(From OhMyGov) -- When I visit government organizations, I rarely see their performance information displayed anywhere, which makes me question how important performance actually is to that organization. Think of it this way: if the information is not prominently posted, how do most of the employees know how they are doing? How do they know if they are reaching the organization’s goals and objectives? How do they effectively make mid-course adjustments in their processes, resource allocation, etc. if they don’t know how they are doing? Moreover, what message does it send to the workforce if no one takes the time to share the information?
I firmly believe that government organizations should post performance information in a series of key locations. This way it 1) makes it clear to the employees and visiting customers, stakeholders, etc. that performance is important; 2) keeps everyone in the loop and enables them to see how their work impacts upon the organization’s performance; 3) drives internal discussion and debate and generates ideas for performance improvement; 4) triggers innovation and creativity; and 5) ensures a sense of transparency.
Posting information is not a science; it is more of an art because there are many to do this and many factors to consider such as what to post, how to post it, where to post it, who will post it, etc. Let’s look at these questions in more detail.
What to Post
In general, you should post as much information as is appropriate and of interest to the intended audience. Keep in mind that many government organizations have several business lines and varying degrees of responsibilities. If you overwhelm the employees with too much information, especially information they do not understand, have no impact on and no real interest in (e.g. the work of another business line, a division they do not interact with, etc.), their eyes will glaze over and/or they will be turned off by the information and ultimately tune you out.
That is why it makes sense to post different degrees of information in different locations, depending upon the intended audience. The important thing is to have a clear line of sight regarding the information posted; i.e. provide the broadest and most integrated information to your top level officials, and as you go further down the chain, keep the information more narrow and focused.
A good way to start off is by establishing a war room, which should be the command center of the organization, and contain information about the key metrics of your business lines. The room should be filled with information about performance, resources, projects, etc. and would be the primary location where the senior team meets, reviews information, analyzes problems, debates various issues and plans its strategy.
The next level would be at the division or service chief level; which usually runs a business line. They normally have their own conference room, and usually have several managers/supervisors reporting to them. A good approach would be to use the conference room as a mini-war room, and post all of the business line’s key metrics within it. The room should have charts and graphs that show the bottom line, how their internal processes are working, trend analyses, etc.; everything that one would need to know to effectively manage a business line. They would have more detailed information about the business line than the senior team’s war room, since their focus is narrower.