IBM Center for The Business of Government – Improving Government Performance

List of IBM Center for The Business of Government

Reports  and Books on

Improving Government Performance, 2000-2022


Optimizing Analytics for Policymaking and Governance

Jennifer Bachner (2022)

In this report, Dr. Bachner systematically reviews how government agencies use analytics, the outcomes of these efforts, and the challenges agencies face in their work to further develop analytical capabilities.


Federal Grants Management: Improving Outcomes

Shelley Metzenbaum (2021)

Dr. Metzenbaum argues that the federal grants management system needs to shift from an emphasis on administrative compliance to one on improving outcomes, informed by analyses that suggest the right places to focus. She argues further that this will require rethinking the roles and responsibilities of the many diffuse and dispersed players in federal grant and related programs, such as designating “outcome brokers” to focus on grant program objectives.


Scaling Evidence-Based Programs in Child Welfare

Patrick Lester (2020)

This report discusses how state governments can scale up successful pilots in three different program areas—those highlighted in the 2018 Family First Prevention Services Act as important to reducing child maltreatment by increasing investments in three kinds of prevention services—home visiting, mental health services, and substance abuse services.


A Practitioner’s Framework for Measuring Results: Using “C-Stat” at the Colorado Department of Human Services

Melissa Wavelet (2019)

This report is a case study of how the Colorado Department of Human Service developed its “PerformanceStat” approach, which it called “C-Stat,” to help its leaders measure and manage results. Ms. Wavelet describes how practitioners can leverage this performance framework to bridge performance management and program evaluation disciplines in a way that creates greater insights for agency leaders.


Laboratories of Innovation: Building and Using Evidence in Charter Schools

Patrick Lester (2018)

As originally envisioned, charter schools were intended to be laboratories of innovation, but many have only partly delivered on this mission. This report reviews options for making charter schools more innovative and evidence based.

Performance Partnership Pilots: Increasing Program Flexibility to Improve Outcomes

Patrick Lester (2018)

This report describes the 2014 Performance Partnership Pilots program that involves participation from seven different federal departments to coordinate programs and services assisting disconnected youth. The program allows local participants to request waivers of federal requirements in order to integrate different funding streams.


Tiered Evidence Grants – An Assessment of the Education Innovation and Research Program

Patrick Lester (2017)

This report describes how a tiered evidence grant works and examines the evolution of the Education Innovation and Research program – one of five tiered-evidence grant programs in the federal government — when it was first established in 2009 and reauthorized in 2015. 

Cross-Agency Collaboration: A Case Study of Cross-Agency Priority Goals

John M. Kamensky (2017)

This report is based on 15 case studies of individual federal Cross-Agency Priority Goals overseen by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for the four-year period, fiscal years 2014-2017. It validates their usefulness as an approach for achieving results that require interagency collaboration. It also offers guidance on ways this approach, first mandated in law in 2010, can be fine-tuned.


Ten Actions to Implement Big Data Initiatives: A Study of 65 Cities

Alfred T. Ho and Bo McColl (2016)

This report probes the use of Big Data – the use of massive amounts of information from various sources — by 65 cities and sets forth ten recommendations for those responsible for implementing Big Data initiatives regarding the data collection cycle and the decision making cycle.

Building Performance Systems for Social Service Programs: Case Studies in Tennessee

Patrick Lester (2016)

This report is a rich case study of how a non-profit provider in Tennessee, Youth Villages, has developed a nationally-recognized performance management system, in part as a response to the state’s performance-based contracting approach.

Maximizing the Value of Quadrennial Strategic Planning

Jordan Tama (2016)

This report examines how four U.S. federal departments adopted the use of quadrennial planning reviews to inform the development of their statutorily-required four-year strategic plans, that were due to Congress in early 2017.  It offers recommendations to agencies that conduct quadrennial reviews as well as recommendations to agencies that might find some of the lessons learned from quadrennial reviews to be of value as they conduct their strategic planning efforts.


New Jersey’s “Manage by Data” Program: Changing Culture and Capacity to Improve Outcomes

David Lambert and Julie Atkins (2015)

This report is a case study of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ implementation of a “Manage By Data” executive education program. The challenge faced was not just to use data more effectively, but to change the agency’s culture to become more performance- and outcome-driven. The report offers five strategies to change an organization’s culture to use data-driven decision making.


