Why successful performance measurement starts with considering purpose: An interview with Bob Behn, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School – Episode #53

Why measure performance? As Bob Behn of the Harvard Kennedy School notes, performance measurement is not an end in itself. Instead, it can be helpful in achieving specific managerial purposes such as to evaluate, control, budget, motivate, promote, celebrate, learn and improve. As a result, public managers need to think seriously about why they want to measure performance before choosing what to measure.

To learn more, we’re joined by Bob Behn. His article “Why Measure Performance? Different Purposes Require Different Measures” (also summarized here) was recently named one of the top 75 most influential articles by the journal Public Administration Review. He’s a lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School and the faculty chair of the executive education program Driving Government Performance. He’s also the author of the new book, The PerformanceStat Potential.