Operations Performance Measurement Program
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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Why Have Performance Measurement?

  • Set goals and standards
  • Detect and correct problems
  • Manage, describe, and improve processes
  • Document accomplishments

In general, a good measure:

  • Is accepted by and meaningful to the customer
  • Tells how well goals and objectives are being met
  • Is simple, understandable, logical, and repeatable
  • Shows a trend
  • Is unambiguously defined
  • Allows for economical data collection
  • Is timely
  • Is sensitive

A successful performance measurement system:

  • Comprises a balanced set of a limited vital few measures
  • Produces timely and useful reports at a reasonable cost
  • Displays and makes readily available information that is shared, understood, and used by an organization
  • Supports the organization's values and the relationship the organization has with customers, suppliers, and stakeholders

A typical definition of a measure includes

  • A specific goal or objective
  • Data requirements, such as the population the metric will include, the frequency of measurement, and the data source
  • The calculation methodology, including required equations and precise definition of key terms
  • Reports in which the data will appear and the graphic presentation that will eventually be used to display the data
  • Any other relevant rationale for the measure

A clear data collection plan helps streamline the data collection process:

  • Identify how much data need to be collected, the population from which the data will come, and the length of time over which to collect the data.
  • Identify the charts and graphs to be used, the charting frequency, the type of comparison to be made, and the calculation methodology.
  • Identify the characteristics of the data to be collected attribute data are things that can be counted; variable data are things that can be measured.
  • If the performance measure is new, try to identify existing data sources or create new sources. All data sources need to be credible and cost effective.

Source: Serving the American Public: Best Practices in Performance Measurement

Office of Operations