Walden University Sigma Textiles Performance Gap Analysis

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Walden University


Assignment: Gap Analysis

Organizations set goals and objectives for each department and every employee within it. Whether the goals are financial or performance based, each entity within an organization is expected to perform to a level that aligns with the overarching expectations and standards set by the organization. If a department or employee falls short when these expectations are clearly identified, it is essential to identify the gap between desired outcomes and actual outcomes. To identify and address this, organizations can perform a gap analysis. Although a gap analysis is not the only tool available to an organization or manager when examining performance issues, it is commonly used to identify gaps in performance and realign processes or resources to obtain the desired outcomes or expectations to fill the gap.

To prepare for this Assignment, review the P4 Performance Management performance gap analysis from this week’s resources in order to familiarize yourself with the components of a traditional gap analysis.

  • Using the Walden Library, media, or other sources, identify and select a contemporary news story or article that describes an organization with a performance issue. You may use an organization with which you are personally familiar.
  • Using this week’s resources, along with your research, perform a gap analysis in order to identify the performance deficiencies within the organization described in the article you selected.

Complete this Assignment by developing a 3- to 5-page paper, following the guidelines below:

  • Prepare a gap analysis that includes a description of your findings and recommendations along with the following components/sections. (Note: According to APA guidelines, you should include a heading for each section in your paper.)
    • Define the current state of the organization.
    • Define the desired state of the organization.
    • Identify the existing performance deficiencies within the organization.
    • Evaluate the existing resources and organizational capabilities.
    • Identify the alternatives that are available to close/eliminate the gap.
    • Analyze the performance management strategies available to the organization in working toward its desired state.
    • Select a solution, provide a brief rationale, and outline a plan of action for implementation, including a post-implementation metric.
  • Be specific and provide examples with references to the literature.


PF Performance Management, Inc. (2005). Performance gap analysis: IT help desk case study. Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20110124155440/http://www.p4performance.com/ITHelpDeskCaseStudy.pdf

Poister, T. (2010). The future of strategic planning in the public sector: Linking strategic management and performance. Public Administration Review, 70, 246–254.

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Performance Gap Analysis IT Help Desk Case Study – January 2005 Notice: The contents of this briefing are not intended to serve as legal advice related to any individual situation. This material is made available from P4 Performance Management for informational purposes only and is provided with the understanding that P4 Performance Management is not providing legal advice. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent licenses attorney should be sought. Copyright © 2005 P4 Performance Management, Inc. All rights reserved. Introduction The purpose of this document is to provide the administrative staff of a nationally recognized University with a Performance Gap Analysis of their help desk services and capabilities. Performance Gaps exist in organizations when current process, technology and resource capabilities do not meet the needs of its ‘customers’ or the overall organization’s business objectives. P4 Performance Management specializes in identifying and minimizing performance gaps by eliminating technology and process gaps to increase business process functionality. In response to the concerns, state auditors documented surrounding help desk capabilities at the University, administration formed a help desk committee, lead by the director of Communications and Technology. The help desk committee was made up of seven help desk representatives under the direction of Academic Affairs and Finance and Business along with college IT representatives such as from the College of Engineering. The purpose of the committee was to have a forum where the auditor’s findings could be discussed, weaknesses evaluated for alternative resolution and appropriate actions to be implemented could be recommended. In support of the University’s objective to address the state auditor’s findings are consistent with the help desk’s committee charter, P4 Performance Management was brought in to identify performance gaps and provide its expertise. Sponsors After initial dialog with the University’s Vice Chancellor of Finance and Business, P4 met with the vice-provost of Resource Management & Information Systems and the director of Communications and Technology. The director of Communications and Technology assumed the sponsor’s role and provided insight and direction as well as coordinating the necessary introductions, visits and meetings to complete this analysis. Performance Gap Assessment Method After initial introductory and direction setting meetings, P4 principles spent two days on campus meeting with administrative staff representing four of the help desk functions. The four centers we met and visited were: • • • • College of Engineering (CoE) Administrative Computing Services (ACS) Network Operations Center (NOC) Network and Client Services (NCS) Page 2 of 16 During the visits, information was collected and observations were made that are the basis of our written analysis. It was not intended by P4 or our sponsors to pass judgment, particularly in the area of people or functional performance, but rather to identify areas of opportunity (Gaps) that translate into support weaknesses, inefficient performance and potentially dissatisfied customers. P4’s objective was to leverage its considerable experience and expertise in the area of help desks and provide the University an analysis of Performance Gaps and recommended actions to address them. Findings/Recommendations P4 understands the complex issues when serving a diverse ‘customer’ base of students, administration and faculty in a premier educational and research institution environment. The unique needs of the University coupled with the high expectations placed on the country’s institution historically noted for advanced technology and research creates significant performance challenges. These demands require leadership capable of evaluating and implementing existing technology within the reduced IT budgets common place in today’s environment. Adopted solutions must achieve aggressive return on investments (ROI) and align with overall business goals. P4 believes significant opportunity exists for the University to achieve its goal of providing a single number, email and web access for help desk services. This can be accomplished while lowering help desk operational costs, improving productivity across the entire campus and lowering total cost of technology ownership. Complex Business Environment Diverse Customer Base University Needs Gaps represent opportunities for University to lower operational costs, improve productivity and service Inconsistent or lack of management data reporting Multiple tier I help desks Lack of help desk expertise Limited tools or technology deployed Weaknesses in Asset Management Capabilities of existing Help Desks ----------------------People, Systems & Applications Page 3 of 16 Help Desk Performance Gaps The above chart illustrates the performance gaps that exist between the needs and the current capabilities of the University. These gaps represent significant and immediate opportunities for the University to lower on-going operational costs, improve productivity and service. Individual center profiles are attached at the end of this report. Findings / Recommendations (cont) 1. Inconsistent or lack of management data reporting: Help desk centers collect, record and report very limited information about the performance, efficiency or user satisfaction levels for each center. Typical data collected and reported such as call volumes (PBX, ACD or email), trouble ticket counts, and mean time to respond/repair/restore, clearance actions and root cause analysis is not generally available. Service Level Agreements (SLA) between help desk centers has not been established. Remedy, the University’s resolution tracking system is not deployed or utilized by every center. Additionally, management objectives relative to service expectations were either not defined or communicated. Centers are unable to identify their top reasons for customer inquiries. Without consistent data, a center cannot perform next day analysis for root cause remedies. This puts all of the center’s efforts in a reactive mode, only being able to respond to problems, not prevent them. P4 recommendations: Establish Key Performance Indictors (KPIs) that align with business objectives and ‘customer’ expectations. These KPIs should capture metrics that measure current performance against best practice service level targets. These measurements center on volume, speed and accuracy. Definition for each KPI should include common terms, data source, measurement formula, reporting format and objectives across all centers. Selective KPI creation is required to ensure measurements are reflective of Tier I, Tier II and other organization contributions. The collection, reporting and trending of help desk KPIs is the basis for managers/administrators to make evaluations and decisions relative to resources (people and technology) and is imperative to managing and rewarding personal performance. Establish SLAs between depended centers, providing service expectations to be set, measured and met. A standard SLA template needs to be created that covers the standard operating agreements across the University. Customized agreements where required should be negotiated at the director level and performance against all SLAs reviewed frequently. Designate Remedy as the resolution tracking system that all help desk centers/functions utilize, without exception. The University Information Technology Page 4 of 16 needs to provide a directive that ensures compliance across the campus. Create Remedy weekly, monthly performance reports that compare actual performance to KPI objectives. Reports should be created, pulled and published by a single staff organization. Directors should require performance improvement plans (PIP) from center managers for KPIs not meeting objectives. Root cause analysis activities need to be established. Next day analysis needs to occur and become a discipline. Next day analysis is the trending of network and system events, collated with user inquiries, determining root causes of outages and degradation of service. Conducting trouble distribution analysis will identify “TOP” causes and provide priorities for Tier II and III to address. An effective next day analysis function can significantly reduce customer issues, lower call volumes and allow a center to move from reactive to proactive and eventually preventive mode. 2. Multiple tier I help desks: University administrators, faculty and students have a number of options when seeking assistance with an IT related issue. These multiple choices for service create confusion and