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ICMA Recognizes Leadership in Performance Management

Certificates in Performance Management recognize local governments that demonstrate a commitment to collecting, using, and sharing performance data.

ARTICLE | Jul 6, 2017
Performance management certificate/plaque

ICMA is pleased to recognize 59 local governments that have earned Certificates in Performance Management for their leadership in continuous improvement and community engagement through performance management initiatives. Each year ICMA awards certificates to recognize performance management programs, encourage comparative analysis, and reward transparency.

“Performance management is a bedrock principle of professional local government management,” said ICMA Executive Director Marc A. Ott. “By recognizing these leaders, ICMA hopes to encourage others to make a commitment to collect and analyze data, report it transparently, and use it to continuously engage their communities and improve their organizations.”

The recipients are listed on the ICMA website and will be officially recognized at ICMA’s 103d Annual Conference in San Antonio/Bexar County, Texas, October 22-25, 2017, and in the October 2017 issue of Public Management (PM) magazine.

Certificates are based on established criteria and are awarded at three levels—Achievement, Distinction, and Excellence (the highest level):

  • Recipients at all levels collect and verify data to ensure reliability, train staff in performance measurement, and report data to the public through budgets, newsletters, and/or information provided to elected officials.
  • Certificates of Distinction are awarded to those who also provide comparative and benchmarking information to the public, use performance data in strategic planning and operational decision-making, and share their knowledge with other local governments through presentations, site visits, and other networking activities.
  • Certificates of Excellence go to those who, in addition, track and report key outcomes, survey residents and local government employees, incorporate data into performance dashboards or other visual communications, and foster the development of a performance culture throughout their organizations.

Applicants for the certificates submit data reports, planning documents, training manuals, and other supporting materials and make them available for ICMA to share with others. Examples from current and past recipients appear on the website; here are some from 2017:

  • Bellevue, Washington, developed a Strategic Planning Cause and Effect Map to show the factors that affect the goal of “Economic Growth & Competitiveness”: economic development, infrastructure development, community development, and workforce development.
  • Austin, Texas, designed a formal process to assess performance measures in terms of how the raw data is obtained, how performance is communicated, and what limitations or difficulties may affect the use of data in management and decision-making.
  • In “Our Progress on the Way Ahead,” Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, reported progress on the city’s 10-year strategic goals for urban attractiveness, transportation, livability, environmental and financial sustainability, and economic diversification.
  • Coral Springs, Florida, gathered feedback from local business owners and senior managers in a survey designed to identify ways to improve the quality of city services.

Criteria for the 2018 certificates will be announced in November 2017. Any local government may apply. For further information, contact Gerald Young (gyoung@icma.org).

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