Managing for Results:

Critical Actions for Measuring Performance

T-GGD/AIMD-95-187: Published: Jun 20, 1995. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 1995.

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GAO discussed how federal agencies can better measure their performance to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, quality, and timeliness of federal programs. GAO noted that: (1) federal agencies need to take certain actions to ensure the development of good performance measures; (2) agencies need to use a strategic management process that focuses on agency missions, program goals, and desired results; (3) stakeholders' consensus and involvement is critical to ensure proper development of performance measures; (4) successful performance measurement systems have measures that are outcome-linked, responsive to multiple priorities, responsibility-linked, and based on credible financial and performance information; (5) agencies should use performance information and benchmarking to set realistic goals and select appropriate process improvement techniques; and (6) ongoing performance measurement and benchmarking are essential feedback mechanisms for controlling costs, correcting unanticipated problems in improved processes, and institutionalizing a results-oriented focus.

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