inefficiencies among the University technology users, as well as dissatisfaction with overall technology help desk support. Inconsistent and poorly matched help desk capabilities to user needs are the root cause of why the University has multiple help desk centers today. Each user community felt at one time or another that the services provided by a ‘center’ did not meet their needs therefore they decided funding and operating their own help desk center would better serve them. This obviously has created a duplication of effort and costs as it relates to technology, facilities and resources and resulted in fragmented groups which are small in size and diluted in capabilities. There is no accountability for problem resolution when referring a trouble ticket across the University help desk community. If a problem is referred to another center for resolution, even when using Remedy, they are not tracked through closure by the originating center. This creates a gap in ticket ownership, lost continuity, visibility and a perception by the user community that there is a lack of understanding of their needs. Additionally, responsibilities within each help desk center are not clearly defined by position level. Tier I tasks are sometimes performed by Tier II personnel. As the centers are organized today, there are constant conflicting priorities to basic help desk responsibilities. Because multiple functions are performed under each center manager (consulting, project management, physical dispatch for install and repair, etc.) they are required to utilize their existing resources to achieve the day-to-day tasks, which at times can be in conflict with Tier I and Tier II support objectives. Help desk functions, particularly Tier I where customer interaction is paramount, needs to be a top priority. Page 5 of 16 Even with multiple help desk locations, there is no disaster recovery plan suitable to handle multiple help desk responsibilities from a single secure location. P4 recommendations: Consolidate all Tier I resources into a single University Service Desk Center (USDC), therefore establishing one place, one phone number, email and web site for administration and faculty to call for help. This USDC would be responsible for trouble resolution tracking and escalation until closure. Consolidating all help desks calls into a single center would create significant improvements in customer satisfaction and leverage the economy of scale that comes from a larger, better skilled set of resources. People, Process and Tools are the three legs of help desk performance and stability. Establishing a USDC where a set of standard operating procedures, common tools, objectives and dedicated, skilled staff & management will create significant productivity gains across the entire University. By providing high caliber services to its user community, the USDC becomes an enabler of technology, delivering on the original promise of productivity. Establish organizational structure for Tier II and Tier III support. Recognizing that there are specific needs of users, for ex. a college or highly complex application user group that require dedicated support functions. This should be accomplished without the replication of Tier I functions. The USDC would serve as the “Front Door” for every user, providing one call, one place to create and track problem resolution. Tier II functions would remain dedicated to their specific areas of expertise, allowing their efforts to be integrated into the fabric of the University’s one call, one place, help desk strategy (USDC). Position descriptions, job objectives and disciplined management needs to be established so that the organizational structure created can leverage its available resources to accomplish its objectives. Establish Disaster Recovery Plans. A business-continuity strategy needs to be developed that provides for help desk services and capabilities in the event of a disaster. This strategy should include an implementation plan that achieves high-availability during network and system outages, and for disaster recovery in the event of a facility meltdown. 3. Lack of help desk expertise: Help desks that we visited lacked staff and management with practical help desk industry experience. Training for individuals is limited and is generally provided by co-workers as on the job training. Without an adequately trained help desk or technical resources to call upon, people seeking assistance bypass Tier I and go directly to Tier II, or another identified resource, i.e. faculty using building LAN engineers directly. Page 6 of 16 In some cases students are utilized in rapidly rotating shifts (two hours). It would be very difficult for someone to achieve a high level of service efficiency without the necessary training and support required in a complex application environment. Administration staff largely depends on Microsoft office products to conduct their daily work. To the best of our knowledge, no University help desk is tasked with providing user assistance for MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access or MS Project. Training is almost certainly required provided there is still a need for help support on these applications. Without a place to call for assistance, staff will spend unproductive time trying to find the solution, often consuming co-worker’s time by asking for assistance. This example of a ‘lack of a need being met’ by a help desk is often called an ICEBERG. The tip represents the person who has the immediate need. Below the water line, the not obvious or visible part represents the loss productivity of multiple people that are adversely impacted as a result of their co-worker’s requests for help. The MS Office example could easily be representative of a user calling the help desk and not getting their needs met for an existing supported application. Anytime a user calls the help desk and cannot be serviced, the resulting behavior is counter-productive in terms of utilizing resources not designated for help assistance, i.e. co-workers. This is illustrated in the chart below where escalating loss of productivity occurs as a result of user needs not being met by the help desk. Over time users will stop calling the help desk. The underlying loss of productivity still remains, but the visibility to the problem is loss. This is an example of where a highly effective help desk strategy can increase the productivity of the entire administration staff. The mistake that many organizations make is they focus solely on help desk efficiencies and lose sight of the bigger picture. A 1% productivity gain across an entire organization far exceeds a 50% help desk improvement. Time to resolve (mins) 120 100 Resolution Effort 80 Help Desk Co-Worker Self 60 40 20 0 1st 2nd 3rd Number of problem occurrences This chart illustrates the escalating loss of productivity when a help desk fails to meet users expectations and needs Page 7 of 16 P4 recommendation: Define the necessary skills & hire experienced people. Identify the experience and education requirements to perform help desk service functions. Ensure position descriptions by job classification match requirements. Fill any current open positions with experienced qualified help desk candidates. Recruit an experienced highly customer focused Service Desk Manager to operate the University Service Desk Center (USDC). A leading help desk institute should certify this person. Training programs for Tier I and Tier II need to be established. A skill inventory of existing resources should be taken to determine the level of training effort required and whether or not the University has the capability to deliver this training in-house or use external training suppliers. It is anticipated that the initial training requirements will be significant, because it is not unusual for large gaps to exist between current skills and job requirements. Training is an on-going commitment. Training costs can be substantial, but the return can be rewarding. An annual training budget should be established that provides a minimum of 5-7 days of help desk specific training per person, per year. Investigate services vs. needs. It is recommended that the University conduct a return on investment (ROI) evaluation for providing help desk support for Microsoft office products. 4. Limited tools or technology deployed: Remedy appears largely deployed in most help desk centers, but not across all centers. In centers where Remedy is utilized there are examples of feature/functionality not being used that could provide center efficiencies. These include web access, configuration management, reporting, prioritization of queues and asset management. Aside from a couple of primitive tools we saw in the Network Operations Center, there are no monitoring or proactive tools available to assist in hardware or software problem prevention, quick isolation or resolution. Without call distribution devices (ACD, etc), it is difficult to track call volumes or route callers to best qualified and available Tier I agents. Advanced database look-ups, CTI, are not deployed. Routine and common Tier I problems are not being handled by automated applications or self-service processes, thus creating unwarranted calls into a center. No knowledge management system exists to capture self-learning information or provide help desk scripts. P4 recommendations: Deploy remote diagnostic and monitoring tools. Many IT service management applications exist that can provide remote diagnostic and monitoring capabilities for desktop hardware and applications. The immediate benefit is in moving the help desk capabilities from its current reactive mode to a proactive and eventually a prevent mode. Page 8 of 16 An evaluation of competing products and services should be conducted to determine the best fit for the University’s requirements. A ROI justification threshold should be established that has a minimum return on investment of any IT tool no more than 12 months. Begin the planning process for self-service. Many repetitive problems can be effectively handled using an automated response or self-service application. Password resets are most commonly dealt with in this fashion, but so are advanced pay for services. For example, a student calling the help desk to complain about an inability to print. If the problem is related to the students ‘print quota’, a CTI application would provide a student profile look up at the time of call receipt, providing the Tier I agent with intelligent information to resolve the problem quickly and efficiently. Technology to provide intelligent call routing (skill based routing), allowing the call to be routed to the best qualified agent, can provide significant service improvements in terms of reduced resolution times, and customer satisfaction. As the University’s ability to implement selfservice applications grows, the student without live help desk intervention could resolve the identical printing problem. Most common troubles and problems need to be analyzed and scoped out for automated response/self-service applications to include IVR and text to voice. Applications complexities vary greatly as do costs to implement. It is suggested that the University spend considerable time collecting data and performing a business justification (ROI) prior to embarking on this development recommendation. Self-learning opportunities - Evaluation of a knowledge management system should be considered. The time saving that accompanies self-learning, i.e. trouble resolution scripts built based on time proven experiences in your center, handing your customers, can be significant. Like any application to be purchased, a thorough investigation and justification is required to ensure the anticipated benefits are achieved. 