A handbook


by Franco Archibugi

with the cooperation of

Mario D'Eramo




Strategic Programming has become a more and more important instrument in order to improve the methods and results of public management. In every OCSE country, all of which have been compared by the Committee (and service) PUMA (Public Management) and, in the case of the USA, by the “Government Performance and Results Act” (GPRA), issued by the Congress in 1993, and its implementation, Strategic Programming has become a technical instrument in order to expand and accomplish a “management founded on its results” in every public body.
Strategic programming has become the most important instrument of what is called “Reinvention Government”.
This book brings together a systematic exposition of the methods for the application of Strategic Programming in public programmes. It consists of about 30 lectures rounded off with appendices and diagrams, which by means of a progressive and didactic method lead the reader to the acquisition of the know-how needed to introduce a process of strategic programming in the management units of the various sectors of public administration.
The book could become a useful vademecum for all those leaders of Public Administration who would like to initiate a modification in management – as to their activities, their duties, their functions – based on the systematic control of the results through new measurement and evaluation techniques on basis of a rational and scientific determination of the objectives that are to be followed and the analysis of the resources which are necessary to carry them out with the minimum cost and the maximum efficiency. This Manual is supported by some examples founded on the experience of the American GPRA, a key element of the federal US administration in different sectors. And it establishes the basic material for a continuous updating of the techniques and experimentation.
This Manual could be a central point of reference in the library of every responsible public leader who is ready
to improve the quality of his professionality.



1. General principles of strategic programming: A Decalogue
2. Strategic programming and strategic evaluation
3. Strategic programming as a cyclic process

First part: The ‘Programming Units’ (PU) and the definition of the mandates and missions
Lecture I.1
The ‘Programming Units’ and management units; mandates and missions

1. The ‘programming units’ in particular and in general
1.1. Multiple plans: a common method for success
1.2. Diversity and homologation of experiences
1.3. Birth of the PU or metamorphosing into the PU
1.4. Critical factors in the introduction of strategic programming in the PU
1.5. Successful factors in the introduction of strategic programming in the PU
1.6. Operational fungibility as a base of the management of the PU
2. Mandates and missions
2.1. The identification of the mandates and/or missions of the PU
2.2. The limited role of formal mandates
2.3. A functional relationship between regulations and practices of programming
2.4. The informal redefinition of the missions
2.5. Analyses of the stakeholders as prejudicial question for the definition of the mission
2.6. The clarification of the mandates and missions
2.7. The ‘mission declaration’

Lecture I.2
The identification and acquisition of legislative and political sources of mandates

1. The sources of mandates in relation with their implementation
2. The benefits that can derive from a major, constant attention to the re-definition of the PU mission
3. The role of the Parliament
4. The methodological and political significance of identification and the legislative and political acquisition of mandates
5. The mission identification: six essential questions
5.1. Who are we?
5.2. What are the political necessities and social foundations that we need to satisfy or what are the political and social problems that we have to deal with?
5.3. In general, what do we have to do in order to identify, anticipate and eliminate these needs and problems?
5.4. How should we respond to our key stakeholders?
5.5. What are the values, the philosophy and the culture of the PU?

Lecture I.3
Beneficiaries and stakeholders: Consultation and evaluation of preferences

1. General considerations on the participants in the programming process
2. The public interest
3. The participation of the citizens: qualitative and quantitative problems
4. Some attempts to classify the participants
4.1. Elected representatives
4.2. The public officers
4.3. The public
4.4. External participants
4.5. Consultants
5. A short recall to the question of the timeliness of preference assumptions of stakeholders and beneficiaries during the process of determining general objectives
6. Identification and survey on the stakeholders’ and beneficiaries’ preferences
7. Information and uncertainty on behalf of the decision-making system
8. Value and limits of the choices founded on consensus
9. The basic step concerning the analysis of the beneficiaries’ and stakeholders’ preferences
10. A classification of the stakeholders