Four Actions to Integrate Performance Information with Budget Formulation

John Whitley (2014)

This report offers specific steps that can be taken by government leaders – without legislation — to use performance information in the budgeting process to better inform decisions.


The New Federal Performance System: Implementing the GPRA Modernization Act

Donald Moynihan (2013)

This report describes the evolution of the federal performance management system over the past 20 years since the passage of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) and describes anticipated future changes over the next few years as a result of the new requirements of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, which significantly amended the earlier law.

Empirically Based Intelligence Management: Using Operations Research to Inform Programmatic Decision Making

Frank Strickland and Chris Whitlock (2013)

While in government service, the authors were involved in a range of data-driven evaluations focusing on intelligence needs by the Defense Department in Iraq in 2006, and determining alternative solutions and prioritizing those needs. This resulted in practical lessons about the strengthes and weaknesses of various evaluation methods, and their use by senior leaders to inform decision making.

Fast Government: Accelerating Service Quality While Reducing Cost and Time

Charles Prow, Ed. (2013)

This report is comprised of 11 essays by experts on strategies for accelerating service quality while reducing cost and time-to-deliver on services. It includes five practical tools for moving to “fast government” such as the use of gaming technologies, predictive analytics, and a “no wrong door” approach.

The Use of Data Visualization in Government

Genie Stowers (2013)

The report presents case studies on how visualization techniques are now being used by two local governments, one state government, and three federal government agencies. Each case study discusses the audience for visualization. Understanding audience is important, as government organizations provide useful visualizations to different audiences, including the media, political oversight organizations, constituents, and internal program teams. To assist in effectively communicating to these audiences, the report details attributes of meaningful visualizations: relevance, meaning, beauty, ease of use, legibility, truthfulness, accuracy, and consistency among them. 

From Data to Decisions III:  Lessons from Early Analytics Programs

Partnership for Public Service (2013)

This report examines programs that have been in operation for a longer period of time, which offers a better understanding of how they have advanced and evolved over time to be a sustainable component of a program’s operation.  It highlights five analytic efforts that were begun, in one case, more than 25 years ago.  One lesson from grassroots-driven older projects is that senior managers should not overlook the payoff that comes from enabling frontline employees to see and use data organized for their needs, not just the needs of senior leaders.

Incident Reporting Systems: Lessons from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Organization

Russell Mills (2013)

In this report, Dr. Mills offers a case study of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Organization incident reporting systems that have evolved since the late 1990s.  He describes the introduction of voluntary self-reporting of errors by air traffic controllers and the use of increasingly sophisticated electronic tracking equipment. He writes that, ironically, this better data collection initially alarmed external stakeholders—the traveling public and Congress. Dr. Mills offers a set of strategic, management, and analytical lessons that could be applied by other agencies that may also be in the process of increasing the sophistication of their own incident reporting systems.

Predictive Policing:  Preventing Crime with Data and Analytics

Jennifer Bachner (2013)

In this report, Dr. Bachner tells compelling stories of how new policing approaches in communities are turning traditional police officers into “data detectives.”  Police departments across the country have adapted business techniques —  initially developed by retailers, such as Netflix and WalMart, to predict consumer behavior — to predict criminal behavior.  The report presents case studies of the experiences of Santa Cruz, CA; Baltimore County, MD; and Richmond, VA, in using predictive policing as a new and effective tool to combat crime.


Five Methods for Measuring Unobserved Events:  A Case Study of Federal Law Enforcement

John Whitley (2012)

This report describes the challenges of measuring “unobserved” events – such as tax cheating, drug smuggling, or illegal immigration.  It offers five statistical methods for measuring these kinds of events and shows how this can then be used to track progress, set strategy, and allocate resources.

From Data to Decisions II: Building an Analytics Culture

Partnership for Public Service (2012)

The goal of this report is to provide practical approaches, practices or strategies that agency program managers can apply. By sharing compelling stories of how agencies are developing, growing and sustaining their analytics and performance-management approaches, the report sheds light on key steps and processes that are transferable to other agencies.


