Standard: The agency shall have a procedure for tracking and monitoring data trends and measuring performance against targets linked to achievement of goals and objectives.
Suggested Evidence of Compliance: Provide performance targets and measurement in use by the agency. Describe the process and frequency of performance measurement and cite examples for how the results have been used by the agency to affect decisions. The measures may include data gathered from the following qualitative and quantitative sources:
- Recreation and demographic trends;
- Needs assessment;
- Community inventory;
- Program and service statistics;
- Customer feedback;
- Program evaluation;
- Risk management reports; and
- Budget and financial reports.
Informational reference in the Management of Park and Recreation Agencies, (2010), 3rd Ed., Chapter 11 – Physical Resource Planning, pp. 222-224; Chapter 23 – Evaluation and Action Research, p. 656.
Agency Evidence of Compliance:
The Park District has developed a comprehensive performance measurement program named MPOWER, the name of which highlights the two main goals of the program:
- To "empower" staff to make better decisions using data; and
- To emphasize the power that of performance measures in moving the agency forward.
The Park District currently tracks and monitor 29 agency performance measures. Each measure is linked to chart or graph on live dashboards1 that all full-time staff and key part-time staff have access to. The dashboards are directly connected with all of the District's major software programs, including Vermont Systems (program registration, sales, and facility management), MSI (finances, accounting, and human resources), TimeClock Plus (payroll), MicroMain (maintenance work orders), SurveyGizmo (surveys), and Google Analytics (website). This set-up allows staff to see up-to-the-minute results of performance measures in nearly all cases, allowing for much more accurate and quicker decision-making. It also allows staff to take advantage of trends more quickly instead of waiting for an end-of-the-year report when it may be too late to respond. When results are tracked outside of these software programs, data is updated on the dashboards by staff on a monthly basis.
Staff are expected to view the dashboards on a regular basis to monitor the agency progress, incorporate them into team meetings, and use the data when making decisions, and refer to the dashboard when creating reports for the Board of Commissioners or the public. Alerts have been incorporated into the dashboards to automatically notify staff when targets have been reached or when minimum thresholds have not been met so that they can be addressed immediately. Additionally, the District's management staff meet on a quarterly basis to review the current dashboard results and discuss one to two measures that require specific attention and more detailed analysis. An annual report2 with the status of the performance measures is created at the end of each year and presented to the Board of Commissioners. In January 2015, the Park District also went the additional step to begin posting charts from its dashboards on its website for the public to view.
The MPOWER program was rolled out in January 2014, but has already had an impact on District decision-making. Some examples include:
- The Revenue Facilities Department noticed that Program & Event Evaluation results showed that figure skating program participants felt more negatively about the price of the programs than the other programs offered by the department. The staff investigated and found that when viewed alongside other comparable programs, the program fees were higher. Although the department may not lower figure skating prices, they are considering not raising them in 2015.
- In response to lower than expected scores in regards to Staff Training Satisfaction, the agency promoted a part-time employee in the Human Resources Department to full-time in order to provide better focus to the District's overall staff training program.
- When the opportunity arose due to a position vacancy, a specific part-time position was dedicated to developing programs and events for seniors due to the noticeable level of seniors served as compared to other age groups in our community.
- Noticing a downward trend in wellness program participation, management staff made a concerted effort to increase awareness, which resulted in an increase in several of the programs in the second half of 2014.
- Screenshots of Performance Measurement dashboards (below)
- link to Public Charts on Park District website
Agency Self Assessment: MET
Screenshots of District MPOWER Dashboards (Live Demonstration Available on-site)