Many governmental organizations today want to show the results they expect from the money they will spend, but are not able to do it in a very meaningful way. They often end up with lists of program performance that mix various outputs, outcomes, and workload measures – which blurs the ability to see how a particular level of spending directly affects program performance.
Cascade guides the creation of performance budgets that bring real transparency to the relationship between spending and results. Within a budget program, performance measures can be developed in a hierarchy that shows how certain activities generate outputs, which in turn lead to outcomes. Funding levels can be associated with these measures at each level, so that it is apparent how what is done on a day-to-day basis (activities) supports the intended year-end outcomes. And Cascade provides the option to automatically calculate and track the unit-cost of any output – a real measure of program efficiency.
And Cascade does much more to ensure that the performance budget is a powerful tool for managing-for-results. It creates a “clear line-of-sight” between every manager’s own program goals and the highest-level outcome goals of the entire organization – with the cascading linkages being drawn on the Goal Chart. Past and planned performance trends for every goal are mapped on easily accessible charts. An innovative option – the cost-effectiveness/impact calculator – shows where a program will get the most performance value for its money from its supporting measures. There is an optional, built-in bridge for linking any goal’s performance budget over to the line-item budget. Any type of document can be attached to a goal’s Strategy Summary that explains how the performance targets will be met. If an outside organization is involved in helping to meet a program’s goal, that goal can also be cascaded to them and their support shown.
For U.S. federal government agencies, the Federal version of Cascade is specifically designed to meet the performance planning and budgeting requirements of GPRA, the GPRA Modernization Act, and OMB Circular A-11.