From Data to Decisions I: The Power of Analytics

Partnership for Public Service (2011)

A number of federal agencies were surveyed to identify best practices in data analytics and performance management.  This report points to the importance of analytics in measuring agency performance.  The authors emphasize that data collection is only the first step in turning data into usable information — moving from data points to decision points.

Use of Dashboards in Government

Sukumar Ganapati (2011)

Government leaders are deluged with thousands of streams of data about the performance of their agencies and programs.  One approach the Obama administration has latched onto to make sense out of the deluge of data is the use of on-line “dashboards” of performance data that track the key performance metrics of various federal agencies and programs.  One example has been the Federal Information Technology Dashboard, showing the status of dozens of technology investments across the federal government. Other agencies profiled in this report include the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This report examines some of the early agency dashboards and offers constructive lessons to federal managers on how to use them effectively.

A Guide to Data-Driven Performance Reviews

Harry Hatry, Elizabeth Davies (2011)

This report examines federal agencies that are using data-driven performance reviews to improve agency effectiveness and efficiency.  It draws from practices of agencies, including state and local governments.  It serves as a “how to” guide for setting up and running data-driven performance reviews.  It also lays out who needs to be involved, how to organize the meetings, what kinds of performance information should be collected, how to run the meetings, and how to follow up afterwards.


What All Mayors Would Like to Know About Baltimore’s CitiStat Performance Strategy

Robert Behn (2009)

This report is a case study, written in a Q&A format, that summarizes and answers the questions most frequently posed to CitiStat staff by visitors to Baltimore’s award-winning performance management system. The report concludes that CitiStat should be viewed more as a leadership strategy rather than a management system.

Performance Reporting: Insights from International Practice

Richard Boyle (2009)

In this report, Richard Boyle provides cross-national comparative data on good and bad practices in performance reporting, shares good practices across these countries, assesses the state of performance reporting, and provides directly relevant assistance to program managers in both central and line agencies

Moving Toward Outcome-Oriented Performance Measurement Systems

Dr. Kathryn Kloby, Dr. Kathe Callahan (2009)

The report provides examples of outcome-oriented performance measurement systems in place around the country, describes findings from these case studies, and offers practical recommendations on how to develop useful outcome-oriented measurement systems that other communities – sponsored by either government or community indicator projects – can act.

Performance Management Recommendations for the New Administration

Shelley H. Metzenbaum (2009)

The author’s premise is that performance information should be used to improve performance, not just report performance for accountability purposes. She offers a series of recommendations to the President, the Office of Management and Budget, new agency heads, and the Performance Improvement Council on ways to make performance information a vital element of success.


Five Actions to Enhance State Legislative Use of Performance Information

Judy Zelio (2008)

Judy Zelio identifies five specific actions that state agencies can take to provide performance information that legislators will see as useful, such as ensuring that executive branch, budget staff provide performance information for legislative use that “emphasizes policy results rather than administrative measures.”  This report offers concrete examples of what executive branch agencies in leading states have done. It also provides a pocket card guide for state legislators to use when asking agencies about their performance during budget and program reviews. 

Strategic Use of Analytics in Government

Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa, Thomas H. Davenport (2008)

Governments use analytics (often described as “business intelligence”) to enable and drive their strategies and performance in an ever more volatile and turbulent environment.  This report, explores several important applications of analytics in government agencies and develops an assessment framework for those that either have not yet embarked on the analytics journey or are still in the early stages.

Increasing Transparency and Accountability in Federal Performance Reporting: Lessons from the OMB Pilot Program

Valerie Richardson (2008)

The Office of Management and Budget undertook a pilot effort in 2006 to use an alternative approach to reporting financial and performance information. This report summarizes these pilot initiatives and, based on observations, offers recommendations on how to improve reporting.

Four Strategies to Transform State Governance

Keon Chi (2008)

This report is a snapshot of the kinds of strategies state governments had undertaken over the previous decade to transform the way they govern. It is intended to be a practical guide for state leaders and offers best practice examples of a wide range of changes spanning strategic foresight, creating a results focus, becoming more collaborative in approach, and greater transparency.