5. Weaknesses in Asset Management: To our knowledge asset management has been delegated to department heads, without the assistance of any systems, technology or methodology. There is no management of the University’s IT assets being conducted by the help desk centers. The centers represent the most logical and capable organizations to own this responsibility. Substantial investments have been made in desktop, server, networking, storage and printing capabilities. Without an effective and cost efficient method to manage the assets, the University can not be assured of leveraging its investment for the full expected value. Additionally, without proper asset management, future IT investments can potentially be made prematurely causing duplication of existing or not needed technology. Page 9 of 16 Cost Avoidance Opportunity $3M $2M $15M $5M $1M Estimated $ Lost Over 3 Year Period $5M $4M $40M $20M $25M $30M Chairman Help Desk 2000: Organizations with a solid technology asset management practice can save up to 30% in the purchase, operation and disposal of corporate technology assets $10M Estimated Annual Capital Expenditures Asset Management 5% 10% 1 Yr. 15% 20% 2 Yrs. 25% 30% Percent Of Lost Assets Over Time P4 recommendations: Asset Management, Asset Management, Asset Management - The above chart represents an illustration of the opportunity asset management provides for cost avoidance. It states that with larger capital expenditures the likelihood of greater asset loss will occur over time, as high as 30% over a 3-year period. As an example, an organization that spends $30million in IT capital expenditures could be exposed to $9million in asset loses over a 3-year period without properly implemented asset management. This area of help desk weakness represents the biggest opportunity for future cost containment. Many asset management solutions are available for consideration. P4 recommends evaluating a software agent type that provides physical asset inventory and tracks user information, manages configuration changes and software license compliance as well as monitors system performance. Very aggressive ROIs can be achieved when a well thought out asset management program is implemented. Page 10 of 16 The benefits of an asset manager with the above capabilities are: • Reduce Costs Reduce the cost of desktop support and the overall total cost of ownership by automatically tracking computer assets and maintaining an accurate inventory of hardware, software, licenses, maintenance contracts, warranties, leasing terms, etc. • Increase efficiency Increase the efficiency of many processes in your organization by providing accurate inventory information for purchasing and technology decisions. • Improve Service Improve service by providing service representatives access to accurate inventory records. With this knowledge, they can provide better and faster service. Conclusions & Actions P4 believes that this gap analysis contains a number of “Calls to Actions”. Call to Actions exists when a combination of compelling data and verified information generates a sense of urgency. When brought to leadership attention, Call to Actions requires immediate decisionmaking. Choosing to do nothing is not an acceptable option. P4 also believes that its recommendations align closely with those of the state auditors and if adopted not only provide resolutions for solving its help desk weaknesses, but opportunities to achieve significantly lower costs. The chart below represents P4’s Service Desk vision that is highly customer focused and leverages the power of knowledge management. Page 11 of 16 Knowledge T he U niversity Service D esk B est P ractice M aturity Curve K no w led ge M anagem ent Automated Service Capabilities Self Service A utom ated Response Problem Management System & Application P erform ance M onitoring Root Cause Analysis A sset M anagem ent Certified Staffing High Im pact T raining Dispatch Business Continuity P assword M anagem ent Fragm ented P rocess Reactive Rem ote Assistance Service Level A greem ents Case M anagem ent P roactive P reventative C ustom er F ocused It is our opinion that the University’s current capabilities fall within the lower left corner of the above chart. This represents largely the reactive and dispatch orientation that the help desks have today. It is not reflective of the desires for the University, and its users, to advance towards proactive and preventative services. P4’s recommended initiatives are designed to move the University up the Service Desk maturity curve in manageable increments that yield short-term return on investments. University adoption of a Service Desk vision that embraces knowledge management and customer focus over reactive problem management provides the foundation and sets the course for continuous improvements. In support of that vision, we have summarized P4’s recommendations into three major initiatives: • Build a University Service Desk Center (Tier I help desk) • Deploy performance management tools and develop automated processes • Implement an Asset Management program that enables the University to track, evaluate, and utilize existing IT resources Page 12 of 16 Initiative Summary • Build a University Service Desk Center, USDC (Tier I help desk) ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Consolidate existing Tier I resources into a single center Establish organizational structure for USDC and the supporting Tier II & III groups Hire expertise into open positions and develop and implement required training Incorporate telephony and email routing solutions Deploy help desk agent solutions to desktops, servers and wireless devices Establish standard operating procedures, SLAs, KPIs, reporting Develop a business continuity strategy that includes disaster recovery Annual Cost In-Source vs. Out-Source Internal Outsourced 1 Year 2 Years 3 Years Cost To Operate The above chart suggests that the alternative of out-sourcing the Service Desk functions could lead to lower initial capital expenditures as well as lower total operations costs. A significant amount of data would need to be collected to see if these cost saving opportunities are available to the University. • Deploy performance management tools and automate processes ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Evaluate Network and Desktop remote diagnostic and monitoring tools for deployment Create an application development roadmap that prioritizes processes for automation and self-service Advanced call routing with Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Evaluate Web & IVR self-service opportunities Page 13 of 16 • Implement an Asset Management system ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ Define and implement a IT asset management system Manages configurations Tracks user information Manages software compliance And monitors system performance For each of the initiatives, there are three alternative methods for implementation. The options are: 1. P4 Performance Management implements adopted recommendations. 2. The University implements adopted recommendations themselves. 3. The University evaluates other alternatives. Recommended Next Steps: • The University leadership meets with P4 principles to develop Performance Improvement Plans. These Statements of Work (SOW) would reflect the scope of effort, the budget and schedule commitments and Return on the Investment analysis. Each SOW would contain measurable deliverables, estimated costs and 30-60 day milestones. • Work can begin within a week’s notice. Page 14 of 16 Faculty 135 Admin Users 6000 Student Users Building LAN Administrators College Of Engineering Help Desk Tools: •Remedy •Online Documentation Aka Website Access Methods: •Phone •E-Mail Staffing: •Hrs. of Operation: 8x5x5 •Tier One: 2 (10 students, 80 hrs./week) •Tier Two: 5 •Mgr.: 1 Volume Metrics Calls/Mo. Supported Products: •70 Applications •Custom in house written applications •Off the Self some of which have been customized •Unix, Linux, Windows •662 Lab Systems •Faculty is supported by LAN Administrators F a c ult y 2 1 00 A d mi n . U s ers 150 E -M ail B u i ld in g LA N A d mi n is t rato rs Ne t wo rk & C lien t Se rv ices T oo ls : •R emed y •N o v el To o ls •R emo te S y s tem M an ag er A cces s Meth o d s : •P h on e •E-M ail S ta ffin g : •H rs . o f Op eration : 7 :15 a.m. -6 :00 p.m. O n call 7 p m-11p m •M g r.: 1 C lie nt Side •C C I: 1 •C C II: 5 •C C III: 6 •C C IV : 1 V o lu m e Metrics 6 50 C alls /Mo . N etwo rk S id e •S y s P rog rammers : 3 •C o mpu ter Co ns ultan t: 1 Sup po r t e d P r o duc t s: • D e skto p H W & A p p s. • E - M a il Se r v er & Se r v er I n fr a str uc tu r e ( 3 5 Se r ve r s) • H W Co n sultin g , SA N • SW D e sktop , M S O f f ic e /O S/U tilitie s, • G r o u p W I SE • D isa ste r Re c o ve ry P la n • C lien t S id e H elp D esk p erso n n el w o r k o n a ro tatin g sch ed u le • C lien t S id e A ctiv ities in clu d e p ro je cts, o n -site co n su ltin g , N C S H elp Page 15 of 16 9000 Admin & Faculty 45 InHouse Developers 50 ACS Employees Administration Computing Services Help Desk Access Methods: •Phone •E-Mail Tools: •Remedy Staffing: 7 FTE Volume Metrics 1100 Call/Mo. •Hrs. of Operation: 7:15 am – 6:00 pm •Tier One: 1.5 •Tier Two: 2 •Mgr.: 2 Supported Products: •PeopleSoft, Sybase •280 other applications •Between 75 to 80% are custom, Some off the shelf but custom. •Lab support for testing •Tier One: Dispatch, Password Reset •Tier Two: Resolve, Quick Response, 1 Day for on site calls •Tier Three: Install/Test Applications. Work with Developers F aculty R esN et 515-H elp B uild ing L A N A dm inistra tors NCS ACS N etw or k O p era tio ns C enter A ccess M eth od s: •P hone •E -M ail T ools: •R em edy •N agio (ping tool) •N etF low (status collector) •C iscoW orks S taffing : 4 FT E •H rs. of O peration: 8x5x5 on call 24x7 •3 D ata/N etw ork •1 V ideo, D istance L earning S up p orted P rod ucts: •1 000 S w itch/H u bs/R ou ters •6 500 C isco C ore R ou ters/SW s •G ig Lin ks, 2 for each Bu ild in g •1 0 /10 0 ports to th e D esktops Page 16 of 16 V olu m e M etrics 100 C alls/M o. Theodore H. Poister Georgia State University PART VI: THE PAST AS PRELUDE: WERE THE PREDICTIONS OF CLASSIC SCHOLARS CORRECT? The Future of Strategic Planning in the Public Sector: Linking Strategic Management and Performance Theodore H. Poister is a professor of public management and Policy at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He has published widely on strategic management and performance measurement in the public sector. His current research focuses on the impact of strategy and strategic planning on the performance of public transit systems in the United States. E-mail: tpoister@gsu.edu While it has become ubiquitous in the public sector over the past 25 years, strategic planning will need to play a more critical role in 2020 than it does at present if public managers are to anticipate and manage change adroitly and effectively address new issues that are likely to emerge with increasing rapidity. This article argues that making strategy more meaningful in the future will require transitioning from strategic planning to the broader process of strategic management, which involves managing an agency’s overall strategic agenda on an ongoing rather than an episodic basis, as well as ensuring that strategies are implemented effectively. Complementing this move to more holistic strategic management, we need to shift the emphasis of the performance movement from a principal concern with measurement to the