City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

Executive Summary

Performance measures are a key tool in the City's ability to demonstrate if and how the City is achieving its goals, provide leadership with the ability to make data-driven decisions as it allocates scarce resources, and give the information necessary to tell the organization's story. One of the components of the City's performance management program is the Annual Performance Report.
In order to make good business decisions, citizens and City government need the highest quality performance information available. The use of performance measures makes it possible to:
  • Identify the results departments intend to achieve,
  • Monitor performance and provide feedback,
  • Make good business decisions based on reliable, understandable and consistent data,
  • Shift organizational focus from “what we do” to “what customers get”,
  • Produce better results for customers, and
  • Know when success has been achieved.
This City of Austin Annual Performance Report includes 128 measures that were identified by City departments as “key” or “most important” in determining the success or improvement of direct city services. Depending upon data availability, these measures are reviewed on either a monthly, quarterly or annual basis by department staff. This report shows final year-end performance for Fiscal Year 2014-15 as well as up to five years of historical information, if available. The goals or targets that are set for these measures are also included in the report. Having the additional time-trend information and targets can provide valuable insight in determining progress or achievement within these key indicators.
The report also provides updated data for the City of Austin Dashboard; a quick-look view at how well the City is performing in 21 of our most critical service areas.
Austin's Performance Management System
Since 1999, the City of Austin has been using a business planning and performance monitoring model called Managing for Results, which links people, dollars, and resources to the results that customers and citizens expect from City services. Click here to learn more about Austin's award-winning performance management system.
Continuous Improvment Cycle of Plan, Do, Check and Act

Summary of Key Performance Within the City's Service Areas

Of the 128 key measures included in this report,
  • 59%, exceeded or met their annual targets.
  • 77%, exceeded, met or came within 3% of their annual targets.
  • 50%, maintained or improved performance over the last year from FY 2013‑14 to FY 2014-15, and
  • 73%, have a general trend of improvement or maintained performance over the five-year timeframe of this report or from when the measure was first tracked.
The chart below summarizes key performance overall, within the City of Austin Dashboard, and within the five service categories: Public Safety, Community Services, Development Services, Mobility and Transportation Services, and Utilities and Major Business Enterprises.

Summary Chart

Overall Performance Summary
Where to Get More Information
In addition to the 128 city service measures published in this report, performance data on approximately 2,000 city measures for all City departments can be found on the City’s interactive ePerformance website: http://www.austintexas.gov/budget/eperf/index.cfm. This website shows current and prior year performance data and descriptions for each measure. The City also conducts an annual Community Survey, the results of which can be found via the austintexas.gov website.
Next Steps
As part of its continued efforts in improving its award-winning performance management program, the City of Austin will continue to review and add as appropriate measures that can be better compared with similar cities. Benchmarking is an important element in the mission to be the Best Managed City in the country, and most City of Austin departments are already collecting and using benchmark data to improve their services and implement best practices. The City is a member of the International City/County Association's Large City Consortium, which is a group of large jurisdictions across the United States that have agreed to provide benchmarking data through ICMA's Center for Performance Analytics.
Community participation is also an important part of performance management. The City's community engagement efforts are substantial; for instance, the 21 City of Austin Dashboard Measures were developed in partnership with citizen graduates of the CityWorks Academy. Departments also present their annual business plans, goals, and performance measures to their respective citizen boards and commissions. And, the annual community survey gets feedback on satisfaction and priorities of city services from citizens in a statistically relevant manner so that the results can be applied across the entire city. This interactive Annual Performance Report takes citizen involvement even further, with more data and performance features planned for the Performance ATX website in the near future.