ISSUE 3   |  APRIL 2009

The Council on Virginia's Future works in four areas -- strategic vision / roadmap development, assessment, service performance, and productivity improvement -- to enhance the state's effectiveness in making Virginia an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.


Hampton Roads Performs:  A New Regional View  back to top 

Hampton Roads Performs logo mini

Hampton Roads Performs -- at -- is a new website modeled after Virginia Performs. Focusing on performance in the Hampton Roads region, the site is a collaborative project of the Hampton Roads Partnership and the Council on Virginia’s Future and shows how the area is performing on a broad array of quality-of-life indicators.

The Hampton Roads Partnership is a public-private organization established to enhance the region’s competitiveness in the global economy, with long-term goals focusing on education, transportation, and the economy. (More on the Partnership at right.)

Many of the new site's indicators are directly aligned with Virginia Performs; others, such as Port/Maritime, Modeling and Simulation, and Public Transit, are unique to the region.

The Hampton Roads Scorecard shows the area’s progress on 36 strategic indicators in Economy, Education, Health, Public Safety, Natural Resources, Transportation, and Government. As with Virginia Performs, these indicators are measured over time and, where possible, compared to other regions as well as state and national averages. One example: In Fall 2007, the region led the state on an important measure of school readiness -- the percentage of kindergarten children who had mastered beginning literacy skills, as measured by the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS-K) assessment.

Hampton Roads Performs graph showing the region's performance in children's readiness for school

Where possible, Hampton Roads Performs also pulls in comparisons with other relevant metropolitan areas.  The Port/Maritime indicator, for instance, contrasts the region’s port container traffic with other significant ports across the nation, including Los Angeles, Savannah and New York.

Hampton Roads Performs graph showing region's port activity compared to other ports in the nation.

The site also offers a demographic and economic profile of the region, as well as brief profiles of its individual localities.

Hampton Roads Performs supplements current strategic planning efforts in the region and will work to inform citizens and engage them in the future of their communities.   end of story


Hampton Roads Performs logo
The Hampton Roads Partnership (HRP) is a public-private organization representing 10 cities, 6 counties and 1 town -- and nearly 1.6 million Virginians.
The Partnership is comprised of the chief elected official from all 17 communities, along with private-sector, education, military, and labor representation from both south Hampton Roads and the Virginia Peninsula. The organization focuses on the region's strategic issues to enhance its competitiveness in the global economy and create income and job growth for area residents.
The Hampton Roads Partnership works to improve the region in many ways. Their most recent projects focus on transportation. Using funds from the VA Dep't of Rail and Transportation, HRP is working closely with the Metropolitan Planning Organization to develop a plan for regional transit that will aid localities as they consider future land use options. The Partnership is also working on ways to better manage road capacity, given current limitations on funding for transportation infrastructure.
In 2007 the modeling and simulation (M&S) industry generated $640 million for the regional economy. HRP took the lead in developing the initial M&S strategic plan that successfully brought research and business together on this emergent industry cluster. HRP supports Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center and continues to facilitate MODSIM World’s annual conference, which last year attracted over 700 participants from around the world.
For more on the Partnership, visit their website.

Bigger, Better:  A New & Improved Virginia Performs  back to top

When the Virginia Performs website debuted in January 2007, the performance leadership and accountability system the site represented was still evolving rapidly. Setting measurable strategic objectives was still new; other assessment instruments like the Management Scorecard were still viewed as separate elements. And performance-based budgeting was gathering new momentum.

What a difference a couple of years can make! Under Governor Kaine's leadership, and with critical support from the Department of Planning and Budget, Virginia Performs has grown into a robust, integrated system for gauging the state’s performance -- from progress toward high level goals like educational attainment to the concrete results of state agency services.

A new integration of content

The Virginia Performs website was redesigned in order to better reflect these important changes. The site now presents a more integrated view of how state government processes dovetail with the Commonwealth’s overall performance goals and also shows how performance measures interrelate.

The site’s home page and goal summary pages incorporate strategic planning links at the secretariat and agency levels. Indicator pages -- those dealing with unemployment, obesity, high school graduation, crime, air quality, plus 41 more -- provide direct links to related key measures that agencies use to track specific progress in these areas. A new Trends section offers Scorecard-like summaries of the state’s performance by indicator, by national rank and by region.

New and improved features

The site also includes a number of improvements and new features designed to enhance the user experience. Better navigation allows visitors access to every part of the site from every page, while an "At a Glance" box and special graphs pages provide quick snapshots of how Virginia is doing on each indicator. New tools allow for sharing site content via Web 2.0 services like Digg and Newsvine and an email share form. Thanks to new print and PDF tools, users can also print or save pages with ease.

A new look for performance

The Agency Planning and Performance section of the site has had a makeover as well, in response to structural changes in how performance is being measured and portrayed, and in how performance-based budgeting has begun to affect program and budget planning.

New productivity measures take their place alongside key measures and set agency targets for improving internal processes and costs. Administrative measures (formerly the Management Scorecard) have also been incorporated into the measures group.

The Agency Performance home page now integrates access to all measures (key, productivity, administrative and other) and allows users to quickly view the complete listing for each type. Individual agency pages now offer a rich trove of information at a glance: Users can see summary budget information for current and previous biennia, link to strategic and service area plans, and browse the agency’s entire spectrum of performance measures via a convenient tab system.

Explore the new and improved Virginia Performs site -- and see for
yourself!   end of story

Roadmap Development  back to top

Real government transparency includes an effort to make data easy to get to and easy to use. It also means opening the books on how government itself operates, manages resources and works to benefit its citizens., a new portal being jointly developed by the Auditor of Public Accounts, the Virginia Enterprise Applications Program and, will for the first time give citizens one-stop access to a number of important systems the Commonwealth has developed to expose and monitor its operations. Virginia Performs will be present, as well as other key data systems:

  • Commonwealth Datapoint offers a rich store of information, aggregated from a number of agency sources, on the revenue and expenditures of state & local government, as well as demographic data.
  • comprehensively reports on the projects, evaluations, allocations, compliance and management of the stimulus funds Virginia receives through the landmark 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • The Department of Planning and Budget is the definitive source for all budget documentation.
  • The VDOT Dashboard tracks progress and expenditures for transportation projects, as well as safety and road conditions statewide.
  • Virginia's SWAM Dashboard monitors and analyzes state-mandated use of small, women- and minority-owned businesses when procuring goods and services.

Each data system will be identified by a logo and a brief description to help users understand and differentiate among the sites available. is slated to go live April 15, 2009.    end of story