more encompassing process of performance management over the coming decade in order to focus more proactively on achieving strategic goals and objectives. Finally, agencies will need to link their strategic management and ongoing performance management processes more closely in a reciprocating relationship in which strategizing is aimed largely at defining and strengthening overall performance while performance monitoring helps to inform strategy along the way. I n 1942, John A. Vieg wrote that after a century and a half of a deliberate lack of public planning in this country, the kind of planning that had arisen out of the New Deal’s approach to the Great Depression with vigorous government action was “here to stay” because it was desperately needed, and because the consequences of not planning would be too costly. Since then, planning has evolved over the second half of the twentieth century, with city planning, metropolitan planning, regional planning, advocacy planning, policy planning, program planning, and—transitioning into the twenty-first century— strategic planning all gaining prominence. Thus, planning has become firmly established in the American governmental system, just as Vieg predicted. In compelling fashion, many of Vieg’s observations regarding the nascent field of planning more than 60 years ago still ring true today. For example, the purpose of planning is to “protect and promote the public interest,” and planners will endeavor to “weigh all the relevant facts” but will also “use their disciplined imagination” (Vieg 1942, 65). In addition, Vieg asserted that planning should be a continuing process, that planning is synthesis more than analysis, and, above all, that “planning should be pointed toward action” (67–68). These characterizations are Guest editors’ note: In 1942, the University of Chicago particularly relevant to strategic planning, as is Vieg’s emphasis on the importance, Press published a book edited by and the difficulty, of developing Leonard D. White titled The This article looks at the consensus around the values on Future of Government in the mid-term future of strategic which planning is predicated. United States. Each chapter in planning in the public sector the book presents predictions conThis article looks at the midcerning the future of U.S. public from a managerial perspective administration. In this article, over the next decade to the year term future of strategic planning in the public sector from a Theodore H. Poister examines 2020. . . . it focuses on three managerial perspective over the John Vieg’s predictions on the related movements . . . that will next decade to the year 2020. future of government planning be essential in order for strategic After briefly reviewing the curpublished in that book, comments planning to assume a more rent status of strategic planning on whether Vieg’s predictions were in public agencies, it focuses correct not, and then looks to the meaningful role in the United on three related movements—a future to examine public adminisStates over the next 10 years. transition from strategic plantration in 2020. S246 Public Administration Review • December 2010 • Special Issue ning to strategic management, a shift from performance measurement to performance management, and a closer linkage of strategic planning with performance management—that will be essential in order for strategic planning to assume a more meaningful role in the United States over the next 10 years. Strategic Planning in the Public Sector Strategic planning is concerned with formulating strategy. In his seminal book on strategic planning in the public and nonprofit sectors, Bryson presents strategic planning as a set of concepts, processes, and tools for shaping “what an organization (or other entity) is, what it does, and why it does it” (2004, 6). In the long run, its purpose is to promote strategic thinking, acting, and learning on an ongoing basis. Thus, strategic planning takes a “big picture” approach that blends futuristic thinking, objective analysis, and subjective evaluation of values, goals, and priorities to chart a future direction and courses of action to ensure an organization’s vitality, effectiveness, and ability to add public value. Virtually unheard of in government in the United States in 1980, strategic planning is now ubiquitous in the public sector at present, at least as measured by self-reported data. All federal departments and agencies periodically develop and update strategic plans, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, and these efforts may well constitute the most thorough and advanced strategic planning activity carried out in the U.S. public sector today. Surveys also indicate that strategic planning has been widely adopted by state agencies (Berry 1995; Brudney, Hebert, and Wright 1999), and that many local government jurisdictions have been undertaking strategic planning efforts as well (Poister and Streib 2005). However, the extent to which these efforts are worthwhile is not all that clear. Hatry (2002) observes, for example, that the efforts of many public agencies that are nominally engaged in strategic planning are not meaningful because they fail to meet even minimal criteria such as identifying desired outcomes and developing strategies to achieve them. In addition, reports published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (2004, 2005) found that while federal agency strategic planning had improved over initial efforts, in certain areas, federal managers had difficulty establishing outcome-oriented goals, addressing issues that cut across federal agencies, adequately soliciting or incorporating consultation from external stakeholders in strategic plans, relating annual goals to long-term goals, and identifying the budgetary, human resources, and other resources needed to achieve these goals. Critics have also asserted that the top-down, one-size-fits-all approach mandated by the Government Performance and Results Act limits agencies’ abilities to tailor strategic planning efforts to their own needs and circumstances (Long and Franklin 2004; Roberts 2000). On the other hand, case studies of strategic planning best practices in the U.S. military (Barzelay and Campbell 2003; Frentzel, Bryson, and Crosby 2000), along with case studies of strategic planning in local government (Hendrick 2003; Wheeland 2004), indicate that effective strategic planning on the part of public agencies can be instrumental in bringing about meaningful change. In addition, surveys of public managers in Welsh local authorities (Boyne and Gould-Williams 2003), as well as municipal governments in the United States (Poister and Streib 2005), have found that strategic planning efforts are credited with bringing about improvements in both organizational capacity and performance. Furthermore, new case study research suggests that strategic planning was associated with success in bringing about significant changes in several federal agencies (Kelman and Meyers 2009) and led to beneficial change in a large regional collaborative enterprise (Bryson, Crosby, and Bryson 2009). Research notwithstanding, the experiences of two organizations that I have been quite familiar with over time illustrate that strategic planning can and does strengthen organizations, improve effectiveness, and create public value in different ways. First, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), one of the earliest public agencies to engage in strategic planning, has periodically conducted formal strategic planning efforts since 1982, led by four different secretaries of transportation under two Republican and two Democratic administrations. Strategies that resulted from these efforts early on included affirming the top priority of maintaining existing highways rather than expanding capacity in the system, professionalizing highway maintenance operations in the field and converting county-level maintenance managers from political patronage jobs to civil service positions, instituting an employee-centered quality improvement program, investing in a “leading-edge” computerization initiative when such a massive commitment to new technology was highly controversial, and instilling a customer focus in all program areas. Strategies launched in the last two administrations included instituting a Baldrige organizational assessment process, initiating the “Agility” program under which PennDOT entered into service-swapping agreements (e.g., providing line painting services in exchange for roadside mowing) with several hundred local governmental units in order to streamline operations at both levels, reengineering the management of complex highway preconstruction and construction processes in order to deliver PennDOT’s capital program more effectively, shifting top priority from road maintenance to bridge safety, ensuring adequate funding for public transit systems across the commonwealth, and “right-sizing” capital projects to meet local communities’ needs for highway capacity expansion projects with lower construction costs. Second, River Valley Transit (RVT), an agency of the city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has conducted two formal strategic planning efforts over the past decade that have been aimed largely at broadening its mission and expanding its portfolio of responsibilities. Over this period, RVT, which at the outset was responsible solely for operating the local public transit system, has become the contract manager of the city’s parking authority, assumed responsibility for overseeing the city department that manages public works and parks, expanded its tourist-oriented historic trolley operations, partnered with a local nonprofit organization in operating a paddlewheel boat on the Susquehanna River, and built a large trade and transit center in downtown Williamsport that houses office space for the local chamber of commerce, a community theater, and small retail outlets, in addition to the operations center for its bus system. While strategic planning at PennDOT has helped that organization pursue its already substantial mission much more effectively over the years, such planning has helped RVT diversify its portfolio The Future of Strategic Planning in the Public Sector S247 of services considerably and capture significant synergies from connecting these various enterprises at both the management and operating levels. In both of these cases, the initial creative sparks that eventually led to substantial changes rarely originated in formal strategic planning efforts. Rather, many of these ideas were part of the new agendas of successive incoming chief executive officers, in the case of PennDOT, or sprang from the fertile imagination of the long-term visionary general manager of RVT, or they were suggested along the way by others in these organizations in the course of managing their own areas of responsibility and even by outsiders who interacted with these agencies. In both cases, strategy has evolved over the long run in ways that are consistent with the logical incrementalism model advanced by Quinn (1978) and “management by groping along” described by Behn (1988). However, formal strategic planning in both cases served in various ways and at various stages of the development of these ideas to flesh them out in terms of what they would actually look like and how they would be undertaken; to subject them to scrutiny from a variety of perspectives; and to assess their feasibility, desirability, and fit with the more general direction in which these organizations wanted to move. Ultimately, the discussions generated by the formal planning efforts