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Posted on: September 13, 2022

Council Perspective: Measuring for Success

Performance Measures

By Mayor Anne Burt

Inside the September 2022 City Update newsletter (PDF) (which was mailed to all residences and businesses during the second week of September), you will find our annual Performance Scorecard insert (PDF). It is a summary of our annual Performance Measurement Program - a report card rating our performance in providing services, programs and facilities for the community. 

Since the mid-1990s, the City of Woodbury has published an annual performance report that currently provides approximately 340 pieces of data on the performance of city services and operations. The purpose of the program is to:

  • provide the city with data for strategic planning; 
  • collect and share useful information to help the City Council make decisions; 
  • identify areas of success or areas in need of improvement; and 
  • deliver accountability to the public by providing a more transparent government.  

City management and the City Council rely on this data to make informed and data-driven recommendations and decisions. As late author and organizational management expert Peter Drucker once said, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." This thought remains a long-standing value of the City of Woodbury and its staff.

Performance measurement online dashboard

First launched in 2021, the city's Performance Measurement Dashboard is a fully interactive online dashboard containing all of the city's performance measures organized by department. A key goal of the dashboard is to provide user-friendly charts and graphs of our performance data that is easily accessible and available for download. The dashboard features a Key Performance Indicators section for those looking for highlights of reporting. A summary report is also available on the website for those looking for an easily printable overview of our program and key highlights of the most recent reporting year. I encourage you to take some time to view these measures and see for yourself how we are doing.  

Community Survey

A number of our performance measures are tied directly to data coming out of the community survey. Every two years, we survey randomly selected households to rate city services and the quality of life in Woodbury. Residents also give their opinions about some specific issues and potential projects.

The results provide valuable feedback to the City Council about our ongoing services. The data collected is used to determine whether the city is meeting residents' expectations and areas where improvements could be made. For example, the average amount of time it takes to completely plow streets after a snow storm is monitored. By tracking performance, the Council can determine if service is improving or declining. Then, when the city budget is prepared, the performance measures help Council evaluate what residents are getting for the money the city spends and whether the city is providing citizens with good value for the tax dollars they pay.

Certificate of Excellence for Performance Management

This is unique work for a local government. We've done it for many years and we are known for performance tracking efforts. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has recognized our work with a Certificate of Excellence every year since 2011. The organization awards certificates each year to recognize programs that instill a culture of performance management, pursue comparative analysis and data-informed decision-making, and promote transparency. The Certificate of Excellence is the highest level of the award. For 2021, 31 cities or counties in the U.S. received this award and Woodbury was the only city in Minnesota to receive this recognition.

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