What All Mayors Would Like to Know About Baltimore’s CitiStat Performance Strategy 

Robert D. Behn (2007)

This report summarizes and presents the questions most frequently posed to Baltimore’s leaders about their CitiStat performance strategy.  The report explains how CitiStat should be viewed as a management strategy rather than a management system.  When viewed as a management strategy, Dr. Behn argues, the program can replicate and customize each mayor’s individual needs and priorities.  A key insight is that there is no single, right approach as to how to develop a successful management performance and accountability structure.  Success depends heavily on clear goals, committed management, and persistent follow-up.

The Philadelphia SchoolStat Model

Mary Shelley, Christopher Patusky, Leigh Botwink (2007)

Philadelphia’s SchoolStat is a case study of the adaptation of a successful management model, CompStat, developed over a decade ago by New York City’s Police Department.  The model has since been adapted by various city agencies in New York; by cities, such as Baltimore’s CitiStat; and by some state governments, such as Maryland’s new StateStat.

Managing for Better Performance: Enhancing Federal Performance Management Practices

Howard Risher, Charles H. Fay (2007)

This report reviews the history of performance management efforts within the federal government and discusses the successes, challenges, and failures over the years.  In addition, the report offers insights from other performance management experiences in both public and private sector organizations.  The authors describe differences between private and public sector performance management practices, as well as present a comparative analysis of corporate and non-corporate use of good management practices.

Designing and Implementing Performance-Oriented Payband Systems

James R. Thompson (2007)

The traditional federal General Schedule pay structure is viewed as rigid and obsolete. This report describes nine different performance-oriented payband systems that have been in operation in various organizations within the federal government that could be used to help design a replacement for the General Schedule, with a greater focus on performance.

Improving Service Delivery in Government with Lean Six Sigma

John Mayleyeff (2007)

This report is a comprehensive review of how public sector managers can use Lean Six Sigma to improve the execution and delivery of results. It describes the deployment process from program development to project implementation.

Engaging Citizen in Measuring and Reporting Community Conditions: A Manager’s Guide

Alfred T. Ho (2007)

This report presents two  local government case studies of how city officials engaged the public more directly in performance measurement and reporting efforts and how officials can communicate more effectively about the efforts and accomplishments of public policies and programs in order to be more relevant and meaningful to citizens.


Using the Balanced Scorecard: Lessons Learned from the U.S. Postal Service and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service

Nicholas J. Mathys, Kenneth Thompson (2006)

This report features two large federal agencies that adapted the balanced scorecard approach to their operations and have used it for more than five years to drive improved performance.  The challenge, the authors note, is not creating a scorecard; it’s getting its elements to align and link to each other and to the operations of the agency.

Performance Accountability: The Five Building Blocks and Six Essential Practices

Shelley H. Metzenbaum (2006)

In this report, Dr. Metzenbaum sets forth five building blocks – tools and techniques for constructing a good measurement system for an organization.  She describes six practices that leaders need to use to make appropriately designed systems work properly.  Metzenbaum emphasizes the importance of constructive feedback and the use of constant back-and-forth discussions in improving performance based on metrics.

Implementing OMB’s Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART): Meeting the Challenges of Integrating Budget and Performance

John B. Gilmour (2006)

Professor Gilmour’s report examines OMB’s PART initiative from a practical standpoint: How have federal agencies dealt with the requirements of PART?  What strategies have they employed to be successful?  What challenges do they face?  His report highlights four challenges that confront both agencies and OMB as they work to complete assessments of all 1,000 programs and describes approaches that agencies are taking to meet these challenges.

Performance Budgeting: How NASA and SBA Link Costs and Performance

Lloyd A. Blanchard (2006)

Dr. Blanchard’s report begins with a description of the statutory and conceptual foundations of costing requirements.  He follows with a framework for integrating costs and performance.  He then tells the story of how two very different federal agencies successfully met the President’s Management Agenda’s performance costing requirements.

Moving from Outputs to Outcomes: Practical Advice from Governments Around the World

Burt Perrin (2006)

Perrin’s report provides substantial evidence that countries are moving toward a results-oriented approach in a wide variety of government contexts.  Until recently, the process and performance of government has been judged largely on inputs, activities, and outputs.  Based on a two-day forum sponsored by the World Bank and the IBM Center involving officials from six developed and six developing countries Perrin identifies state-of-the-art practices and thinking that go beyond the current literature.