led to validating some of these proposals and rejecting others or tabling them for future consideration. More generally, strategic planning has served in these cases to involve managers in thinking systematically about the future of the organization and the environment in which it operates; to promote learning and discussion about what is important, what the priorities should be, and what will work and what will not work; to build consensus around and commitment to strategic initiatives; and to communicate direction, overall strategy, priorities, and plans to broader constituencies inside and outside the organization. ment of strategists from the realities of the “nuts and bolts” at the operating level and the world that surrounds it. Clearly, if planning is to be done well in the public sector, strategy needs to be formulated by top executives and line managers, with planners in support roles; the analysis of strategic issues must be based on extensive intelligence gathering including “soft” data rather than intensive number crunching; and strategy formulation should be influenced by experience, intuition, inspiration, and even hunches, as well as a keen sense of political feasibility. Thus, strategic planning processes need to facilitate understanding of the forces driving issues, explore options in terms of their feasibility and likely consequences, and stimulate candid discussions regarding the costs and risks associated with various alternatives. If managers can engage in these kinds of assessments and develop genuine consensus around strategies among the “power players” within the organization and outside it whose support or active involvement is essential for success, the strategies arrived at stand a much better chance of success in moving the organization in the desired direction. Regarding this last point, given the boundary-spanning nature of many of the issues they are confronting, public agencies need to make greater efforts to be more inclusive in their strategic planning, inviting key external stakeholders to become involved in parts of the process or making greater efforts to solicit input from outsiders through surveys, focus groups, executive sessions, or other forums. Furthermore, given that public policy is often determined and carried out in networked environments rather than by single agencies, strategic planning will need to be applied increasingly to collaborative enterprises (Bryson, Crosby, and Bryson, 2009). Recognizing the importance of other public as well as private and nonprofit organizations to the advancement of their own strategic agendas, public agencies often assess critical external stakeholders’ support for or opposiThe Future of Strategic Planning Though it has become orthodox tion to their plans and then develop strateThough it has become orthodox practice in the gies as part of those plans to capitalize on or public sector over the past 25 years, strategic practice in the public sector recruit supporters while accommodating or planning will need to play a more critical over the past 25 years, strategic making end-runs around opponents in order role in 2020 than it does at present if public planning will need to play a to move those plans forward more effectively managers are to anticipate and manage change more critical role in 2020 than (Nutt and Backoff 1992). Although it may adroitly and address new issues that seem to it does at present if public be more cumbersome and challenging, it emerge with increasing rapidity. This means managers are to anticipate and may be much more effective in the long run that more public agencies will need to advance for the agency in question to attempt to beyond the point of inventorying current manage change adroitly and convince these other organizations to work operations and programming future activities address new issues that seem to based on extrapolations of past trends to more emerge with increasing rapidity. collaboratively in developing a strategic plan for the larger network and then work within creative “out of the box” thinking about future that process to try to ensure that the plan directions in response to candid assessments of that results reflects its own substantive objectives to the extent postheir own capacities as well as realistic expectations regarding emergsible. For example, most state transportation departments develop ing trends and issues and forces beyond their control. their own strategic plans and then attempt to develop buy-in from external stakeholders as needed. The Florida Department of TransIf public agencies are to use strategic planning processes more efportation (FDOT), however, led a variety of entities representing fectively, however, they need to avoid the kinds of traps identified numerous transportation interests across the state in developing a in Mintzberg’s (1994) classic critique, which argued that strategic strategic multimodal transportation plan for Florida looking out to planning in the private sector often spoils rather than facilitates 2020. FDOT then developed its own organization’s strategic plan, truly strategic thinking as a result of overly formalized planning which was heavily oriented to advancing the larger state transportasystems, the central role played by professional planners as opposed tion plan that was supported by these external stakeholder groups. to managers, overreliance on quantitative data, and the detachS248 Public Administration Review • December 2010 • Special Issue More immediate, however, public managers need to link strategic planning much more closely with performance management processes in response to continued pressure for accountability as well as their own commitment to managing for results. More specifically, we will need to effectuate three fundamental changes in the way in which we manage public agencies over the next decade: 1. Shifting from strategic planning to strategic management 2. Moving from performance measurement to performance management 3. Linking strategy and performance management more effectively Making these three transitions will be essential to enable public agencies to focus attention on the most appropriate goals and to manage effectively to achieve those goals. From Strategic Planning to Strategic Management Paradoxically, Mintzberg’s claim that strategic planning often amounts to strategic programming in practice may be on target, in part, in identifying what is needed in terms of overall strategic management in public agencies. Strategic programming as described by Mintzberg consists of clarifying strategy and translating broad vision into more operational terms; elaborating strategies in greater detail and developing action plans that specify what must be done to realize strategies; and assessing the implications of strategic mandates on the organization’s operating systems and revising budgets, control systems, and standard operating procedures. As planners attend to these critical tasks, they will help their agencies shift from strategic planning to broader strategic management. It is hoped that public agencies will move further toward more comprehensive strategic management over the next 10 years as they not only see the value of good strategic planning, but also feel the need to use strategy to drive decisions and actions and to advance their strategic agendas more effectively (Vinzant and Vinzant 1996). Strategic management is concerned with ensuring that strategy is implemented effectively and encouraging strategic learning, thinking, and acting on an ongoing basis. The implementation aspect involves working all of the “management levers” in a concerted effort to implement strategic initiatives, advance the strategic agenda, and move an organization into the future in a deliberate manner. These levers include, but are not limited to, operational and business planning, budgets, workforce development and training, other management and administrative processes, internal and external communications, analytical and problem-solving capabilities, program delivery mechanisms, legislative agendas, leadership skills, and an organization’s ability to influence other actors in the networks through which it operates (Poister and Streib 1999). [S]trategic Strategic management is largely a matter of utilizing and coordinating all of the resources and venues at top management’s disposal, enforcing a kind of “omnidirectional alignment” among them in the interest of advancing the strategic agenda (Poister and Van Slyke 2002). Public agencies can develop action plans for implementing particular strategic initiatives and utilize project management approaches to ensure that they will be carried out to completion. To provide accountability for results, they can assign lead responsibility for implementing strategies to individual managers or operating units, and they can create action teams to flesh out and oversee the implementation of crossfunctional strategies. More generally, they can mandate that major divisions or other organizational units develop their own strategic plans or business plans within the framework of the agency’s overall strategic agenda. In addition, agencies can do a number of other things to ensure that strategy is translated into action, such as, • Identifying and monitoring appropriate performance measures to track progress in implementing strategic initiatives and achieving strategic goals and objectives • Assessing performance data in periodic strategy review sessions and making adjustments as needed to keep implementation on track • Aligning budgets with strategic priorities, allocating resources to fund new strategic initiatives, and challenging operating units to show how their budget proposals advance strategy • Incorporating goals and objectives related to the strategic plan in individuals’ performance planning and appraisal processes and rewarding contributions to the advancement of strategy as possible • Promoting the agency’s vision and strategic plan internally to mobilize commitment throughout the organization • Communicating strategy to external stakeholders and soliciting their assistance in advancing strategy as needed • Emphasizing consistency with strategy in proposals, requests, and other external communications to build credibility and support on the part of governing bodies, oversight agencies, and other key constituencies Without this kind of follow-through on numerous fronts, public agencies are unlikely to see the real value of their strategic plans brought to fruition. Indeed, halfhearted efforts regarding implementation beg the question of the value of strategic planning in the first place. On the other hand, as illustrated by PennDOT, among others, a full court press and continuing attention to coordinating a variety of approaches to implementing strategy can strengthen organizational capacity and improve performance significantly. More generally, strategic management involves shaping, implementing, and managing an agency’s strategic agenda on an ongoing rather than an episodic basis, in a way that is highly consistent with Quinn’s description of a purposeful, incremental approach to strategy formulation mentioned earlier. Thus, strategically managed agencies might charge major divisions and then successively lower levels of management with responsibility for cascading planning management involves shaping, implementing, down through the organization in order to develop initiatives that advance the vision and managing an agency’s created at the top with actionable strategies at strategic agenda on an ongoing the operating level. rather than episodic basis, . . . [employing] a purposeful incremental approach