S.M.A.R.T. Performance Measurement

What is the S.M.A.R.T. mean in CitiStatSMART?

Agency measures for accountability are examined using a SMART Test for establishing performance Measures. 

Specific: The measure is clear and focused to avoid misinterpretation. It should include measurement assumptions and definitions.

Measurable:  The measure can be quantified and compared to other data. It should allow for meaningful statistical analysis. 

Ambitious: The target should stretch to improve performance.

Realistic: The target should make sense and reflect the reality of the resident’s experience. 

Time-Bound: There should be a clear timeframe for achieving the targeted performance


CitiStatSMART builds on the four main tenets of CitiStat:

1. Accurate and Timely Intelligence Shared by All

There are three main sources of information on which the CitiStat process relies. The first is the 311 Service Request system. Residents of Baltimore City can call 311 to report all non-emergency problems from potholes in the road to traffic hazards. Detailed information about the call, the service request and the agency response are recorded and available for review at CitiStat sessions.

A second source of information is statistical reports that the agencies are responsible for preparing themselves. These reports, called templates, measure areas not covered by 311 services requests. Examples include overtime hours, traffic citations issued and new employees hired.

The third and final source comes from field work. Staff analysts are expected to follow up on leads provided by community liaisons and statistical trends to locate, photograph and present evidence of inefficient policies and procedures.

2. Rapid Deployment of Resources

Solid evidence and good ideas can only be implemented with an efficient response system. The CitiStat model provides a forum for frank discussions and direct communication with the Mayor and her cabinet. If service managers are having difficulty responding to citizens, every two weeks they will have the opportunity to address issues concerning response capabilities. In addition, a key measurement associated with the CitiStat model is the setting of response goals and measurement of actual response times.

3. Effective Tactics and Strategies

Analyzing data and reporting statistics is only the beginning of the CitiStat process. The CitiStat session is one that promotes frank discussions and novel solutions. The keys to promoting the development of effective tactics and strategies include: requiring all relevant personnel to attend the session, possessing the technological capabilities to immediately provide all relevant data, dedicated analysts responsible for investigating agencies’ procedures and performances and preparing the participants for every session, and focused measurement and follow-up on the performance of all tactics and strategies in place.

4. Relentless Follow-Up and Assessment

Perhaps the most important tenet of the CitiStat model is to relentlessly follow-up and assess the measures developed or identified at CitiStat. Agencies are required to adhere to a rigid reporting schedule. Sessions are held monthly or bimonthly and are rarely cancelled or postponed. During times of emergency or for initiatives of heightened importance, sessions can be held as frequently as every week. In addition, staff analysts are responsible for carefully recording promises made and issues discussed at previous meetings, so they can be addressed again at future meetings. Finally, within hours of every CitiStat session, a detailed memorandum is send directly to the agency head listing all the agreements made in the previous session and requiring that a progress report be provided before the next session