Lecture I.4
Collecting system and evaluation of the beneficiaries’ preferences

1. Analyses of the beneficiaries’ preferences
1.1. The users’ satisfaction
1.2. The satisfaction measurement
2. Importance of the preferences-collecting system
3. Techniques for the preferences-collecting system
3.1. Conventional techniques of a prevailingly popular character
3.1.1. Exhibitions
3.1.2. Public meetings
3.1.3. Publications
3.1.4. Means of mass communication
3.2. Other conventional techniques of surveying the preferences
3.2.1. Opinion Polls
3.2.2. Referendums
3.2.3. Consultation of the representatives of beneficiaries and stakeholders and their participation in the activities programming
4. Innovative methods of involvement of stakeholders
4.1. Brainstorming
4.2. The Delphi method
4.3. The nominal groups method
4.4. The Charette
4.5. Other innovative methods: simulation games and construction of scenarios


Second Part: Programme structuring

Lecture II.1
Programme structuring: the identification of strategic issues

1. The characterisation of strategic issues in the public field
2. How to face the analysis of the strategic issues of an organisation
2.1. Which benefits are achieved by the identification of the issues?
2.2. How to describe the strategic issues
3. Bryson’s four approaches for the characterisation of strategic issues
3.1. The direct approach
3.2. The objective-oriented approach
3.3. The ‘vision of success’ or ‘idealised scenario’ approach
3.4. The indirect approach
4. Comprehensive guidelines for the characterisation of strategic issues
5. From the characterisation of strategic questions (or issues) to the formulation of strategies and plans
6. The guidelines of the process
6.1. The ‘five-step-process’
6.2. The process of ‘oval mapping’
7. Strategic plans and their contents
8. Final considerations on the adoption of the plans

Lecture II.2
Programme structuring: objectives/means relation

1. The programme and the ‘programme structure’
1.1. The relation between the objectives
1.2. The logical-functional viewpoint
2. The psychological-motivational viewpoint
3. The programme structure
3.1. The hierarchic articulation of the objectives
3.2. The concatenated end/means relation and the implications of operationality
3.3. Criteria for the identification of the hierarchic levels
4. General programme structuring
5. The programme analysis (and evaluation)
6. Programme structures and programme indicators
7. Programme structure and matrices of political interaction with other programmes

Lecture II.3
Evaluation of the contextual or environmental conditions

1. The PU and its context
2. Modalities of developing a good knowledge of the context on behalf of the PU managers
3. The change prediction
3.1. Fundamental aims of the change prediction
3.2. Significant factors
3.3. The key indicators of success
4. The exploration of the environment
4.1. Evaluate the intentions, the participants and the necessary time
4.2. Identify the key issues
4.3. Analyse the issues
4.4. Set up useful information for the decision-making process
5. SWOT analyses
6. The policy system as a means of decision-taking
6.1. The attributes of a system of political choice
6.2. The environment of a system of political choice
6.3. Information and uncertainty inherent to the system of political choice

Lecture II.4
The model of programme structuring in the American GPRA Plans

1. Critical reading of the programme structure of the American GPRA plans: EPA, FEMA, DoEd and DoT
1.1. First programme structure level of the GPRA plans
1.2. Second programme structure level of the GPRA plans
1.3. Third programme structure level of the GPRA plans
1.4. Fourth programme structure level of the GPRA plans
2. The relation between objectives in the GPRA plans

Lecture II.5
The ‘matrices’ of interaction

1. The problem of establishing the links
2. Interaction: various typologies
3. Warfield’s matrices of interaction
4. The links in projecting the value systems
5. About the links between ‘systematic syntheses’
6. Links of ‘systematic syntheses’
7. The decision in the Programme planning
8. Political and decision-making class facing choice issues: a short and useful digression


Third part: Performance measurement

Lecture III.1
Guidelines for the objective and performance measurement

1. Objectives and actions like ‘performances’
2. The measurement process on a single scale of Programme structure
3. The objective/performance indicators
3.1. Definition of the objective indicators
3.2. ‘Product’ and ‘effect’ indicators
3.3. Other criteria for the identification of the indicators
3.4. Glossary and concepts concerning objective and performance measurement
4. Evaluation of ways and means to carry out the measured performances
5. The definition of the means/performance indicators
5.1. Critical attention to the ways of using the separation between two types of indicators: of objectives and of means
5.2. Importance of the indicators of means/performance for evaluating the pertinence of public intervention
6. Time indicators of target/performance

