Diego

Article excerpt

San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is a complex organization with more than three hundred discrete programs. It's organized into six geographic service delivery regions, six operating divisions, and several support divisions and provides a full range of health, behavioral health, and social services. Consequently, HHSA had no choice but to manage strategically. Here are some lessons from its performance management journey:

* Keep your approach simple and limit measures to a critical few. HHSA settled on a one-page strategy agenda with only seventeen result indicators. The strategy agenda helps it communicate internally and externally, in a very streamlined fashion, about how it serves the community.

* Do not be a slave to methods. Too often, organizations overemphasize the balanced scorecard, logic modeling, and other methods that are complex to the average person. Adapting from these methods-while keeping it as simple and intuitive as possible-to make incremental progress is best. HHSA started by simply having the executives identify the fifty most meaningful "executive performance measures" from more than seven hundred individual program measures. Only later did it work to frame a strategy. Now, HHSA can be much more sophisticated. …

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