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Preliminary Performance Metrics Information


Growth Partnership surveyed and interviewed its local ED and CD partners about performance monitoring and meaure. Twenty-six (26) of the 42 organizational partners responded to the survey, which is a 62% response rate.


Here are the chief findings of the survey:


  1. 100% of respondents were focused on improving the performance of their own organization. None had an active focus on improving the "collective impact" of several or all local ED and CD organizations.

  2. 75% had plans in place to guide their work effort, but only 1/3 had formal written plans.

  3. 52% had some type of performance metrics in their plans.

  4. 60% issued an annual report either in writing or in presentation form.

  5. Over 70% expressed an interest in learning about new ways to improve their organizational performance.

  6. About 75% discussed performance regularly at board meetings. Formal performance measures are generally not used by local organizations in evaluating their performance and impact.

  7. Only 42% currently actively seek client or customer feedback in a formal way.

  8. Top organizational performance are: a) resources to support efforts; b) ability to get quality results; c) ability to get greater results; d) need for new tools; and e) need for strategic collaboration in addressing big problems and opportunities.

  9. Overall, organizational results were judged by 33% to exceed expectations; 27% to meet expectations; and 40% were judged as needing improvement.

  10. The performance measurement process was judged by 47% as somewhat or very formal and by 53% as somewhat or very informal.

  11. The top performance yardsticks across all respondents are: 1) customer or client satisfaction; 2) impact on business growth through rentention, expansion, attraction, and entrepreneurial development; 3) impact on quality job creation and impact on workforce and talent development (especially young people and young professionals); 4) impact on quality of life and place-making; and 5) impact on local educational attainment and quality.

  12. The top metrics across respondents are: 1) job retention and growth; 2) higher standard of living and pay levels; 3) business investment in facilities, equipment, technology, and workers; 5) investment in places and neighborhoods by government, philanthrophy and businesses to spur more people to live in the county; and 6) retention and attraction of young talent.


A review of the literature on performance monitoring and measurement in economic development reveals:


  1. Larger ED organizations in urban areas are further ahead than smaller organizations in rural areas, but the use of performance measures is growing in both groups.

  2. The chief drivers of performance-based economic development are:

  3. leadership pressure to understand and improve performance;

  4. the role of planning, strategy, strategic investmet, and policy in increasing impact on problems and opportunities;

  5. the move to "collective impact"; that is many or all organizations working on shared priorities in well-coordinated and informed ways;

  6. the shift to dealing with the causes or driving factors underlying problems and opportunities through phased action across the short, intermediate and longer terms; and

  7. a shift to a global mindset and change management strategies to deaing with on local economic and community development.


Next steps are:


  1. Prepare performance metric worksheets for five pilot ED and CD organizations: Growth Partnership; KSU, Ashtabula; Civic Development Corporation; the 503 Corporation; and the City of Conneaut. (2017)

  2. Host a summit of local partners (board and staff) to unveil and educate partners about the dashboard and performance metrics. (2017).


Download Growth Partnership's draft Economic Development Performance Measures here.


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