Friday, October 16, 2009

How to Develop a Performance Metrics Repository That Drives Organizational Success

So, you've documented your organizational objectives and you've identified performance metrics. Now, where do you store these metrics? You store them in a performance metrics repository. A performance metrics repository is more than a list of metrics, it is a documented resource that explains to stakeholders everything they need to know about the metrics, such as what they are, how they support organizational objectives, how data is collected, who collects it, and so forth.

In small organizations there are normally fewer metrics, and they tend to be maintained centrally. In larger organizations with multiple business units, metrics are often maintained at the business unit level. Business units may have a number of metrics that they monitor, from systems performance to processes to employee performance. The key purpose of the performance metrics repository is to serve as the central point for viewing key performance measures across the organization. The magic word is key performance measures. While an organization may monitor hundreds of metrics enterprise-wide, the goal of the performance management team is to capture, collect and analyze the key measures that drive business and align to organizational objectives.

In your performance metrics repository, it is probably best that you include the following fields:
  • The business unit performing the service
  • The name of the performance measurement
  • Description of the measurement
  • Explanation of measurement formula
  • Resource and location of the data
  • Organization Objectives which the metric supports
  • Type of report
  • Frequency of Report
  • Who is responsible for providing data
  • Baseline performance (optional)
  • Rolling average (optional)
  • Variance
  • Target Audience (Stakeholders most interested in this metric)

By including these fields you are achieving several key factors that contribute to performance success such as:

  • Identifying key stakeholders / addressing stakeholder needs
  • Creating organizational awareness of the metrics
  • Gaining buy in on how performance is being measured
  • Centralizing performance measurement
  • Aligning performance to objectives
  • Creating an environment of accountability
  • Providing high level trend analysis

There are a rules of thumb to remember when setting up your metrics repository:

  • Ensure database can be accessed by key stakeholders
  • Develop a process for approving, populating and updating the database (similar to a change management process)
  • Train performance management team and key stakeholders how to use database
  • Enforce standards for providing complete and accurate entries
  • Limit the number of performance measures by business unit (remember, your focus is to measure key performance measures that drive organizational success)

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