to strategy formulation. Effective strategic management must also be concerned with monitoring external trends and forces as well as internal performance on an ongoing basis, refreshing intelligence along The Future of Strategic Planning in the Public Sector S249 the way, and revising strategy when and as needed. For example, the Georgia Department of Transportation has adopted a 360-degree stakeholder survey process to solicit periodic feedback from key customer groups, business partners, suppliers, and state legislators, as well as its own employees to help inform regular strategic plan monitoring and update efforts. The Kansas Department of Transportation and other state transportation departments have been experimenting with the use of social networking media such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to solicit the public’s views and feedback on transportation needs and programs as well as to communicate outwardly regarding the challenges they face and their plans for addressing these issues. Indeed, one of the most important functions of strategic management is to ensure that monitoring the internal and external environments, gathering information from a wide variety of sources, and sensing how circumstances are perceived and how values might be changing on the part of an array of constituencies continues to go on in between active rounds of strategic planning. The resulting sense of how things stand can be invaluable in shaping the timing and nature of strategic planning efforts. Very often, for example, strategic planning efforts appropriately consist of plan updates or refinements of existing strategy, or otherwise looking for ways to advance existing priorities more effectively. At times, however, agencies may need to recognize that they are at a crossroads and face epochal shifts (Barzelay and Campbell 2003) in environment and expectations that may call for refocusing their entire mission, moving in new directions, and revamping priorities substantially. This was the situation facing PennDOT in the early stages of a major turnaround effort beginning in 1979 in response to a growing consensus in state government circles and among a wide range of stakeholders that it had become highly dysfunctional and needed either to be reinvented or eliminated. Similarly, in its early strategic planning effort, RVT recognized that it had reached a point at which it needed to decide whether to continue operating solely as a public transit system or to move aggressively to become a multimodal transportation agency and a force in downtown redevelopment efforts. Strategic planning efforts can be oriented appropriately toward more routine updates of existing functions or a more dramatic paradigm-changing type of strategizing, but in either case, they can be undertaken more effectively if an agency has been actively monitoring its environment on an ongoing basis. measures are less actionable in the “hollow state,” where responsibility for conducting much of government’s business is contracted out to other entities (Frederickson and Frederickson 2006), in many quarters, performance measurement seems to be assumed to automatically lead to improved performance. However, actual performance management, actively utilizing performance information to strengthen policies and programs, improve performance, and maximize the benefits of public services, still appears to seriously lag performance measurement activity (Hatry 2002). Grades from the 2008 Government Performance Project for generating appropriate information and using it to support decision making reflect the current state of performance management in practice; only 6 of the 50 states received an A rating on this criterion, while 20 received a B rating, and the remaining 24 states received a C or even D rating (Barrett and Green 2008). At the federal level, while some agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have increased their use of performance information for various management decisions, this is not the case in general. According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, more than the 16 years since the Government Performance and Results Act was passed, agencies across the federal government “have developed strategic plans and are routinely generating performance information to measure and report progress toward their strategic goals. However, . . . our periodic surveys of federal managers on their use of performance information show that while significantly more federal managers reported having performance measures for their programs than they did 10 years ago, their reported use of performance information to make management decisions has not changed significantly” (2009, 1–2). On the other hand, some recent research suggests that selected governmental units are beginning to use performance data to improve performance (Ammons and Rivenbark 2008; De Lance Julnes et al. 2008; Moynihan 2008). In part, the lack of true performance management originates with governing bodies that lack the political will to make the kinds of difficult decisions that are required to achieve substantial performance improvements in fields such as crime or education and instead redefine the issues as problems of mismanagement and inefficiency and then vow to hold the respective bureaucracies responsible (Frederickson 2005). Similarly, Moynihan (2008) finds that although agency managers see improved decision making and performance as the most important purpose of measurement, elected officials are more likely to be interested in accountability and the symbolic value From Performance Measurement to Performance of requiring agencies to report on their performance. Thus, while Management performance management doctrine calls Paralleling the transition from strategic for allowing administrators greater discreplanning to strategic management, we need Paralleling the transition tion in managing their programs in order to to shift the emphasis of the performance facilitate performance improvement, states movement from performance measurement from strategic planning to have been reluctant to provide increased flexto a focus on performance management over strategic management, we need ibility regarding financial controls in terms of the coming decade. Clearly, governments at to shift the emphasis of the resource allocation, procurement, and budget all levels in the United States are operating in performance movement from execution or human resource management in an era of performance. Performance measureperformance measurement terms of hiring, performance appraisal, and ment systems are ubiquitous, and although to a focus on performance compensation practices. the top-down, one-size-fits-all systems mandated at the federal level and in many states management over the coming Nevertheless, there still are possibilities for have been criticized as being problematic in decade. using performance information to strengthen many cases (Radin 2006), and performance S250 Public Administration Review • December 2010 • Special Issue performance. Perhaps the best known examples include a number of U.S. cities, such as San Francisco, Atlanta, and St. Louis, that have followed Baltimore’s lead in implementing “CitiStat” systems, in which the mayor and/or top aides conduct regular meetings with department heads and their staff to review performance data and discuss performance, objectives, and strategies for achieving them (Behn 2006). At the state and federal levels, Moynihan (2008) advocates building agency-centered performance management, although he cautions that the success of such efforts is dependent on a number of organizational characteristics, such as the degree of autonomy, functional areas of responsibility, clientele and stakeholders, political context, and resourcing. nor outcomes lend themselves to direct measurement, agencies should monitor systematic feedback on the value of their services to customers and the public as well as reciprocal relationships with other entities (Boschken 1992) through periodic surveys or other mechanisms for soliciting meaningful information from critical external stakeholders groups. Most importantly, perhaps, public agencies can consistently and candidly communicate their performance information, including the problems they face as well as success stories, to a wide range of external audiences, including governing bodies, working over the long run to convince these critical stakeholders that performance does indeed matter, that they are committed to improving it, and that they need support and cooperation in doing so. Governing bodies, it is hoped, will come to appreciate the value of performance improvement and accountability over time, and will begin to support “the great bargain” by relaxing controls on agencies’ financial and human resource management practices in exchange for holding them accountable for substantially higher performance expectations—but that is a long-run proposition. In the meantime, meaningful performance management, rather than simply performance measurement, needs to become the rule rather than the exception at the agency level, generating incremental but ongoing improvement in the performance of public programs. Measurement systems are most likely to produce actionable performance data in circumstances in which outputs and outcomes are more readily observable and agencies have more control over the outputs they produce and greater leverage over the outcomes they are expected to generate (Jennings and Haist 2004). Particularly in these kinds of agencies, public managers must proactively seize the opportunity to utilize the information produced by measurement systems to help improve performance, in part by linking performance data to manager- and employee-centered performance management systems. For example, they can designate appropriate individuals in the organization as “results owners” and charge them with lead responsibility for maintaining or improving performance Integrating Strategy and Performance Management on particular measure sets. They can also give the performance More generally, performance management is the process of setting imperative a “real-time” edge by negotiating target levels of pergoals for an organization and managing effectively to achieve those formance to be attained in particular time frames that are both goals and eventually bring about the desired aggressive but also realistic and by incorpooutcomes. In that sense, strategic management rating results data in employee performance [P]erformance management is can be viewed as performance management appraisal systems. More generally, agencies at a strategic level. However, large, complex can utilize performance data as the basis for the process of setting goals for public organizations typically maintain a wide triggering performance improvements, includan organization and managing ing the following: effectively to achieve those goals variety of performance measurement systems at different levels and in different parts of and eventually bring about the organization. These systems are likely to • Actively reviewing performance data the desired outcomes. In that focus on different programs or processes, serve with managers who are responsible for sense, strategic management different purposes, and be oriented to the programs on a regular basis and challengneeds of different audiences or intended users. ing them to assess underlying reasons for can be viewed as performance chronically poor or eroding performance management at a strategic level. Thus, performance measurement and, it is hoped, performance management are ongoing and develop plans for