“Performance” in the FY 2011 Budget

Given what we have learned from experience and careful research, the performance management approach the Obama Administration lays out in the Analytic Perspectives section of the FY 2011 budget is very promising and represents a more aggressive, more coherent, and more comprehensive approach than that of past Administrations.   We know that when leaders focus on a few priority goals, we see tremendous performance improvement on those goals.   We are also learning (in fact, there is an interesting note on this in the most recent issue of the Harvard Business Review) that a sense of progress is the greatest employee motivator.

So, I am very hopeful about the Administration’s decision to emphasize ownership of the goals by agency leaders and to report performance trends, not the percentage of targets met and program PART rating done on a five-year cycle.  The Obama approach is likely to be more effective at engaging the Federal workforce, improving performance, and making government more accountable to the public.

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