Performance Management

How to Build a Local Government Performance Reporting Framework (with examples)

Screenshot of local government reporting framework

Developing the right reporting strategy to communicate local government performance is a regular point of discussion with our local government customers.

Oftentimes, local governments know that producing regular and relevant reports is key to building trust with their stakeholders–however, it’s not easy to regularly produce reports that show progress against strategic goals, especially when these reports need to be tailored to unique audiences such as elected officials, staff, or residents. Each one of these audiences requires a different level of detail, in a different format, communicated on a different schedule.

The good news is that Envisio can help with that.

We understand well the pain that comes with trying to pull insights and relevant metrics from a poorly-kept spreadsheet, or how maddening it can be to spend dozens of hours assembling a report that fails to accurately reflect where you are in relation to where you’d like to be.

And while we know that investing in your local government performance reporting framework can be daunting, developing one can pay huge dividends. Developing a comprehensive reporting framework can help with:

  • Building trust and transparency: A reporting framework that speaks to your respective audiences provides transparency into your current operations and highlights your successes, disruptions, and progress. This transparency is essential for building trust with your stakeholders.
  • Accelerating accountability: Timely and consistent reporting can help hold your local government remain accountable to your stakeholders, while championing a culture of ownership and engagement internally. It informs elected officials how you’re doing on pushing forward their promises, and lets residents see how their tax dollars are being used to improve quality-of-life and to build a better community.
  • Developing a mindset of continuous improvement: Regular and detailed reporting can help your local government organization track and measure KPIs effectively while identifying areas for improvement. By tracking performance over time, local governments can make data-driven decisions to improve service delivery–regular reporting supports keeping your team aligned and working towards shared goals.
  • Managing your plan: Reports are one of the best ways to help manage complex plans. Overdue items, departmental actions that are about to start, projects experiencing disruptions… an effective reporting strategy should tell you where to focus your attention, help you to troubleshoot problems, and prioritize your workload.
  • Improving efficiency: Having an agreed upon cadence for what types of reports will be produced, and how they will be produced, delivered, and used, should reduce the number of ad-hoc reporting requests and introduce repeatability and efficiency into your efforts.

The benefits of good reporting are significant–but how do you avoid a scenario where you spend valuable resources developing reports that nobody reads?

Let’s try changing the conversation…

Reporting shouldn’t be about thankless box-ticking exercises, or naming and shaming when things don’t get done. Rather, think of reporting as the best way to align your team, manage your plan, and report on your progress to the people who need to know. If you’re managing a complex plan, then developing a reporting framework that works for you is really one of the best ways to execute on your strategy!

An effective reporting strategy should tell you where to focus your attention, help you to troubleshoot problems, and prioritize your workload.

So what does an effective local government performance reporting framework actually look like?

We’ve put together a recommended reporting framework (with examples), influenced by our work with hundreds of different government agencies.

All of these reports can be automatically generated and scheduled with Envisio’s integrated strategy execution and reporting tools. And whether or not you use Envisio, I hope these examples can provide some insight, inspiration, and structure for your reporting success.

Best Practice Reports

These are the reports that our team of strategy experts recommend as essential to a successful local government performance reporting framework.

Pending Updates Reminder report

Pending Updates Reminder report: With Envisio’s roll-up reporting, this pending updates reminder report will help to drive home the message that the plan–and its updates–are important and need to be prioritized.

Recommended Cadence: Day before updates are due
Recommended Format: Tabular
Recommended Audience: All staff

Monthly Departmental Review report

Monthly Departmental Review report: Your departments work hard to accomplish your organization’s strategic goals. This local government departmental report highlights progress for each team’s responsibilities, helping to maintain focus on the plan and keep it front-of-mind.

Recommended Cadence: End of reporting period
Recommended Format: Tabular
Recommended Audience: All staff, filtered by department

Monthly City Manager report

Monthly City Manager report: Visibility for your leadership team is critical in the successful execution of your plan. This City Manager report guides your leadership in reviewing and discussing both progress made and disruptions occurred, with complete transparency, on a monthly basis.

Recommended Cadence: End of reporting period
Recommended Format: Progress
Recommended Audience: All staff

Council Progress report

Council Progress report: Once your teams’ updates have been provided and your leadership team and City Manager have discussed progress and challenges, it’s time to brief your elected officials on how things are going. This Council Progress reporting framework provides transparency and helps demonstrate progress on their legislative and strategic priorities.

Recommended Cadence: End of reporting period
Recommended Format: Progress
Recommended Audience: All staff

My Plan Assignments report

My Plan Assignments: This report pulls recent updates from your owned, contributed, and observed actions to provide visibility on individual updates.

Recommended Cadence: Day before updates are due
Recommended Format: Progress
Recommended Audience: Individuals

Other Example Reports

The following are examples of other types of reports Envisio customers can create and tailor to meet their unique requirements.

For Council

Departmental Progress Summary for Council: Summarize all activity supporting the strategic plan, by department and by strategic goal.

Recommended Cadence: Quarterly.

Strategic Goal Report for Council: A deep dive into all actions and metrics supporting a single strategic goal (Economic Vitality, for example).

Recommended Cadence: Quarterly.

Economic Development Project Summary Report for Council: The current status of all Economic Development projects and key performance measures supporting the city’s strategic plan.

Recommended Cadence: Quarterly.

For Executives

City-wide Operational Progress Report – Actions by Parent Objective: Executive team review of all objectives and their actions. All action statuses included.

Recommended Cadence: Monthly

Departmental Operational Progress Report – Actions by Department: Understand workload and performance by reviewing how many actions each department currently has in progress and the status for each action.

Recommended Cadence: Monthly

Departmental At-Risk Report – Disrupted Actions by Department: An early warning system. Review all actions that have been reported as at-risk.

Recommended Cadence: Monthly

Departmental Completed Actions Report: Share regularly with staff and council all actions that have been completed in the previous month, quarter, or calendar year (you choose).

Recommended Cadence: Monthly

For Departments

Police Strategic Plan & Performance Report: Select measures from internal dashboards to report out as a department scorecard.

Recommended Cadence: Monthly

Parks & Recreation Strategic Plan & Performance Report: An example department-specific report, including all strategies, actions, and measures the department is responsible for.

Recommended Cadence: Monthly

Public Works Performance Dashboard: An example of a departmental performance analytics dashboard with data visualizations to support evidence-based decision making and drive operational efficiency.

Recommended Cadence: Quarterly

P.S. Our local government performance reporting framework doesn’t include many reports for residents, because we believe the best way to communicate performance to your community is via public dashboards!

Ready to dig a little deeper? Download our Reporting Framework Guide or book a demo and see how you can create and automate these reports (and more) with Envisio.

Josh Elyea

Based in Toronto, Josh Elyea has been writing professionally for over a decade. His experience bridges the space between the corporate and the creative, and his portfolio includes everything from journalism and copy to fiction and screenplays.

Josh has a Master’s Degree in Literature with a specific focus on postwar American literature–a subject which has left him with a keen interest in the intersection between the stories we tell and the social, political, and economic consequences they grow from. He began his career with Enviso because he believes that the institutions that shape our society matter, and he’s excited to help build better and more trustworthy public sector organizations across North America.

In his spare time, Josh is a multi-instrumentalist, a Blue Jays fan, and an avid reader of fiction.

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