Performance Management in Government and Nonprofits (online)

Sponsored by the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

Governments around the world have increasingly come to realize the value of setting goals, measuring performance and using the resulting data as a core management tool to improve societal outcomes. This management approach is often referred to as "performance management" or "managing for results." Experience has shown that, when well used, goals and measurement can greatly improve the operation and understanding of government programs and priorities. Experience has also shown that misuse of goals and measures, especially when combined with incentives, can provoke dysfunctional, performance-dampening responses.

This course explores what performance management means and how government agencies can adopt this management approach. Students will learn how to develop skills to refine the way goals and strategies are articulated so that they can be effectively measured, and to select practical performance measures. Also covered are how to identify target audiences, present data clearly, and to analyze and use data to improve performance. Using theoretical readings, case studies, and exercises, the course provides a conceptual grasp of the underlying dynamics employed when you manage for results. It also provides a practical understanding of how to apply performance management tools successfully at all levels of government across policy areas.

The course consists of six online modules. Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a certificate of completion and 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Topics covered

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

At the end of this course, you will have developed a blueprint for a Performance Management system for a government or nonprofit program of your choice, including determining the results to be measured, selecting performance measures, developing a plan for using the data to inform management decisions and drafting a sample data report

Schedule & Fee

Spring 2018 - Online
February 25 - April 8
Class No: 1204
Fee: $700 ($600 for municipal, state, and federal employees only - class #1208)
« Cancelled »

Instructor: Betsy Bury;

Elizabeth Bury is an independent consultant for UMass Boston. She has two decades experience in the fields of program planning, evaluation and performance management. She specializes in advising government agencies and nonprofit program managers on the use of performance indicator systems to enable results based management. With strong expertise in facilitation and participatory methods, she has led numerous workshops involving program managers and stakeholders in creating strategic frameworks and performance measurement plans for projects in a wide variety of program areas. She has also overseen a variety of evaluations involving both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including sophisticated econometric analyses, large surveys and structured program reviews. Ms. Bury also has a strong background developing and delivering training on performance management issues. She has taught previously at West Virginia University and Community College of Micronesia.

Ms. Bury holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Development Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Psychology from Dartmouth College. She also completed a Diversity Management Certificate from NTL Institute and holds a US Government Secret Security Clearance.

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