2018 State Standard of Excellence

2. Performance Management / Continuous Improvement

Did the state or any of its agencies implement a performance management system aligned with their statewide strategic goals; with clear and prioritized outcome-focused goals, program objectives, and measures; and did it consistently collect, analyze, and use data and evidence to improve outcomes, return on investment, and other dimensions of performance?

Why is this important?
Performance management systems are important tools to help state governments monitor and improve customer service, program performance, and outcomes for their residents.

Leading Example

Tennessee Outline



Tennessee’s data and performance website, Transparent TN, has statewide performance dashboards with specific sub-goals, targets, and performance data. The site also includes fiscal data related to agency’s programmatic spending and other expenditures. The site also publicizes strategic goals in the areas of education and workforce development; fiscal strength and efficient government; health and welfare; jobs and economic development; and public safety.

Promising Examples


Single agency

The California Correctional Health Services Agency releases a monthly Health Care Services Dashboard performance report which compiles key metrics for health services across the state’s correctional facilities. The California Department of Transportation releases quarterly performance reports which track performance against statewide transportation goals.



A 2013 Colorado law requires all Colorado state agencies to submit annual performance reports to the Colorado state legislature which include (1) performance measures for the major functions of the department; (2) performance goals for at least the following three years; (3) a description of the strategies necessary to reach the goals; and (4) a summary of the department’s most recent performance evaluation.


Single agency

A 2014 Florida law created the Florida Department of Children and Families child welfare results-oriented accountability program that monitors data from service providers and other entities to report progress via a public child welfare performance dashboard. In addition, the department publishes interactive scorecards with detailed information on program performance for Community Based Care, Federal Child Welfare Indicators, Child Protective Investigations, and Adult Protective Service.



The Maryland Department of Budget and Management’s Managing for Results initiative publishes annual performance reports that track agencies’ key goals, objectives, and performance measures. As part of these efforts, the Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement, established by a 2015 executive order, assists “agencies with measuring and managing performance information.” Further, the Maryland Children’s Cabinet has a Child Welfare Scorecard which tracks outcomes for eight statewide child welfare goals.



Since 2014, Minnesota has maintained a dashboard featuring 40 key indicators in the state’s eight key priority areas. Each indicator has a status (good, okay, or poor according to specific criteria); indicators can be compared to the performance of other states and many are disaggregated by race, income, or geography.



A 1999 New Mexico law (p. 5) requires all state agencies to submit annual performance-based budget requests which include: (1) the outputs and outcomes for each program; (2) performance measures and performance targets for each program; and (3) an evaluation of each program’s performance. This information is released annually in the state’s policy and fiscal analysis, which includes individual agency performance reports (pages 87-129) and information on the cost effectiveness of different programs (pages 15-20, pages 49-50).



Oklahoma’s State Stat site features statewide goals, performance measures, and related budget allocations for state programs in the areas of health, safety, education, economy and government.



A 2016 Oregon law requires all state agencies (in section 2) to develop and use performance measures. Each state agency submits to the Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office an Annual Performance Progress Reports detailing the agency’s programmatic outcomes, which are reviewed during the state’s budget process.



Virginia uses its Virginia Performs Scorecard to track performance across seven strategic areas: economy; education; health and family; natural, historic, and cultural resources; public safety; transportation; and government and citizens. The scorecards track these areas by displaying current metrics and tracking year-to-year trends. In addition to providing performance by sector and policy area, the system shows regional performance. The state also provides individual agency metrics, which provide details on each department’s operational outputs with associated targets for performance.



A 2013 Washington State Executive Order established Results Washington as “an innovative, data-driven, performance management initiative, that will drive the operations of state government.” As part of its work, Results Washington, a unit of the Governor’s office, proactively and regularly publishes outcome data within the state’s priority areas of: World-class education; Prosperous economy; Sustainable energy & clean environment; Healthy & safe communities; and Efficient, effective & accountable government. Results Washington highlights progress through a performance dashboard and results for each strategic area. Since 2014, Results Washington has conducted Results Review meetings with the Governor ten times per year. Each of these meetings are recorded and publicly posted and allow the “Governor and state agency directors to discuss objectives, improvement strategies and metrics.”



A 2016 Wisconsin executive order requires all state agencies to maintain a quarterly agency performance dashboard containing agency goals and performance data.