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Iowa Department of Management

Planning & Performance

The department is responsible for implementing and administering the state's performance management system. This system provides a framework for strategic planning, performance planning and reporting. It helps ensure agencies are actively using performance data to improve results and better serve customers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is agency strategic planning?

Agency strategic planning looks three to five years into the future to identify essential goals, strategies, and measures to guide progress in achieving the department’s vision and mission as well as define how the agency contributes to achievement of the enterprise goals or the Governor's priorities.

What is agency performance planning?

Agency performance planning looks at the agency mission (the purpose or why the agency exists) and defines the operations (core functions and key services, products and/or activities) that are in place to achieve that mission. An effective performance plan identifies measures for each core function and for key services, products and/or activities and monitors how well the agency achieves performance targets. In essence, a performance plan is a snapshot of what the agency does and how well it does it. The plan also helps to pinpoint improvement opportunities and implement strategies to achieve better results.

How does an agency performance plan relate to their strategic plan?

Strategic planning efforts of state agencies describe the future, support the agency mission, and develop procedures to move toward that future. Based on analysis of where the agency currently is against where it wants or needs to be, leaders identify goals that will move the agency forward.

Where strategic plans involve the identification of strategic goals to help achieve the vision, agency performance plans focus on day-to-day, process-oriented, functions of the agency. Performance planning focuses on identifying what an agency does, on a daily basis, to accomplish the requirements identified in its mission. The performance plan lays out, in a systematic manner, what the agency does and what the desired outcomes are.

Agency performance planning is necessary to provide agencies with a common understanding of the entire organization and a direction to accomplish the agency’s mission. Too often we believe we understand the mission of the agency but, in reality, we only understand our part of it.

Why should agencies use performance measures?

Performance measures can help managers make better, more informed decisions. Measures are a tool used by managers as a means to run the agency. Just as saws, hammers and levels are a carpenter’s tools; performance measures are tools in a manager’s toolbox. Consequently, performance measures serve as a means to an end, not an end in itself.

When used effectively, measures help provide a powerful means of focus within the agency. When leadership is focused on reaching goals set for the agency, measurement is a means to assure the leaders the agency is on course to reach those goals. When leadership checks on the measures, the agency will pay attention to the measures. Consequently, “what gets measured gets done.” This helps to assure accountability in reaching agency or enterprise goals.

What are input measures?

Input measures monitor the amount of resources being used to develop, maintain, or deliver a product, activity or service. Examples include:

  • Money spent on equipment
  • Number of employee hours worked
  • Number of vehicles
  • Facility costs
  • Total operating expenditures
  • Rental fees
  • Number of full-time employees
What are output measures?

Output measures monitor “how much” was produced or provided. They provide a number indicating how many items, referrals, actions, products, etc. were involved. Examples include:

  • Number of permits issued
  • Number of pavement miles resurfaced
  • Number of people trained Number of water leaks fixed
  • Number of cases managed
  • Number of arrests made
  • Number of documents processed
  • Number of clients served
What are efficiency measures?

Efficiency measures are used to monitor the relationship between the amount produced and the resources used. This means that efficiency measures are created by comparing input and output. There are two general types of efficiency measures: unit cost and productivity. Unit cost is a comparison of an input to an output (i.e. resources used/number produced). Productivity is a comparison of an output to an input (i.e. number produced/resources used). Examples include:

  • Unit Cost
  • Cost per license issued
  • Cost per employee taught
  • Cost per lane-mile paved
  • Cost per client served
  • Cost per document
  • Productivity
  • Licenses processed per employee-hour
  • Units produced per week
  • Students taught per instructor
  • Cases resolved per agent
  • Calls handled per hour
What are quality measures?

Quality measures are used to determine whether customer expectations are being met. These expectations can take many forms, including: timeliness, accuracy, meeting regulatory requirements, courtesy, and meeting customer needs. The expectations can be identified as a result of internal or external feedback. The comparison of outputs is often used to create measures of quality. It may be important to identify certain aspects (aspects / total outputs) about the services, products or activities produced by an organization that are important to its customers. This comparison of specific outputs to total outputs is used to create measures of accuracy, timeliness and to determine the extent regulatory requirements are met. Quality measures can also be derived from the evaluation of customer feedback data. Examples include:

  • Timeliness
  • Busy signal rate
  • Percent of drivers licenses issued within one hour.
  • Accuracy
  • Percent of applications requiring rework due to internal errors.
  • Taxpayer error rate on tax returns.
  • Requirements
  • Percent of wells meeting minimum water quality requirements.
  • Percentage of clients that rated themselves as successfully rehabilitated.
  • Meeting Customer Needs
  • Percentage of customers that rated service good, very good or excellent.
What are outcome measures?

Outcome measures are used determine the extent to which a core function, goal, activity, product, or service has impacted its intended audience. These measures are usually built around the specific purpose or result the function, goal, service, product, or activity is intended to deliver or fulfill. An outcome measure should show progress towards or achievement of agency mission or goals. Examples include:

  • Highway death rate
  • Crime recidivism rate
  • Percent of persons able to read and write after attending a remedial education course
  • Percent of entities in compliance with requirements
  • Percent of clients rehabilitated
  • Percent of cases resolved
What is a family of measures?

A family of measures is a group of measures used to gauge an agency's efforts in providing services, generating products, or conducting activities. These measures would include a combination of input, output, efficiency, quality and outcome meassures. Taken together, a family of measures should help the organization understand what is happening in regards to its services, products, and activities.

Staff Contact Info

Linda Leto
Phone Number: 515-281-3853
Steve Maslikowski
Phone Number: 515-281-8822