Managing for Results: a strategic framework for action to into

The strategic framework proposed for action to develop public organizations into high performance organizations, which we will be assessing further below, is composed of two plans, a strategic and an operational one, and three performance related systems, the performance measurement system, the performance reporting system and the results-based budgeting system.

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The strategic plan has the role of defining the overall goals of the public organization. The to the fact that these goals are now results-related. As such, the performance will be evaluated in terms of outcome rather than input and output.

The operational plan has the role of providing the action details, the “how to” of the entire management framework. The operational plan comprises the incentive structure and the collaboration strategies that can be adopted and used within the respective organization.

The three different systems are all performance-related and have the role of measuring the levels of performance within the organization and of reporting it to the upper management. The budgeting system is also defined by the results obtained within the organization.

The first thing that may come to mind when analyzing the framework proposed is the absence of a tactical plan. The importance of tactical planning cannot be underestimated in any company, because the tactical planning ensure both the fulfillment of the strategic objectives the organization has fixed and the way this is going to be performed over a medium period of time. In this sense, while the operational planning has an execution period of at most one year, tactical planning implementation goes from 1 to 3 years.

In this sense, in my opinion, the evaluation framework skips over an important part of the planning and attempts to implement strategic objectives fixed using only operational planning and a . This may not be beneficial over a longer period of time.

On the other hand, the perspective of having performance as the main strategic objective of the organization is quite interesting and deserves further analysis. The strategic planning process, according to the framework, implies that the desired performance is defined in terms of outcomes rather than inputs and outputs. The fundamental question at this point seems to be who will be fixing the outcome levels that will determine whether or not the organization is performing well. Given the fact that the entire organizational structure relies on performance, one needs to ensure that (1) performance levels are reasonably defined and (2) that these performance levels are known to all employees within the organization.

In this sense, an organization that will be implementing the respective framework needs to make sure that the performance levels are reasonably defined. Perhaps an external structure or organization can help defined reasonable levels for outcomes.

The problem we have previously discusses seems to have itself a counterpart in terms of the performance measurement and reporting systems. First of all, measuring performance means that there are specific performance criteria that can be used. These are, in part, related to the strategic planning details I have mentioned on the previous paragraphs.

Second of all, one needs to take into consideration the reasonability of the person who is making the assessments. Again I suggest here someone from outside the organization be used, because it is likely they will be able to be more objective in evaluating the outcomes.

Third of all, the performance reporting system needs to be extremely well set in place. Because the entire framework is based on performance and outcome levels, one needs to make sure that the right recipient is at the end of the reporting pathway and that the the entire objectivity from the evaluation level. In this sense, it is important to emphasize again the necessity of having objective evaluators and objective reporting facilities, without which the entire framework cannot function.

As an overall evaluation, the framework contains innovative ideas and has every reason to work. Among its weaknesses, I should mention its 100% dependence of performance. As I have previously mentioned, several things need to be put in place in order for the framework to work and any flaw in the way the evaluation is performed or the results are transmitted can be equivalent to malfunction.

The fact that the budget is in the end conceived to respond to the performance levels within the organization may determine what the outcomes of the process may be. It is important to note that the final input into the organization is strictly related to the outcomes.