Best Practices In Performance Measurement

The best practices in Performance Measurement presented here are taken from our experience working with Public Sector organizations over the last ten years. These are the key elements to creating a practical, sustainable Performance Measurement Framework that will provide valuable management information about your organization.

Best Practice #1: Manage the process. To be successful, your Performance Measurement initiative should be run like any other project, with defined objectives and supported by sound planning and adequate resources.

Your Performance Measurement project needs a budget, a plan, a time-line and tangible milestones. The lack of any of these components can cause your project to 'drift' to an unsatisfactory conclusion. Note: of all the best practices in Performance Measurement presented here, this one is the most critical to success.

Best Practice #2: Be clear on roles and responsibilities. Organizations that have successfully implemented Performance Measurement establish ownership of project success early on. They create a team responsible for ensuring each element of the plan is carried out. Necessary roles include:

  • Executive Sponsor of the Performance Measurement Project, responsible for authorizing and approving project activities and championing the project to the rest of the organization;

  • Performance Measurement Coordinator, responsible to oversee the process of creating and using the Performance Measurement Framework;

  • Representative work unit managers and subject matter experts, responsible for creating and validating Logic Models, Measures, Data Collection Strategies, Performance Reporting formats, and analysis of performance results

  • Data Entry and Data Validation personnel, responsible for entering performance data to populate the Framework;

Best Practice #3: Model success. If you follow a proven, structured methodology you can create and implement a reporting framework that will provide you valuable information about your organization. Find examples of successful implementations to model, or get professional training and assistance where required.

Best Practice #4: Get to data quickly. Don't let your team spend a lot of time trying to create the 'perfect' Logic Model, or craft the perfect measures, first time out.

Your goal when first embarking on Performance Measurement is to identify some key outputs and desirable outcomes that support the objectives of your organization, and then come up with a handful of measures you believe will reflect your results. Get the data for these measures, and see what it tells you. This is where real organizational learning will take place.

Best Practice #5: Allow for the Learning Curve. You have to have tolerance for some uncertainty and ambiguity in the early days of Performance Measurement in your organization. No organization of any significant size or complexity built the 'perfect framework' the first time out.

Understand that Performance Measurement is an on-going process; if the measures yo start with are any good, your people will want to see more, and will work to improve the framework over successive reporting periods.

Final comments about Best Practices in Performance Measurement: Remember that in the end, its about performance, not Performance Measurement. Measuring your organizational performance is just a means to an end. The real purpose of your Performance Measurement Framework is to provide you information to help you manage better. Stay focused on that objective when building your Framework and creating measures.

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See Also:

Free Performance Measurement Guide. This Free Guide contains the information that is the basis of our successful practice in Public Sector Performance Measurement. The Guide is based on our experience working with Public Sector organizations to design, test, and implement practical Performance Reporting Frameworks.

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