Strategic Planning

Priority Outcomes and Indicators

The Mayor and Senior Team first decide on a set of Priority Outcomes and indicators. Priority Outcomes are broadly defined goals for the City. Although these have been modified and adjusted to reflect the priorities of each Mayoral administration, similar themes are common. The Fiscal 2020 budget was built around five Priority Outcomes: Public Safety, Education and Youth, Economic Development and Jobs, Quality of Life, and Accountability and Transparency.

Next, under each Priority Outcome, three to five indicators are chosen to serve as a measure of how well the City is advancing the Priority Outcome. Indicators should be measured annually and use an external source to ensure the integrity of the data. Taken together, these Priority Outcomes and indicators serve as a report card on how well the City is doing.

Service-Level Budgets

Each agency organizes its budget around services with simple descriptions and clearly identified costs. Budgeting by service deliberately changes the focus from agencies to services and allows us to understand exactly what it costs to carry out each specific function of government. Service descriptions were overhauled and re-organized for the Fiscal 2011 budget.

One key advantage of this approach is that services are evaluated based on which Priority Outcome they advance rather than which agency manages the service. For example, the Department of Transportation has a wide range of functions that address different Priority Outcomes. Services such as Traffic Safety and Street Lighting support Public Safety, while Parking Management and Special Events support Economic Development and Jobs. This approach allows us to identify and eliminate duplication of efforts across agencies, and isolate services that are not contributing to desired results.

A listing of the services and funding levels by Priority Outcome can be seen in the Fiscal 2020 Executive Summary, which can be found here.

Service-Level Performance Measures

Agencies work with the Bureau of the Budget and Management Research (BBMR) and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainable Solutions (MOSS) to develop performance measures for each service. Internally, performance measures allow the City to assess the service’s performance over time, and to make corrections if necessary. Externally, performance measures allow the agency to communicate the value that citizens get for their tax dollars.

There are four types of performance measures:

Type Description Example for Service 609: Emergency Medical Services
Output How much service is being delivered Number of EMS responses
Efficiency The cost in dollars and/or time per unit of output Percent of EMS fees collected versus total billable
Effectiveness How well the service meets standards based on customer expectations Percent of EMS responses within 9 minutes
Outcome How much better off is the customer Percent of patients surviving cardiac arrest

Performance measures must meet the S.M.A.R.T. test:

Label Type Description
S Specific The measure is clear and focused
M Measurable Can be quantified and allow for analysis
A Ambitious The target should stretch the service to improve performance
R Realistic The target should make sense given the organization's fiscal constraints
T Time-Bound There should be a clear timeframe for achieving the targeted performance

Service level performance measures were first developed in Fiscal 2011 for larger agencies and in Fiscal 2012 for smaller and medium-sized agencies. In Fiscal 2018, MOSS launched a comprehensive review of all service-based performance measures citywide. All performance measures, including past years’ actuals and the next budget year’s target, are reflected in each year’s Agency Detail budget publication.