State of the County 2019:

Performance Management

Marin County Civic Center as viewed from the fair grounds.

Introducing: Marin Compass

Marin Compass is our new performance management program designed to foster a culture of continuous improvement and learning.  By bringing diverse perspectives to the table, we can tackle tough issues in our community while ensuring we're addressing the things that matter most to our residents.

Community-Informed Goals

The foundations of Marin Compass were developed by a group of employees and community members who were charged with recommending a new framework to replace the County’s Managing for Results (MFR) program.
Marin Compass is different from previous performance management efforts because goals are developed by engaging our employees, clients and residents and it will identify data to help inform our operational priorities and progress. Our work starts with a focus on the countywide vision and department missions and we focus on meaningful strategies and measures that are evaluated using data, emphasizing quality over quantity. 
Marin Compass is not a list of tasks for the coming year, but a focus on what the organization is working on to improve.  In addition, its not a one time activity, but a continuous process, measuring progress along the way.

Aligning Mission to Goals

All county wide strategies as well as department missions  will align to at least one of the three county goals:
  • Healthy Communities
  • Safe Communities
  • Sustainable Communities

Chart showing an alignment of department missions, strategies, objectives and goals with the County's vision, mission, community indicators and objectives.  All informed though community and employee engagement.
Room full of people, with one woman raising her hand.

Community Indicators

Regardless of city/county boundaries, the community is interested in assessing the health, safety and sustainability of Marin County.  A list of community indicators will be developed as part of Marin Compass to help tell the story about the quality of life in Marin and guide policy makers to identify trends and develop strategies for improvement.  Since resident input about these indicators is important, we will leverage the recent 2018 Resident Survey data to identify the most important indicators to deliver on.
Infographic descripting the Marin Compass Implementation Timeline. NOTE TO READER: The starting point and progression in this process is unique to each department based in part on its current level and depth of employee and community engagement.  Timeline:  Fall 2017 to Fall 2018: Marin Compass is created.  Working group included a mix of County employees from all levels of the organization, Board of Supervisor members, community organizations, and Marin residents.  November and December 2018: County departments review and update mission, strategies, objectives, action plans, and performance indicators and identify meaningful data and measures that reflect progress toward its objectives and action plans.  January and February 2019: County departments identify steps and timeline for establishing mission, strategies, objectives, action plans, and performance indicators within next year and the tools and processes that will be utilized to engage employees at all levels and encourage employee ownership. April 2019: During the Board of Supervisor budget hearings, County departments will provide an update on where they started in the process, how they are engaging members and their overall progress, including identifying initial community indicators.   June 2019 to June 2020: Each department identifies initial performance objective and action, including data to assess if the action and objective are being met.  Intial sets of meaningful data and measures are added to Open Data ( to chart progress toward goals with an eye on continuous improvement.  Departments continuously engage employees and community around Marin Compass elements.

Get Involved

Visioning Exercise

The County of Marin has a mission, but no vision statement.  A shared vision, which connects employees and work across departments to the community we serve, is necessary to ensure system alignment.  A vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what an organization wants to ultimately become.  Building on the results of the 2018 Resident Survey, the Board of Supervisors will conduct a visioning exercise in 2019.

Track our Progress

As County departments define their performance objectives and action plans, they'll also identify meaningful data and measures to help track progress.   Those data sets and measures will be added to Marin Open Data so our residents can explore the work that's being done in our community.  By June 2020, every County department will have data sets added to Marin Open Data.

More resources for Marin Compass

What do you think?

We would love to hear from you! Please complete this one question survey.  You're welcome to include any comments you may have regarding the 2019 State of the County report and its related topics.  Thank you for your interest in Marin County government and we hope you will share this report with others.