Monday, April 26, 2010

Indicators look fine

Last week, the police department had its budget meeting with the Mayor, as we prepare our fiscal year 2010-2011 budget.  The  budget season started back in late January, and concludes when the City Council puts the final stamp on it in August.  As the City has moved from a line-item to a performance-based budget, the focus of discussion at these meetings has changed.  The Mayor wants to know how each department is doing on its performance indicators, how the budget supports that, and (this year) how any reductions might impact those indicators.

The police department has seven key performance indicators contained in the budget. These are the items we monitor to determine how we are doing, relative to the budget.  I reported to the Mayor last week that we are currently meeting all of our targets, and that the indicators are in good shape.  Only a significant reduction in resources would be likely to impact our ability to continue to do so.  It is far too early in the process to predict what, if any, significant changes to our proposed budget might occur, but from a performance standpoint we are doing well, and will continue to make good use of the resources available. 

Our performance indicators make up a dashboard that is available on our public web site.  The dashboard is a quick and simple view of where we are in comparison to our targets.  The dashboard caught the eye of a Portuguese technical writer last week, who sent me this email:

“Hi Tom,

My name is Jorge and I´am from Portugal. I have a published books about Balanced Scorecard Methodology, "Implementation of The Balanced Scorecard Methodology in the State", and about "Monitorization of the Company’s  Performance". I'm going to publish a third book about Dashboards, in which one part consists in the presentation of some examples. I really liked yours, and would like to ask your permission to use. Obviously, they will be identified

Best regards,
Jorge Caldeira”
Permission granted, Jorge, help yourself.


Steve said...

All you need to do to get your dashboards mentioned in his next book is to send your personal banking information, social security number, and a cashier's check for $2500. :)

I'm sorry, Chief, but the format and tone of that letter was a dead ringer for many of the email scams I've seen. I'd keep an eye on my accounts for a while if I were you.:)

Tom Casady said...


I get tons of scam/sham emails, but I think this one was quite legitimate.

Steve said...

Isn't it amazing how many people won't take the few seconds it usually takes to check the legitimacy of the various emailed claims and offers they receive?

Do you suppose Jorge really had to search all the way to little old Lincoln, NE, to find a good example for his book?

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I'm guessing Jorge has moved beyond the basics.

If you talk to him, tell him he has permission to use my dashboard too.

Watchful said...

Great! Did you EVER think that there was someone into stats and graphics like our own Chief?

One thing to note, Jorge offers advertising space on his blog. Chief, you could do the same, add the stipend to your budget shortfalls once the final numbers are decided.

They have to cut somewhere and Parks Dept is bleeding from repeated cuts year after year. Attrition warfare techniques may work one more time.... but dont count on it.