1. Define Results

The first step is to identify the results or outcomes the agency seeks to achieve. Results are the changes that happen because of what an agency, program, or project does. Depending on where you are in the performance management process, you may identify anywhere from 1-2 results for a single program to many (10+) results spanning the entire agency.

Results are phrased as statements of what will be achieved, for example:

  • Children protected from communicable diseases
  • Foodborne illnesses reduced
  • Non-grant revenue increased

Frequently, results link together in a causal “if…then” relationship- if we do this action, then we will achieve this result.


  • IF we increase childhood immunizations (action), THEN children will be protected from communicable diseases (result).
  • IF we inspect restaurants for critical food safety violations (action), THEN cases of foodborne illness will be reduced (result).
  • IF we increase non-grant revenue (action), THEN the agency will be more financially stable (result).

Results Framework:

These causal if…then relationships can be shown in the form of a results framework. The framework helps organize the results you are trying to achieve. The desired result sits at the top of this framework, while the logical chain of actions necessary to achieve the result builds from the bottom of the framework up.

Next: Step 2 – Selecting indicators