Lecture III.2
Typology of indicators for the performance measurement

1. A huge range of sources for the performance measurement
2. A first typology adherent to the same sequence of objectives/means connection as discussed in Lecture II.2
2.1. Nature and classification of programme indicators
2.2. Function of indicators
2.3. Correlation between indicators
3. Other classifications of (and considerations on) programme indicators
3.1. Static indicators
3.2. Dynamic indicators
3.3. Continuous or discrete indicators
3.4. Proxies concerning quality
3.5. A substantive classification of indicators
4. On the selection of (programme) indicators
4.1. Classification of indicators
4.2. General criteria
4.3. Six steps to search for the key indicators

Lecture III.3
Examples of the application of programme measurement

1. Indicators of objectives
2. Examples of programme indicators in the American plans
2.1. Examples of indicators of general aims
2.2. Examples of indicators of strategic objectives and general programmes
2.3. Examples of indicators of instrumental programmes
2.4. Examples of indicators of actions
3. Examples on the nature and classification of programme indicators
3.1. Examples on the function of indicators
3.2. Examples on the correlation between indicators
4. Performance indices
4.1. Synthesis
4.2. Example 1: Index of the cost of staff accidents and illnesses at the DOE
4.3. Example 2: Index of irregular operations at the Westinghouse Hanford Company
4.4. Example 3: Index of safety at Eastman Kodak


Fourth part: Project specification and operation

Lecture IV.1
Engineering of the programmes, projects and operations

1. Programme specification
1.1. Constitution of a programming group
1.2. Characterisation of the projects inherent of the action programme
1.3. Characterisation of the alternatives
1.4. Selection of evaluation techniques
1.5. Development of alternatives
1.6. Executive project
1.7. Comparison of various projects and drafting of an expenditure prevention
2. Construction of a flow diagram and a time diagram of a project
3. Guide to programme planning
3.1. Definition of the projects
3.2. Definition of the resources
3.3. Determination of the indicator values
4. Final programme verification
5. Direct accomplishment and accomplishment by degrees
5.1. Pilot project
5.2. Demonstrative project

Lecture IV.2
The re-organisation of the Public Administration procedures (re-engineering)

1. Introduction
2. The re-organisation of the procedures is an instrument for improving performances
3. The re-organisation project in nine steps
4. Re-organisation and technological computing
5. The re-organisation implies multiple changes
6. Phase A – Decide for re-organisation
6.1. Step 1: Redefine the mission and strategic aims
6.2. Step 2: Identify the problems inherent in the performances and stabilise improvements to be carried out
6.3. Step 3: Decide for re-organisation
7. Phase B – Develop the reorganisation project
7.1. Step 4: Organise the project conduct
7.2. Step 5: Analyse the process in order to reorganise and define feasible alternatives
7.3. Step 6: Choose the alternative procedure that is to be applied and prepare the documentation
8. Phase C – Carry out the project and estimate the result value
8.1. Step 7: Plan the management of the nine steps
8.2. Step 8: Prepare the staff to tackle and accept the changes
8.3. Step 9: Estimate the result value

Lecture IV.3
Target timing and fixation in the programmes

1. Issues
2. Meaning of timing
3. Selection of periodic structuring and target timing
4. Timing as revealer of possible structural defects of the plan
5. Timing in the experience of the GPRA
6. Some critical requests concerning the described process
7. How to evaluate the performance plans?
7.1. The annual performance objectives
7.2. The means and strategy
7.3. Validation and checking
7.4. Utility of the plan in general
8. Some examples of annual timing

Lecture IV.4
The collection of the data for determining indicator values

1. The measurement system
2. Creation and activation of the measurement system
2.1. Identification of the necessary data
2.2. Identification of the data localisation
2.3. Identification of the sensor
2.4. Determination of the times in which the data collection takes place
2.5. Establishing of the responsible person
2.6. Selection of graphic instruments
2.7. Data collection
3. Data quality assessment


