Last week my Deputy Superintendent casually mentioned that before I leave he wanted me to take a look at the NPS Scorecard and he would have me do some work for the Park related to it. When he first said it my brain immediately shot to Dr. Rivenbark and Eric Peterson’s article from Org Theory about the balanced scorecard (A Balanced Approach to Implementing the Balanced Scorecard). I had assumed that the scorecard was more of a local government tool, not yet implemented at the federal level, especially not within a huge bureau. Once he sent me the link though I realized it was definitely an adaptation of the scorecard used for performance measurement that I learned about in class. It was really cool to see an actual tangible product I learned about be utilized in my internship (many contextual concepts have come up in my internship, but this is one of the first actual hard tangible products brought up). Unfortunately since the scorecard is on an NPS sharepoint site the link cannot be accessed from outside the network, but I did provide a few screenshots below and here is a link that provides a blurb of how NPS is using it.
The site itself is actually very impressive (I will be honest when he first told me about it I was expecting 3 year old data, on a PowerPoint slide or something) it includes data reaching back to 2012 and allows parks to generate reports and graphs where they can compare their score on the measure to the region the park is in and NPS as a whole. The score that a park receives is also qualified as either nothing, standard or exceptional. The score measures include: Park Financial; Park Organizational; Park Performance; Park Informational; Park Revenue and Donations; Cultural Resources Management; Facilities Maintenance; Facilities Operations; Interpretation and Education; Natural Resources Management; and Visitor and Resources Protection. Each of these measures has between four and sixteen sub-measures that make up the parent measure. Each sub-measure can be clicked on to provide further detail on how the score was determined. When you consider that the park service has over 400 sites the fact that this much performance data is actually being generated is impressive. And not to toot Wolf Trap’s horn, but they have received quite a few “exceptional” ratings in visitor satisfaction measures across the board!