After 24 years in government and now five in the private sector, I’m still under the impression: if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.


The power of performance measurement in public sector government is huge. Many government agencies collect tons of data – not only to set goals, but also to determine if the following are needed: more resources required for their agency operations, resources during crisis management or to learn more about how a government can engage its citizens better. These are just a few examples.


Data collection models are popping up everywhere. Through a process of continually evaluating Government performance at the highest levels, opportunities to improve coordination and formulate strategies are ongoing, and not just during annual budget reviews. At bi-weekly meetings, Government managers meet with the Head of Government and his/her executive staff to report and answer questions on agency performance and priority initiatives.


If we look at performance measurement in law enforcement, one would quickly consider the term CompStat. CompStat short for “Computer Comparison Statistics,” is a multifaceted system created in the past for managing police operations. What are the functions?  CompStat was developed as a crime control process that features face-to-face recurring meetings, usually held weekly at the Police Headquarters. While on site, agency’s performance indicators are reviewed critically for improvement. Following a classic problem-solving model, CompStat face-to-face meetings would focus on accountability at all levels of the law enforcement organization. Based on quantifiable statistical indicators, CompStat identified crime patterns, clusters, suspects, and hot spots. Strategies are then developed in order to counter any crime increases. Accurate and timely intelligence is necessary for the identification and profiling of emerging crime problems and the assessment of efforts to address them.


Fast-forward and we now have GovStat:

  • GovStat is based on a policing system, called CompStat, adopted by the New York City Police Department during the 1990s.
  • GovStat (1999 MD) is a data-driven management system designed to monitor and improve the performance of government departments in real-time.
  • Harvard University, JFK School of Government, Innovations in Government – CompStat 2006 Innovations in American Government Award winner.
  • Government’s World Wide using GovStat - Over 60+ US and International Governments
  • The 22nd International Conference on Computational Statistics will take place at the Conference Centre of Oviedo, Spain, 23-26 August 2016.

GovStats: Efficiency, Cost Savings, etc.

  • Baltimore, MD 1st year savings $13.2M; $6M in OT
  • $350M saving since inception 1999
  • Washington State Compstat “aka” GMAP – Government Management Accountability and Performance - 2007 $46M savings through consolidated purchases in government. Current focus on these Departments:
  • Economic vitality
  • Government Efficiency
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Transportation


Let's name a few others - CrimeStat, CorrectionStat, ProbationStat, ChildStat, EasyStat, or how about just “Big Data”.


How about VideoStat? With most CompStat programs, Senior Agency personnel are summoned to the executive operations headquarters. They may drive for five minutes or in some cases several hours across a state or territory for what usually amounts to a two or three hour meeting (consider what’s at stake – fuel, travel cost, staff safety, key decision maker pulled off site etc.). Now let’s consider VideoStat, where a government organization can get one or more parties into a real-time collaboration environment and discuss or review crucial information, identify, understand and analyze the behavior individuals while working or training in the field all live from your computer or training room. The presentation can be recorded and played back for training purposes etc. VideoStat would offer the possibility real-time collaboration from anywhere at any time or any place.


Benefits of Collaborative Video GovStat BENEFITS:

  • ”Balcony View” – information sharing generating comprehensive, interactive management strategy
  • Asynchronous communications allow people to communicate more efficiently and stay on message
  • More effective and efficient decision making
  • Enhance Accountability: manage budget; waste identified and trimmed; improve performance measurement system
  • Increase productivity, reduce workplace travel distractions
  • Resources focused and directed where they are needed most
  • Insures continuity of operations in the event of a disaster
  • AP Report: US commuters spending more time in traffic, wasted $121B in time and fuel in 2011: http://news.yahoo.com/commuters-wasted-time-traffic-costs-143554975.html


This blog is part of a series of 25 blogs that take a look at how Polycom has transformed industries and business functions.

These blogs are a variety of retrospective, current and visionary perspectives with the common thread of unleashing the power of human collaboration. Follow the hashtag #Polycom25 on Twitter for tweets about this significant anniversary in our history.


To learn more about Alphonzo Albright, Polycom's Global Director of Government Solutions and Market Development, read this related blog post.


The on-demand webcast about Polycom's new breakthrough solutions is available for replay. Watch it now.

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