Friday, June 18, 2004

Missouri Digital Government Summit last break out

The last break out session I attended was "How to Design and Implement a Performance Management System". It gave an overview of St. Louis CityView.
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It was definitely not what I had expected. I was expecting a system used by city agencies that consolidated all information into a centralized system with a standardized way of collecting and analyzing the data. It is basically a training program that trains individuals from the different agencies some presentations skills, how to use Microsoft PowerPoint and how to put metrics that their agency does capture into standard templates that allows all of the information presented to executive staff into the same format. I think that it has to be beneficial for the Mayor and his staff to hear presentations of what the agencies actually do, as I can't imagine how an elected official could know what all of the agencies do, but think an electronic system allowing one to view and analyze the data might be better. The presenter did say that the information allowed them to be reactive. Hmm. I don't know that I have heard many in the IT world say that as though it was a good thing.

It appeared that there were others that were wanting more from it to, such as how to actually design and implement a performance management system in respect to application development. I think many are trying to figure out how one can measure application development. Some say it is an art and can't be measured and some argue that is not the case. It does appear that there are a lot of people that have been tasked with trying to measure their application development efforts and have been banging their heads against the wall to truly determine what is a meaningful measurement and how they can utilize the measurements and not simply a number for numbers/reporting sake.

When asked about measuring application development by one in the audience the presenter went on about Microsoft Project. When he asked if that answered the persons question and the person shrugged it was easy to tell he was looking for the golden bullet on what can be measured as a metric for application development that is meaningful and can be reported. I think a lot of people are still trying to find it.

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