corrective action processes at all levels and across numerous • Redirecting internal budget allocations applications, and they are much more encompassing and pervasive and program activities to the extent possible to make programs than strategic planning and management systems. more effective • Providing training to service delivery staff and mounting While strategic planning and management should be focused very quality and productivity improvement initiatives to overcome selectively on issues of the most fundamental importance, organiperformance deficiencies • Working collaboratively with partners, contractors, and suppli- zations still must manage their core businesses and more routine operations on an ongoing basis. Whereas strategic management ers to find ways to overcome performance problems focuses on taking actions now to position the organization to move • Commissioning task forces or formative program evaluations to investigate performance problems when solutions are not more into the future, performance management is largely concerned with managing ongoing programs and operations at present. readily forthcoming With respect to programs whose outcomes are not so readily observable, but whose outputs are measurable and held to be effective and worthwhile in contributing to desired results, agencies can focus primarily on these outputs, particularly in terms of service quality and quantity, perhaps using expert review panels when more objective indicators are not available. In cases in which neither outputs Strategy is usually oriented to change that is aimed at enhancing an organization’s role in the larger environment or the way it pursues its mission. Implementing strategies is the province of strategic management, but when strategic initiatives have been completed and/or strategic goals have been attained, they typically should move off the strategic agenda. However, some of these strategies may still The Future of Strategic Planning in the Public Sector S251 be important in the sense of being embedded in the way an organization does business on a continuing basis, and thus they may need to be supported through the ongoing performance management process. With few exceptions (Bryson 2004; Poister 2003), strategic planning and performance management are not closely connected in the public management literature. However, we need to manage the interplay between strategy and performance management to much greater advantage. While strategic plans usually identify performance measures that are monitored and may feed meaningful information into strategy review and update efforts, often they are not linked systematically to goal structures and measurement systems at the program management and operating levels, where performance improvement is most likely to be generated. Without such linkages, strategic planning is much less effective in driving decisions and actions in an agency and moving purposefully into the future. Of course, in many large federal departments as well as multifunctional organizations at the state level, strategic plans are likely to be developed at multiple levels (e.g., the department, agency, and program levels), and in many local jurisdictions, strategic plans are developed both at the corporate level and by individual departments. In such cases, strategic plans can and should be linked directly to performance management systems at each level. From a performance management perspective, Hatry asserted that strategic planning is not really essential to successful government, arguing that governments at all levels are “continually taking numerous actions to improve their services without significant input from strategic planning” (2002, 353). Clearly, however, performance management systems that are not tied to or at least consistent with strategy run the risk of maintaining and/or improving immediate performance on previously established criteria of success but increasingly missing the mark in terms of where the organization should be heading in the longer run. For example, for several years beginning in the mid-1990s, the New Mexico Department of Transportation used its performance management system, called the Compass, very aggressively to substantially elevate the performance of its core mission: building and maintaining highways. Indeed, the system became so firmly rooted as the driving force of decisions and actions in the department that when strategic planning was mandated for all state agencies in New Mexico in the late 1990s, the Department of Transportation responded by simply writing a plan around the performance measures in the Compass as its de facto strategy, thus passing up an opportunity to question broader strategic issues. A few years later, however, recognizing the limitations of existing strategy in a context of changing development patterns, transportation needs, and mobility options, a new secretary appointed in 2002 initiated a strategic planning process that opened a broader discussion on future directions and set new priorities for public transit, commuter rail, and intercity bus services, as well as highway safety. The Compass, which had worked so effectively in channeling the department’s energy and resources to its traditional mission, but had also become somewhat outmoded with respect to changing needs and priorities, was then reoriented to focus attention on the department’s rebalanced strategies. At the same time, many of the S252 Public Administration Review • December 2010 • Special Issue measures were removed from the strategically oriented Compass but retained in other systems at the program and operating levels. The point here is that strategic planning will become more meaningful as more agencies transition to comprehensive strategic management approaches that, among other things, drive their performance management systems forward. At the same time, as agencies shift from simply measuring performance to incorporating the resulting information into systematic efforts to actually improve performance, those performance management systems will be more effective in the long run if they are aligned with strategy and driven by strategic management processes. Thus, the preferred type of performance measurement/management system will depend in large part on the nature and content of strategy. For example, if an agency’s principal strategies focus on producing significant improvements in its immediate service delivery processes, as was the case with the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s COMPASS, for instance, a “stats”-type system emphasizing the quantity and quality of outputs, customer or citizen satisfaction, and outcomes, with frequent reviews and clear expectations for action plans to correct deficiencies as required, may be very useful. On the other hand, when strategy concerns the implementation of new programs or other initiatives, a project management approach may be more helpful, while an agency whose strategies focus more on longer-term change in policies or overall direction may find that monitoring a wider range of performance data, perhaps including leading as well as lagging indicators, at longer time intervals is more useful in determining whether the organization is on course and whether plans need to be revised. Moreover, performance management processes in an immediate sense operate within a context characterized by numerous factors that may limit performance improvement, such as structure, organization culture, service delivery arrangements, and technology, in addition to constraints in terms of authority and resources. In some cases, when there seems to be little opportunity for working “inside the box” to improve performance at a programmatic or operating level, strategic planning at a higher level may be able to bring about more systemic change and remove barriers to productivity in terms of redesigning structure, developing a productive culture, instituting new service delivery arrangements, and even securing additional resources or expanding formal authority in order to facilitate performance improvement. For example, the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) initiated a performance measurement system at the beginning of this decade to monitor the performance of the STD prevention and treatment programs operated by health departments in all 50 states and several large cities to which the CDC gives grants for programmatic support. The measures were developed through a participative process involving representatives of the state and local programs and related academics and advocates from professional groups, as well as CDC central office managers and field personnel. They were initially piloted in a few states, then implemented by all grantees and later incorporated into the CDC’s triennial grant solicitation process, and a task force was convened a few years ago to review the system and add, eliminate, or adjust some of the measures. While the measures are reported every year and the CDC actively reviews the data and encourages and challenges grantees to work harder and smarter to strengthen their outputs and immediate outcomes, the results do not show the kind of performance improvement that the CDC had been anticipating. Instead, on critical indicators such as the proportion of primary and secondary syphilis cases interviewed within 7, 14, and 30 days or the proportion of positive chlamydia cases from family planning clinics treated within 14 and 30 days, performance in the aggregate has been quite static over the past several years. A consensus is developing that part of the reason for this lack of movement in the data is that significant improvement in performance in these areas requires increased cooperation on the part of a number of other entities in the larger STD “system,” e.g., schools, health maintenance organizations, community-based organizations, and jails, and that the state and local STD programs have not been able to leverage sufficient influence through these networks to bring about the kinds of needed responses from these other actors. Thus, at present, the CDC is planning to initiate a strategic review and planning process to identify the critical issues regarding these programs and, it is hoped, move to a new networked based paradigm in the interests of improving performance. Conversely, while strategic planning and management provide an essential framework for effective performance management, performance management itself can sometimes enrich strategic planning by clarifying strategy (Moynihan 2008) and even “finding strategy” (Mintzberg 1994). For instance, ongoing experience with performance management systems can inform strategic planners about realistic expectations, opportunities, and limitations regarding attempts to strengthen the performance of a given program in its operating context in ways that might help thinking strategically about other programmatic options in the long run. In addition, performance reports that break performance data down by decentralized operating units, supplemented with information regarding differences in the environments in which they operate, may help identify strategies that are more or less effective in particular operating contexts. managers have seen continued growth in outsourcing to private sector contractors and suppliers, the rise of collaboratives to make policy as well as deliver public services, the phenomenal growth of e-government service channels, a more insistent customer focus on the part of government agencies, and increased pressure for accountability and performance from elected officials, the media, and the public. If the coming decade is