Getting Started with Performance Measurement

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new".

Albert Einstein

Getting started with performance measurement requires some tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty in the beginning. But if you get a few critical elements in place and persevere, your performance measurement initiative is going to succeed.

Requirement 1: A good reason 'Why'? Your team has to understand why they are engaging in performance measurement. The reality is, in the current public sector world of diminishing resources, improving management of programs and services is critical to success and survival.

Effective management needs timely and accurate information on programs and supporting services. Citizens and central agencies are taking a more "results-oriented” view of government programs, and the effectiveness of program expenditures is increasingly being called into question. Programs need to demonstrate good performance - i.e. results - to help justify their existence.

Requirement 2: Committed leadership. Committed and ongoing leadership - i.e. a champion is needed to launch the initiative and sustain the process. Leadership must be visibly and vocally dedicated to the performance measurement initiative if it is to succeed.

Requirement 3: Engaged stakeholders. Everyone involved, especially the management team, needs to be engaged in the project and committed to success. Success of your performance measurement initiative is directly correlated to the degree of engagement from key stakeholders.

Requirement 4: The right team. The same people who are responsible for getting the job done must also be engaged in measuring performance of that work. A corollary of this is that managers must understand that performance measurement is a critical part of their work responsibilities. This is not a casual commitment; they must devote the time, energy, and resources required for the work to be done.

Requirement 5: The right team leader. Your organization needs a custodian or coordinator of performance measurement, to both lead the team and carry on maintaining and supporting your performance measurement system during and after implementation. Our experience says this individual is critical to long-term sustainability of your performance measurement system.

To wrap it up, here's what your team needs to look like when you are getting started:

  • A Performance Measurement Coordinator/Team Leader

  • A number of personnel who do the work being measured, and/or who are familiar with the work being measured

  • A performance measurement expert - internal, or an experienced volunteer from outside the organization, or a consultant.

And all of this with the direction and support of a senior management champion. These are the key requirements to getting started with performance measurement successfully.

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See Also:

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 Practices in Performance Measurement

As with any project, planning for Performance Measurement means establishing the conditions necessary for the success of the initiative. Here's some factors to consider when planning your Performance Measurement project. Planning for Performance Measurement

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