The Arizona Management System (AMS) is an intentional, results-driven approach for doing the work of state government so that every employee, at every level, with discipline, reflects daily on how they did, finds the waste, and decides how to do better going forward with sustainable progress.
Under AMS, all agencies in the Governor’s cabinet submit monthly scorecards, conduct monthly business reviews, and report progress on breakthroughs.
Each month, agencies submit scorecards to the Governor’s office using a standard bowling chart format for ease of communication. The scorecard is used to track and communicate each agency’s progress on its most important metrics, which are organized on the scorecards as “breakthroughs,” “operational/ sustainment,” or “statewide reporting” metrics.
Monthly scores present an opportunity to check performance against targets and are colored coded for easy recognition. Green means the agency is on target for a given metric, while yellow and red should get the attention of management to explore countermeasures. Yellow and red give us a sense if actual performance matches our forecast. When actual performance doesn’t match the forecast, AMS gives us an indication that we should explore what is happening.
Agencies conduct monthly business reviews with defined participation (by role) for accountability, rich dialogue and review of meaningful problem solving. Participants ordinarily comprise the agency’s executive leadership (director, deputy director, assistant directors) and may also include human resources, budget and finance, strategic planning and other senior staff depending on topics for discussion. In some larger agencies, it may be necessary for business reviews also to be conducted at the divisional level.
A standard business review agenda typically includes a review of performance metrics and discussion of progress on counter measures, as needed; a financial review; progress on breakthrough initiatives; and discussion of agency successes and challenges. Depending on the agency, the business review meeting lasts a few hours to a full day.
Agency breakthroughs represent our most wanted improvements. All agency breakthroughs have the following characteristics:
• They align with and are represented by one or more performance measures in an agency’s strategic plan,
• They are expressed as metrics on an agency scorecard,
• They result in a sustainable success that addresses a pressing customer or stakeholder concern and/or achieves performance that was considered unreachable in the past in terms of mission outcomes, service, quality, people or cost, and
• They require a substantial design or redesign of a work process documented with an A3 project plan.