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In today's economy, the adage "you can't evaluate what you don't measure" is truer than ever. For nearly eight years, the City of Olathe has been developing and refining a performance measurement system that tracks the effectiveness and value of various city programs. In essence, it measures program results and impacts against the cost of providing them. It has become an invaluable tool to ensure limited resources are being used as effectively and efficiently as possible, and it provides the public with a dashboard to understand and track city programs.
This effort has been recognized as one of the premier programs in the country as Olathe is 1 of only 14 local governments in America to be awarded the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) Center for Performance Measurement (CPM) "Certificate of Excellence", the highest level of achievement. According to ICMA, the achievement sets the standard in managing performance. Criteria for the Certificate of Excellence include:
According to City Manager Michael Wilkes, this award speaks to the culture of the City's organization. He said, "We are driven to work better and smarter each and every day." "The City Council has made that a priority....providing the best city services even in the face of the challenging economy and beyond," he stated.
Measuring performance has become critical to City operations and projects. Performance measurement has been incorporated into its 5-year business planning and budgeting process to meet community and organizational objectives and target resources to drive success.
Business planning and performance measurement transform the City's annual budget into an actionable document and shift the focus from dollars to results. Ultimately a good performance measurement program works to communicate trust and accountability to citizens, answering the questions of where are resources being spent, what are the services being provided, and what results are being achieved.