Countries that have adopted performance management systems in public sector organisations have experienced remarkable transformation, resulting in positive economic growth.
Because of their focus on outcomes and not compliance, performance measurement systems allow agencies to be innovative in their implementation of programmes.
Performance management has become an integral part of modern government. There is a continual demand to deliver more and better services for less, resulting in growing emphasis on measuring outcomes as well as inputs; and a growing focus on understanding and addressing the needs of the citizens.
Measurement through key performance indicators (KPIs) can provide an important and necessary calibration of performance, assuming that alignment exists between the organisation’s mission, structure, supporting processes and performance tools/measures.
This alignment is ultimately what ensures that the appropriate KPIs are not only defined and measured, but also that a closed loop exists to incorporate analyses back into the organisation.
At its essence, performance management should influence and inform outcome management by continuously optimising costs, quality and customer service.
Generally, countries that have opted for technocrats to head government ministries have registered better performance compared to those that haven’t, as the leader is not encumbered by political affiliation.
South Africa, for instance, has grown faster by allowing professionals and experts to run their ministries. Kenya adopted a similar path in 2013 when a new government structure was implemented in fulfilment of the constitutional provision that government ministries be led by technocrats.