|ISSUE 15 | SUMMER 2015|
|Virginia Performs, a signature initiative of the Council, is a performance leadership and accountability system that links a
high-level vision and key goals for citizens with performance-based planning and assessment across all levels of state government.
Two Virginia Performs report cards have seen revisions in 2015 that reflect both experience and an improved understanding of current realities and the drivers that shape performance.
Workforce System Report Card
Since its inception in 2012, the Virginia Workforce System Report Card has outlined seven broad goals for Virginia's workforce:
2015 Adjustments and Changes
Jobs in health care and the life sciences (e.g., biochemistry) not only weathered the Great Recession far better than most industry sectors; these fields are also expected to see continued growth in the decades ahead. Virginia wants to ensure that its workforce is well-prepared to take advantage of this growth by creating a strong environment for individuals to pursue careers in the health sciences.
To that end, a new set of performance measures were collaboratively developed to monitor key factors for nurturing the state's health care and life sciences workforce, including K-12 education opportunities, healthcare IT, nursing faculty, and medical residencies.
Also in development:
For a complete review, including updates on the state's performance, see the Workforce System Report Card on Virginia Performs.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Report Card
Entrepreneurship and innovation help drive economic competitiveness and figure prominently in economic development strategic planning. Innovation – the introduction of new ideas, processes, or products – helps create new businesses and spurs existing businesses to create more value for their customers. Entrepreneurs are the agents who capitalize on innovation to start and expand businesses.
The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) was tasked by the General Assembly to develop measures for gauging Virginia's performance in these important economic development areas. One result is the Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Changes in the 2015 Report Card
The I and E card's second iteration improves assessment by condensing and eliminating certain indicators from the previous version. In addition, the current report card introduces four new indicators:
At the start of each fiscal year, Council staff review the performance of every indicator on Virginia's Scorecard to see if any changes are needed. This year's review found that 10 indicators have seen shifts in performance significant enough to warrant a trend (arrow) change. Many of these reflect the mixed developments Virginia has experienced in recent years, particularly in economy and education.
For example, both employment growth and the business climate in the state have suffered since the federal sequester went into effect in 2012. At the same time, however, poverty rates -- which had been steadily worsening since at least 2006 -- finally hit a plateau in 2013 and are projected to drop in coming months.
Other encouraging developments include restored improvement in college graduation rates, steady progress in 4th grade reading and math scores, improved traffic fatality rates, and lower traffic congestion in several of the state's worst trouble spots.
A summary of all the 2015 trend changes is below:
For a look at how Virginia is doing on all 49 indicators tracked via Virginia Performs, see the Scorecard at a Glance.
Virginia's business leaders are concerned about the state's long-term economic prosperity. GO Virginia -- a bipartisan, grassroots coalition of public, private, and community leaders -- is working to advance economic growth and job creation across the Commonwealth. The GO Virginia initiative was kicked off July 28, 2015 with events in Norfolk, Richmond, Danville, and Blacksburg.
Three main principles guide the coalition’s work:
Over the coming months, GO Virginia will be promoting its ideas and working in partnership with leaders throughout Virginia to develop a framework, including state-funded incentives for positively impacting economic growth and job creation in our diverse regions.
The Governor was on hand at the Norfolk and Richmond events to lend his support for the initiative and underscored that the ideas behind GO Virginia will help to build his New Virginia Economy (pdf). Business, higher education, and General Assembly leaders also expressed their excitement over this initiative as a game-changer for the Commonwealth.
The Council on Virginia’s Future is a partner with the business community on GO Virginia. For more information, see the GO Virginia website.
The goal of the State Government Operations Report Card is to provide a better foundation for assessing whether Virginia remains on a trajectory that will keep it a "Best Managed State" far into the future. As with the other report cards on Virginia Performs, multiple indicators are tracked to monitor progress toward the following key performance goals:
However, many of the issues that matter most in moving state government forward are very hard to quantify. Two recent forums were held to begin tackling some of these concerns.
Identifying the Challenges
On May 10, 2015, Council staff met with state leaders from the Governor's Office, legislative money committees, and key internal service agencies to discuss opportunities to improve the report card in three important areas:
Not surprisingly, there are no obvious or easy solutions to these challenges. For example, a new computer system at the Department of General Services will track the Commonwealth's real estate and office assets, but it lacks the capability to monitor deferred maintenance at the enterprise level; that application would need to be developed once the base system is in place.
Keeping the Customer Satisfied
Customer satisfaction presents another set of challenges that emerged more clearly during the forum meetings. First, assessing overall customer satisfaction with government services can be tricky because many of the services citizens use are actually provided by a combination of state, local, and private providers. For example, a wide range of family services is handled by the state Department of Social Services, 120 local Social Services departments, and assorted private vendors who provide services at the client level.
Secondly, citizens tend to be unaware of many state-provided services; as just one example, the Office of Weights and Measures within VDACS assures the quality of gasoline and the accuracy of gas pumps found at gas stations across the state, but few Virginians know that.
Finally, some customer service is actually "B-to-B" -- state agencies (e.g., VITA) providing services to other state agencies. Assessing customer satisfaction for these organizations needs to be handled differently than for agencies which deal directly with the public.
Although no breakthroughs were achieved, both forums further illuminated some of the knots that will need to be untied in order to gain a true assessment of customer satisfaction, and all agreed that more systematic approaches to assessing customer service would be beneficial.
Stay tuned for further improvements to the State Government Operations Report Card as they develop. In the meantime, you can explore all report card details on Virginia Performs.
Terence R. McAuliffe | Vice
Chair: John O.
Executive Director: Jane
Full Council Membership
The Council on Virginia's Future produces this newsletter to keep you informed about
performance management in Virginia government -- its goals, methods, results and challenges.
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