as turbulent as the one just now ending, drifting into the future on somewhat predictable tides will not be an option. Instead, “muddling through” could well result in public agencies being buffeted about by strong winds and battered on the rocks. Thus, if agencies are to anticipate new problems and challenges, respond to them effectively, and, to a degree at least, chart their own course for moving into the future, they will need to think and act strategically and be able to manage for results. To add public value, government agencies must identify appropriate goals that are legitimate and politically sustainable and have the management and operational capacity to deliver on them effectively (Moore 1995). Clearly, strategic planning is not always aimed at improving the performance of ongoing programs. Often, it redefines performance to meet new challenges, but it should always focus on identifying the kinds of results to be achieved and strategies for achieving them. Public agencies are best served by “nimble” strategic planning systems that focus very selectively on identifying and resolving the most compelling issues facing them as they continue to monitor internal and external conditions and scan the environment to discern emerging issues that might require new strategic responses. Consistent with this, strategic management must not be seen as a matter of micromanaging to enforce uniformity across operating divisions, but rather working to ensure that decisions and actions at all levels are driven by a few fundamental strategies that are critical for success in the long run. In addition, over the coming decade, it is imperative for public agencies to engage much more widely in developing comparative measurement systems with other similar agencies and programs in order to facilitate benchmarking efforts aimed at identifying evidence-based best practices on the part of leading performers that might be able to be adapted profitably by other agencies (Ammons and Rivenbark 2008). This kind of information can often inform the development of strategic initiatives aimed at making agencies more effective. However, comprehensive performance management at the operating level still must be oriented in part to advancing an agency’s overall strategy. Thus, I am convinced that moving from planning strategy and measuring the performance of ongoing programs, on the one hand, to implementing strategy and using performance information to improve performance, on the other, will be essential for public agencies to significantly increase their capacity to meet new and unforeseen challenges and create public value over the next 10 years. This will also require linking strategic management and ongoing performance management processes more effectively in a reciprocating relationship in which strategizing is aimed largely at defining and strengthening overall performance and performance monitoring helps inform strategy along the way. Conclusions The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen the United States involved in two protracted overseas wars that are straining the military, a new and urgent concern with homeland security and terrorist attacks from within as well as without, the deepest economic recession in 70 years and unprecedented government bailouts and stimulus funding, state and local governments in dire fiscal straits just as the need for them is significantly increasing, and polarizing national politics that have been very divisive with respect to the role of government in society in general. Over the same period, public While many leading-edge public organizations do have effective strategic management processes in place, many more agencies at all levels of government fail to utilize the kinds of practices discussed in this article to develop and implement strategy and to manage performance effectively. Transitioning to comprehensive strategic management and performance management will be critical for these agencies over the next 10 years given the rapid pace of change and increased uncertainties facing public administrators at all levels. Thus, strong leadership will be required to overcome a range of institutional, bureaucratic, and cultural factors that reinforce the tendency to continue managing The Future of Strategic Planning in the Public Sector S253 on a day-to-day basis while drifting into the future rather than guiding the agency into the future in a purposeful direction. The critical need is for leaders who are organizational entrepreneurs not only in the sense of creating visions of success for the future, developing strategies for pursuing those visions, and mobilizing support both internally and externally for those visions and strategies, but who also fully appreciate the value of basic management systems and demonstrate a personal commitment to utilizing them to implement strategy and management performance effectively. Ultimately, more public agencies need to develop organizational cultures and leadership at all levels that welcome opportunities to manage change and provide positive reinforcement for being cognizant of the dynamic fit between organization and environment and contributing to strategy development and implementation as the normal way of doing business. References Ammons, David N., and William C. Rivenbark. 2008. 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Boyne, George A., and Julian Gould-Williams. 2003. Planning and Performance in Public Organizations: An Empirical Analysis. Public Management Review 5(1): 115–32. Bryson, John M. 2004. Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations. 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bryson, John M., Barbara C. Crosby, and John K. Bryson. 2009. Understanding Strategic Planning and the Formulation and Implementation of Strategic Plans as a Way of Knowing: The Contributions of Actor-Network Theory. International Public Management Journal 12(2): 172–207. Brudney, Jeffrey, F. Ted Hebert, and Deil S. Wright. 1999. Reinventing Government in the American States: Measuring and Explaining Administrative Reform. Public Administration Review 59(1): 19–30. de Lancer Julnes, Patricia, Frances Stokes Berry, Maria P. Aristigueta, and Kaifeng Yang, eds. 2008. International Handbook of Practice-Based Performance Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Frederickson, David G., and H. George Frederickson. 2006. Measuring the Performance of the Hollow State. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Frederickson, H. George. 2005. Up the Bureaucracy: A True and Faultless Guide to Organizational Success and the Further Adventures of Knute and Thor. http:// www.people.ku.edu/~gfred/documents/UpTheBureaucracy050205v.3.doc [accessed August 28, 2010]. Frentzel, William Y., II, John M. Bryson, and Barbara C. Crosby. 2000. Strategic Planning in the Military: The U.S. Naval Security Group Changes Its Strategy, 1992–1998. Long Range Planning 33(3): 402–29. S254 Public Administration Review • December 2010 • Special Issue Hatry, Harry P. 2002. Performance Measurement: Fashions and Fallacies. Public Performance and Management Review 25(4): 352–35. Hendrick, Rebecca. 2003. Strategic Planning Environment, Process, and Performance in Public Agencies: A Comparative Study of Departments in Milwaukee. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 13(4): 491–519. Jennings, Edward T., Jr., and Meg Patrick Haist. 2004. Putting Performance Measurement in Context. In The Art of Governance: Analyzing Management and Administration, edited by Patricia W. Ingraham and Laurence E. Lynn, Jr., 173–94. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Kelman, Steven, and Jeff Myers. 2009. Successfully Executing Ambitious Strategies in Government: An Empirical Analysis. Paper presented to the 10th National Public Management Research Conference, October 1–3, Columbus, OH. Long, Edward, and Aimee L. Franklin. 2004. The Paradox of Implementing the Government Performance and Results Act: Top-Down Direction for Bottom-Up Implementation. Public Administration Review 64(3): 309–19. Mintzberg, Henry. 1994. The Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning. Harvard Business Review 71(1): 107–14. Moore, Mark H. 1995. Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Moynihan, Donald P. 2008. 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Radin, Beryl A. 2006. Challenging the Performance Movement: Accountability, Complexity, and Democratic Values. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Roberts, Nancy. 2000. The Synoptic Model of Strategic Planning and the GPRA: Lacking a Good Fit with the Political Context. Public Productivity and Management Review 23(3): 297–311. U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). 2004. Results Oriented Government: GPRA Has Established a Solid Foundation for Achieving Greater Results. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. GAO-04-38. ———. 2005. Results-Oriented Government: Improvements to DHS’s Planning Process Would Enhance Usefulness and Accountability. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. GAO-05-300. ———. 2009. Government Performance: Strategies for Building a Results-Oriented and Collaborative Culture in the Federal Government. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. GAO-09-1011T. Vieg, Joseph A. 1942. Developments in Government Planning. In The Future of Government in the United States, edited by Leonard D. White, 63–87. University of Chicago Press. Vinzant, Douglas H., and Janet C. Vinzant. 1996. Strategy and Organizational Capacity: Finding a Fit. Public Productivity and Management Review 20(2): 139–57. Wheeland, Craig. 2004. Empowering the Vision: Community-Wide Strategic Planning in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Copyright of Public Administration Review is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.
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Running head: GAP ANALYSIS


Gap Analysis
Instructor name
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Gap analysis is a procedure to assess the difference in the performance between the
business information systems to analyze if the business requirements are accomplished. The
steps to be taken to make sure that they are accomplished successfully. (Gap Analysis, n.d.)
The gap means the difference between where we are right now and where we want to go. The
gap analysis is also known as needs analysis, need gap analysis, and needs assessment. The
organization that I am familiar with is Sigma Textiles. The organization is a major producer
of garments for all age categories in China. It is located in Keqiao, Shaoxing City in Zhejiang
Province of China. (Sigma Textiles, n.d.)
Current state of the organization
Presently, the organization successfully fulfils the demand of the Chinese Market.
Along with this, the organization also serves some of the European countries like Italy,
Poland, France, Spain, and Germany, and other countries like Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Sri
Lanka, India, South America, Thailand, etc. The experience and expertise in the textile
industry have helped the organization to provide the best quality experience to the customers.
The constant efforts have also helped to create a good business relationship with suppliers
and customers. Various types of fabrics have been used for the production like cotton, rayon,
polyester, lace, etc for bonding series, print series, Jacquard series, and winter items. All
these have helped the organization to gain a good reputation in the market.
Desired state of the organization
Sigma textiles have served most of...

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