Performance Management: Using Data to Set Targets and Achieve Results

Many private companies tout the service level they provide their customers— from product quality assurance to customer response time. You utilize government services every day. How do you know how well your government is performing? Since 2011, all offices and agencies of the County report progress toward stated goals quarterly to elected leaders and residents, and work together to improve performance through the STAR Performance Management Program. The Performance Management Office focuses on expanding the use of performance data in Cook County government. This data helps departments chart their progress, and ensure that they take the necessary steps toward improvement. It also communicates to residents the quality of services delivered for the tax dollars collected. In order to make this data available and transparent to the public, the STAR program launched a new website that displays County performance data dynamically. The County has set goals in each of their six functional areas—finance and administration, healthcare, public safety, property and taxation, economic development and the forest preserves. For example, in the area of finance and administration, the Offices Under the President have focused on effectively managing employee attendance to increase productivity. Managing attendance and driving down abuse of sick time has the same benefit as hiring more people, without incurring the additional personnel cost. Since 2010, the Offices Under the President have reduced the hours of sick time used per employee per month from nearly six hours to under five and a half. This small improvement generates nearly 10,000 additional productivity hours annually. More on our progress to achieve this, and other finance and administration goals, can be found here. In Cook County we are focused on using the tax dollars you provide to deliver high quality services more efficiently and cost effectively through the use of data.


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