This guide is intended for those working to implement Results-Based Accountability or Outcomes-Based Accountabilty in their community, city, county, council, state or nation. Implementation is no small matter. The leap from theory to practice requires courage, time, discipline and some knowledge about HOW to do the work. This guide is devoted to this last ingredient, how to do the work. It is an attempt to summarize as much as possible of what we know about implementation.
The guide is organized around questions people typically ask about RBA/OBA. We have tried to find the hardest questions, and give the best answer we could. Trying to answer tough questions is tough and trying. There is still much we don’t know about this work, and, in truth, there always will be. This work is, by its nature, a process of experimentation and discovery. For that reason we also see this guide as a work in progress, where we will add new knowledge as we gather it. You are part of that gathering process. As you read this you will find that you have ideas and experience to offer. And we would like to hear from you about this. (Use the back key to return to this page.) You may also think of tough questions you would like answered, and we would like to hear these as well. Or you may not be satisfied with the answer offered here. Write to us, tell us what you think is wrong, and we’ll try again.
The answers to the questions in this paper have two purposes: First to inform those doing the work. And second to help those doing the work explain the approach to others. Those others might be elected officials, decision makers, or new partners.
We try not to skimp on answers. The text is edited to present the main ideas quickly. But we have also loaded into this guide everything we can think of that may be useful, including detailed (and sometimes technical ) answers, pictures, formats and other tools you can use. The guide incorporates significant material from prior publications but also includes much material that has not been published anywhere before.
This site is a companion to the book “Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough: How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers and Communities,” available from the links below.
We hope you find the guide useful.