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.
AMS, in theory, is really quite simple, involving just four key steps:
• We identify what we do – the core processes that most impact our agencies’missions and deliver customer value;
• We set targets and standards for doing this work well;
• We measure how we’re actually doing relative to the targets and standards; and
• Where our performance comes up short, we use disciplined problem solving to implement counter measures to get our performance back on track.
But as agencies implementing the system have discovered, there’s a lot of depth and detail involved in these four steps. Teams must come to understand who their customers areand determine what they value. They must define standards for quality and service in doing their work and be diligent in holding team members accountable for following the standards. Perhaps most challenging, teamsmust determine what metrics to track with frequency (daily or weekly) to gauge not only their performance but also reveal problems that hold them back.
So, the system we’re creating has evolved to encompass specific core elements that agencies are expected in time to own and master. These core elements, shown in the table below, fall within three main categories: Performance Management, Problem Solving and Leader Standard Behaviors. Since October 2017, AMS In Focus has been examining these core elements and the minimum standards associated with each for agencies to achieve compliance (level 3) in the AMS assessment (the italicized elements have already been covered in this newsletter.)
As the new year begins, we will be rounding out the remaining core elements of AMS.