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8 Best Practice Public Sector KPI Examples

by Danny Solow on July 28, 2016

Determining the right public sector KPIs is hard

Measuring and understanding organizational performance is tough in any industry, but it is uniquely challenging for public sector organizations.  Profit-based KPIs are generally replaced in favor of good budget and resource management.  Internal processes are often burdened by regulations or bureaucracy.  All the politics of a public sector organization can muddle your Balanced Scorecard or performance management process.

From our 20 years of experience with Balanced Scorecard implementations, we have put together a starter sheet of our best Public Sector KPI examples.  Once your measures are in place, you can start thinking ahead to how you want to discuss them in your strategy review meetings.


      Internal Process

  1. Number of reports sent to / received from others agencies -  Communication is often an important internal process, especially for government organizations that are tightly integrated with other agencies.  This KPI report tracks the number of incoming and outgoing reports.  You might want to tweak this generic public sector KPI to your organization.  Should this actually be a percentage?  What are your targets? There's a lot to consider here.

    Related to Objective: Improve information sharing and collaboration

  2. Number of Compliance Reviews - Many public organizations are required to submit some form of performance management reports for compliance purposes.  This government KPI serves as a generic example, measuring the number of compliance reviews on a quarterly basis.  While this measure borders on being operational, it can be used to help drive accountability and better performance management behaviors.
    Related to Objective: Comply with federal and departmental programs and regulations


  3. American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Score - The intent of this metric is to ensure that your stakeholders, whoever they may be, are satisfied with the services you provide.  ACSI is a common benchmark for customer satisfaction that can be applied to some public sector organizations.  If this doesn't fit your organization, think about other surveys, interviews, or outcomes that help identify your organization's value to stakeholders.
    Related to Objective: Provide best value services

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    Learning and Growth

  4. Employee Satisfaction/Retention Index Score - That's a mouthful.  This government measure looks at a combination of employee satisfaction scores and retention rates.  Index measures like this one are a good way to comprehensively understand performance, while keeping your total list of KPIs manageable. 
    Related to Objective: Attract develop and retain the best diverse talent

  5. Performance Appraisal Plans Linked to Strategy - When driving organizational culture change, it is critical that employees link their personal performance goals to strategic objectives.  Employees can better understand their role within the larger strategy through a connected performance appraisal process.  This measure tracks the progress of how many employees or goals are linked to strategic objectives.  (Don't worry - we can help you track this data really easily in our performance appraisal app, ESM+Perform)
    Related to Objective: Build a high performance culture

  6. Employee Issue Tracking - If you are looking to both drive employee engagement and respond to employee feedback, this measure might be a good option for you.  The goal of this measure is to track the percentage of employee issues that are responded to on a timely basis.  
    Related to Objective: Maximize employee engagement


  7. Ratio of Operating Costs to Budget - *Yawn*  While not the most exciting measure, this is a critical KPI for public sector organizations that rely on external funding sources to keep track of budgetary performance.

    Related to Objective: Effectively manage our budgetary resources

  8. Percent of Budget tied to Strategy - Budget and strategy alignment is one of the biggest challenges for any organization, but it offers some of the clearest value of a strategy management system.  By aligning budget and strategy, real organizational decisions are driven by the organizational vision.  This measure tracks a percentage of projects or initiatives that are directly linked to strategy.  Not all projects need to be strategic, but the strategy should offer a solid resourcing justification.

    Related to Objective: Enable the agency with a well-understood and robust business planning process

This is just a starting point:

It may be that only a couple of these measures fit your organization.  For more information on how to create best practice public sector KPIs, check out our guide to better measures.

Download the ESM guide to improve your KPIs


Topics: Balanced Scorecards Public Sector Measures

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