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