Performance Excellence is defined by Madison’s vision, mission, values, and service promise. In turn, Results Madison measures our progress in achieving Performance Excellence.


Seven citywide elements are the backbone of Madison’s vision—when we improve upon any of these elements, we move closer to fully realizing our vision, mission, values, and service promise.

These elements are high-level priority areas developed by feedback from City residents, City managers and staff, and the Common Council during development of the City’s comprehensive plan, Imagine Madison.

  • Culture and Character
  • Economy and Opportunity
  • Effective Government
  • Green and Resilient
  • Health and Safety
  • Land Use and Transportation
  • Neighborhoods and Housing

Strategic Framework

Behind each citywide element is a series of outcomes, outcome indicators, strategies, services, and performance measures.

These components help us to determine the current and future state of a specific element (outcomes and indicators), how we can improve that element (strategies), how those strategies are provided (services), and the current and future state of service provisions (performance measures).

Simply put, if we improve a service in a measurable way, then the citywide element tied to that service should also improve.

Three Step Engagement

Results Madison uses a three-step engagement designed to help agencies connect their services to the City’s Strategic Framework. When complete across the City, all services will be connected to the Elements of a Great City, as determined by Imagine Madison.

  1. Service Inventory: define services in a way that is consistent with how residents interact with them.
  2. Performance Measures: define how much we are doing with each service, how well we are doing it, and if anyone is better off.
  3. Data Action Plans: identify the data sources and variables necessary to monitor performance measures and develop customized management tools.

All City agencies completed their three-step engagement to define their services, performance measures, and data action plans in 2019.

Performance Measures

The example logic below shows how the strategic framework cascades from Element to the service level.

  1. Element: Green and Resilient
    What outcome could tell us that Madison is green and resilient?
  2. Outcome: safe, clean water
    How do we know we have safe, clean water?
  3. Indicator: water quality of Madison’s groundwater
    What strategy can be implemented to improve the groundwater quality?
  4. Strategy: reduce the use of road salt to prevent groundwater contamination
    What service(s) controls the use of road salt?
  5. Service: Streets—Snow and Ice Removal
    What measure(s) can be used to determine road salt is being optimized?
  6. Performance Measure: tonnage of salt used by Streets Division per snow event per route

Why Do This?

Results Madison is intended to move the City towards results-oriented and service-level budgeting. The table below shows the difference between the current state and future state.

Old Way New Way
Starting Point Last year's spending Next year's goals
Funding Targets By agency By element
Agency Request How allocation will be spent How results will be achieved
Budget Discussion What to cut
What we like, what we don't like
What to keep
What works, what doesn't work

Next Steps

  • Measurements: define outcomes and indicators for all citywide elements, and test performance measures and data action plans.
  • Service-Level Budgeting: develop agency budgets using their defined services and performance measures.
  • Technical Solutions: develop a data warehouse with integrated analytics to support performance measures.

Learn more about the Results Madison Action Plan.