PRA pilot agencies and performance planning experts give the following tips for agencies preparing their five-year strategic plans:
- Make sure top management is committed and stays visibly involved. Agency leaders must assure outcomes drive the planning process and keep the focus off agency structure, staffing, systems and expenditures. Top managers should run the performance system.
- Get program managers involved; they, not staff organizations, produce the results.
- Pick performance measures that serve program managers, not just budget staffs. Aim for progress, not perfection. Limit the number of measures to the vital few. Communicate results, not measures.
- Involve Congress and stakeholders early; use consultations to test plans and measures; incorporate useful input; assess the environment and explain how it affects outcomes.
- Allow time for success; accept that plans and measures will be modified.
- Build and refine data systems to match performance measures and outcome goals.
- Use performance information to alter programs and fine-tune the performance process.