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FCW Insider: What Obama's CPO has said about government performance

At this point, no one is certain how Nancy Killefer plans to carry out her duties as chief performance officer for the incoming Obama administration. But we do have an idea of how Killefer sizes up the job, thanks to an August 2006 article she co-authored for Business Week magazine.

In the article, Killefer, then a senior partner at McKinsey and Co., noted that the past decade had been "one of America's finest in terms of productivity growth" -- in most areas at least.

"Despite numerous attempts at management reform and a panoply of opportunities to transfer best practices between the private and public sectors, government seems to have missed out on the productivity boom seen in the private sector," wrote Killefer and Lenny Mendonca, a senior partner and chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute.

"That's a shame, because while there are important differences between the public and private sectors, government does an abundance of grantmaking, procurement, property management, customer service, and other jobs ripe for productivity improvement."

So how can the government close this "public productivity deficit"? The answer is found in a McKinsey whitepaper, published at the same time. Their recommendations fall in two areas: Transparency and transformation.

Under transparency, the McKinsey team suggests measuring government productivity, adopting an ambitious productivity growth target and bringing true transparency to government performance.

Under transformation, they recommend creating incentives to boost productivity, investing in agency management capability, and strengthening the emphasis on management at the Office of Budget and Management.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Jan 07, 2009 at 12:14 PM


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