Topic 1: Performance Improvement and Analysis

Since the enactment of the Government Performance and Results Act in 1993, all agencies now have strategic plans and performance measures supported by an infrastructure of staff and processes build to collect and deliver performance data. The Obama Administration took office promising to appoint a “chief performance officer” to improve performance.

Framing a Public Management Research Agenda

The IBM Center for The Business of Government hosted a forum in November 2009 to examine the Obama Administration’s themes for a high-performing government and to frame a public management research agenda.

Participants included nearly 50 of the nation’s top public management researchers, scholars, and distinguished practitioners.  The forum was an effort to help bridge the gap between research and practice, and to collectively develop a research agenda that would help government executives move things forward.

Doing What Works

The Obama Administration’s favorite think tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP), has launched a new project, “Doing What Works.” Led by Reece Rushing and Jitinder Kohli, it has three objectives:

Recovery Act Reporting

The Recovery Transparency and Accountability Board posted its second set of updates onto its Recovery.Gov website last week. The new data covered Recovery Act spending in the last quarter of 2009 (October – December).

Managing Guerrilla Employees

Do you have “guerilla employees” in your organization who work around (or against) their leadership? How do you deal with them?

This is the focus of a provocative article in the current issue of the Public Administration Review by Maxwell School professor Rosemary O’Leary, “Guerilla Employees: Should Managers Nurture, Tolerate, or Terminate Them?”

Obama's Stealth Management Revolution

“Where is Obama’s big-bang reform of government?” laments an insightful article by University of Maryland public administration dean, Donald Kettl, in a forum on President Obama’s management initiatives in the current issue of The Public Manager. He says that President Obama is quietly reshaping the way government works and dubs it a "stealth revolution."

The Open Government Dialogue

With little fanfare, the While House announced that 29 agencies launched their Open Government weblinks on schedule (per an OMB directive), on Saturday, February 6th. Virtually all of them also invited citizens to participate in a dialogue on how they could improve their approaches to transparency, participation, collaboration, and innovation.

Redefining the Role of Citizen in a Gov 2.0 World

What does it mean to be a citizen in a Gov 2.0 world? President Obama’s FY 2011 budget is being dissected for its shift in the size and scope of government. But several initiatives in the budget, and things happening at the state and local levels, point to subtle -- but significant --shifts in the role of citizens in their government.

Obama's FY 2011 Management Initiatives

Most of the news media focused on the size of the budget and which agencies gained or lost. However, the budget also included an overview of the Obama Administration’s management initiatives, as well.

The overall emphasis of these initiatives is on achieving defined mission-oriented results. It de-emphasizes (but still addresses) improvements to mission-support functions and the reporting of performance information.

Finding Bright Spots

The latest issue of FastCompany magazine has a terrific piece by Chip and Dan Heath, “Find a Bright Spot and Clone It.” While it uses private sector examples, their insights apply equally to government.

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Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
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Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com

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