The Seven Big Errors of PerformanceStat

February 11, 2008
Robert D. Behn (Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School)

This policy brief was first released in February 2008 as part of a semester-long series of Boston 101 events focusing on the PerformanceStat model.

PerformanceStat is a leadership and management strategy that public executives can employ to produce real results in a variety of government jurisdictions and public agencies. But to do so, they need not only to ascertain the key components of the strategy but also to develop their own complex appreciation of the cause-and-effect relationships among these components and the results to be produced. To make an intelligent adaptation of any leadership or management strategy, public executives must understand how this approach can work — what the cause-and-effect connection is between their actions and their results. Then, they need to adapt these cause-and-effect concepts to reflect their own unique circumstances as well as the purposes they are attempting to achieve.