Teaching Case - Mayor Anthony Williams and Performance Management in Washington, DC

Mayor Anthony Williams and Performance Management in Washington, DC


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  • Product Description

    When Anthony Williams is elected mayor of Washington, DC in November 1998, he inherits a city that had been close to insolvency. Although its financial picture has improved, it has historically lacked the equipment and systems to deliver high-quality city services. Williams had won a convincing victory at the polls in part by emphasizing the need for improved service and accountability. He faces two challenges: both to improve the quality of city services and to devise a way to ensure voters are aware of the extent of the improvement. With both in mind, Williams and his top aides develop a new system to guide city government. The comprehensive performance measurement system requires all city departments to set measurable "scorecard" goals for improving the services they deliver-and to report regularly on their progress in meeting them. This case describes the design and implementation of the DC performance measurement system, with particular focus on several specific departments.

    Learning Objective:
    The case is designed, specifically, to help students understand the difference between outputs and outcomes, a distinction reinforced by a review and assessment of the goals set by the city departments featured in the case. Data provided in exhibits provides a vehicle for reinforcing the output/outcome distinction--and the tendency of public sector agencies to see outputs as an end in themselves.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: February 01, 2002
    HKS Case Number: 1647.0
    Case Author: Esther Scott
    Faculty Lead: Steven Kelman
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 24
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: 2000-2009
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: US & Canada
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