Fifth part: Programme budgeting

Lecture V.1
Programme budgeting: what it is, and what it serves for

1. Programme budgeting in the face of traditional state accounting
1.1. The ‘budgeting’ within public bodies
1.2. The dissociation of public budgeting from its effective results
1.3. ‘Illusionary’ effects related to the dissociation
1.4. The waste of the resources
1.5. Strategic programming and budgeting within public bodies
2. Towards the public accounting reformation: programme budgeting
2.1. A budgeting accounting deducted from the various preceding phases of the strategic programming process
2.2. Interaction between programme budgeting structures on a deeper and a higher level
2.3. The interaction between programme structuring and programme budgeting
2.4. Programme budgeting as a means of checking the coherence of the programme structuring
3. Criteria of the construction of programme budgeting
3.1. The congruity of the costs and the targets
3.2. The importance of timing and of the time-costs-results relation
3.3. The connected objectives/instruments relation, even in financial programming
3.4. Comparison between ex ante and ex post budgeting
4. The systemic relativity of budgeting

Lecture V.2
The constituent elements of a programme budgeting

1. Cost analysis
1.1. The cost system
1.2. The cost concept
1.3. A cost classification
1.4. Rigidity and variability of staff cost
2. Guidelines for a useful Programme Budgeting structure
2.1. Seven recommendations
2.2. The importance of standard costs

Lecture V.3
From traditional budgeting to programme budgeting

1. Procedure of passing from a public budgeting of traditional expenditure to a ‘programme budgeting’
1.1. Corrections to be applied to financial budgeting of public bodies in order to achieve the corresponding programme budgeting
1.2. Difficulties in creating bonds between budgeting resources, programmes, performances and results
1.3. Clarification on essential glossary
1.4. How to make the relation between budgeting financing and performance plans clear and comprehensible
1.5. Necessary information for all political decision-making organisations (governments, parliaments etc.) on different levels
2. The integration into budgeting structures, performance measurements, financial structures and structures of management
2.1. The integration into performance measurement budgeting
2.2. The integration into budgeting structures and authoritative and flexible management
2.3. The integration into budgeting and financial structures

Lecture V.4
Project financing

1. Private, financial contribution to public programmes
2. Project financing
3. The need for project financing
4. The actors
5. The role of public administration
6. Risks of project financing


Sixth part: Result monitoring and controlling systems

Lecture VI.1
Result monitoring and controlling systems

1. Reasons for monitoring
2. Results and benefits of the monitoring process
3. Result control
4. The use of (repetitive) monitoring and controlling of the strategic programming results
4.1. Indicators for result monitoring and controlling
5. Ideas for the construction of a results controlling system
6. Performance Measurement Project of the GASB
6.1. The performance measurement categories

Lecture VI.2
Control techniques for the variation factors of management costs

1. Necessity to isolate, during the monitoring process, the variations in programme management due to monetary and ‘real’ variations
2. Analyses of cost and revenue ‘de-costing’
3. An example of de-costing analyses

Lecture VI.3
Evaluation of projects and operations in itinere and ex post

1. In itinere evaluation and ex post evaluation
2. Necessity and aims of in itinere evaluation
3. The in itinere evaluation is a component of the strategic performance management process
4. Evaluation project organisation and management
4.1. Definition of the job
4.2. Staff selection and organisation of the work
4.3. Task assignment
4.4. Control of the project discussion
4.5. Drafting of the final connection

Lecture VI.4
Forms of evaluation of the executives’ personal performances and connected remunerations

1. The evaluation of the executives
2. The co-involvement of staff: motivation and boosting of a result-oriented attitude
2.1. The motivational aspect
2.2. Boosting
3. Experiments of a new remuneration and classification in the public sector: an OCSE investigation
4. Modality of determining the legacy remuneration of the results
4.1. Experience of defining and application of a bond between the results and remunerations
5. A remuneration measurement based on individual productivity
6. The plans of the GPRA and staff management