Pay for Performance: A Guide for Federal Managers

Howard Risher (2004)

This report provides timely advice to federal managers involved in the planning and implementation of pay-for-performance systems.  It examines arguments for and against pay for performance, reviews various approaches to pay for performance, and discusses the challenge of implementing such systems.  It also provides a framework for developing and evaluating specific pay-for-performance policies and management practices.

Staying the Course: The Use of Performance Measurement in State Governments

Julia Melkers and Kathrine Willoughby  (2004)

This report provides an overview of performance management at the state level, and how state budgeting systems have evolved to now incorporate measurement of program activities and results. It describes why performance initiatives continue to be touted by both legislatures and central management in the states.

Performance Management for Political Executives: A “Start Where You Are, Use What You Have” Guide

Christopher Wye (2004)

Wye describes how political executives can overcome common problems in the design, alignment, use, and communication of performance measures and information. The report links performance-based management to the higher calling of public service and provides a meaningful rationale as to why political executives should care about performance-based management.

Performance Leadership: 11 Better Practices That Can Ratchet Up Performance

Robert Behn (2004)

In this report, Professor Behn moves away from the conventional tenet of public administration to “make the managers manage.” Instead, he offers an approach that encompasses eleven “better practices” that he has observed in use by successful public managers over the years.


Making Performance-Based Contracting Perform: Federal Government Can Learn from State and Local Governments

Larry Martin (2002) 2nd Ed.

This report examines ten state and local examples of the use of performance-based contracts and based on lessons learned, offers recommendations on how the federal approach to contracting might be improved.

* * * * *

In addition to these reports, the IBM Center also produced two books covering the 2000 – 2005 period on performance management that were based on reports published during that time.  The books can be ordered from the publisher, Rowman & Littlefield, but where the material from an IBM Center report was used to produce a chapter, the web links below go directly to those reports.

Managing for Results: 2005

Table of Contents:

Chapter One: From “Useful Measures” to “Measures Used” — by John M. Kamensky, Albert Morales, and Mark A. Abramson

Part I: Understanding the Potential of Using Performance Information

Chapter Two: Performance Management for Career Executives: A “Start Where You Are, Use What You Have” Guide — by Chris Wye 

Chapter Three: Linking Performance and Budgeting: Opportunities in the Federal Budget Process — by Philip G. Joyce 

Chapter Four: E-Reporting: Using Managing-for-Results Data to Strengthen Democratic Accountabilityby Mordecai Lee 

Chapter Five: How Federal Programs Use Outcome Information: Opportunities for Federal Managers — by Harry P. Hatry, Elaine Morley, Shelli B. Rossman, and Joseph S. Wholey 

Part II: Lessons in the Use of Performance Information

Chapter Six: Strategies for Using State Information: Measuring and Improving Program Performance — by Shelley H. Metzenbaum

Chapter Seven: Setting Performance Targets: Lessons from the Workforce Investment Act System — by Carolyn J. Heinrich

Chapter Eight: Collaboration and Performance Management in Network Settings: Lessons from Three Watershed Governance Efforts — by Mark T. Imperial 

Chapter Nine: Using a Performance Budgeting System: Lessons from the Texas Experience — by Joe Adams

Chapter Ten: The Baltimore CitiStat Program: Performance and Accountability — by
Lenneal J. Henderson

Managing for Results:  2002

Table of Contents:

Chapter One:  Managing for Results: Cutting Edge Challenges Facing Government Leaders in 2002 — by John M. Kamensky and Mark A. Abramson

Chapter Two:  Corporate Strategic Planning in Government: Lessons from the United States Air Force — by Colin Campbell 

Chapter Three:  The Challenge of Developing Cross-Agency Measures: A Case Study of the Office of National Drug Policy — by Patrick J. Murphy and John Carnevale 

Chapter Four:  Using Evaluation to Support Performance Management: A Guide for Federal Executives — by Kathryn E. Newcomer and Mary Ann Scheirer 

Chapter Five:  Managing for Outcomes: Milestone Contracting in Oklahoma — by Peter Frumkin

Chapter Six:  Using Performance Data for Accountability: The New York City Police Department’s Compstat Model of Police Management — by Paul E. O’Connell 

Chapter Seven:  The Potential of the Government Performance and Results Act as a Tool to Manage Third-Party Government — by David G. Frederickson