The demonstration of clear linkages between planning, funding, outcomes, and performance management has created unique challenges for U.S. Federal science programs. An approach is presented here that characterizes science program strategic objectives by one of five “activity types”: (1) knowledge discovery, (2) knowledge development and delivery, (3) science support, (4) inventory and monitoring, and (5) knowledge synthesis and assessment. The activity types relate to performance measurement tools for tracking outcomes of research funded under the objective. The result is a multi-time scale, integrated performance measure that tracks individual performance metrics synthetically while also measuring progress toward long-term outcomes. Tracking performance on individual metrics provides explicit linkages to root causes of potentially suboptimal performance and captures both internal and external program drivers, such as customer relations and science support for managers. Functionally connecting strategic planning objectives with performance measurement tools is a practical approach for publicly funded science agencies that links planning, outcomes, and performance management—an enterprise that has created unique challenges for public-sector research and development programs.
A concept for performance management for Federal science programs