It is important for any plan to begin with a well-defined mission, goals and objective measurements because they provide the foundation to the entire organization. These components are used to guide subsequent duties in the organization. Measures are the metrics that can be used to gauge the progress on objectives. For example, the objective targeting improved performance can be gauged using metrics such as total sale, efficiency, profitability or even stock price. Performance measures are important in today’s organizations and are a fundamental part of strategic planning. Without the performance, one cannot tell where he or she has been, is now and is going.
Performance measures can be said to be indicators of results achieved by the work done in the process, activity, program or organization. Performance measures can be divided into output measures, outcome measures, efficiency measures and input measures. Performance measures are created to address issues of effectiveness and efficiency. Where I worked at Capital Bikeshare, the performance measures helped to ensure the program was measurable, specific and quantitative whenever feasible. To make the performance monitoring simple, all performance measures were conducted yearly. It was conducted in January of every year for the previous year. At this time, the two data points available yearly will new, thus avoiding the need to carry out more than one update every year.
The major measures put in place by the organization plan can be put in three categories of how performance can be measured over time. The various categories are improvement over years, comparison to set target and descriptive measures. Improvement over measures uses baseline data on performance on the first year to track an employee’s progress. Examples of performance measures used to track improvement are things like system efficiency, safety and financial performance. In comparison to a set target, progress will be measured by how far the measure moves towards the fixed target. In my organization, a good example would be the collection of data on demographic characteristics of our riders. Descriptive measures were used for descriptive purpose and not to measure the progress of the system. These measures were used to quantify the externalities of the Bikeshare program, but they neither had a benchmark for measuring progress or a clear definition for progress.
Manager should develop enhance performance measurement system based on various principles. The measurement system should be Results-Oriented, it should be selective (Focus on important indicators), reliable (Provide accurate data), and accessible (Ensure systematic and periodic disclosure of results. Managers can use skill assessments which are simple, flexible and effective tools to determine an employee’s individual training needs. This should be adapted to suit the purpose of the organization and also help in specifying and creating learning and management systems.
The government can develop performance measures framework and ensure service excellence by being results oriented and predicated on business planning and strategy. A result-oriented government should focus on giving results to clients, being responsive to taxpayers’ needs and exhibiting accountability. The framework for a government that is results oriented should be built on the components such as plan, monitor, and measure. The leadership and organizational culture should be incorporated and supported by innovation and customer service. The elected officials, the government office and all senior level management should lead in the implementation of a result based government culture while making sure the entire organization understands the government mission; they should believe and practice the government organizational values and ensure that every employee understands their duty in supporting their departments to achieve set goals.
The government can also develop a strategic plan that considers business planning and budget process. A plan that is well executed promotes a general understanding of the governments overall direction. It also helps the employees to understand how their role supports the organizational success and government’s strategic direction. The government can also continue to refine performance measurement system and ensure that measures are accurate, appropriate, timely and reliable. A continuous monitoring process should be in place to enhance accountability of elected officials and residents, through quarterly performance reporting by every department, community score card and organizational assessment. Customer service should be enhanced so that government employees understand and know standards of customer service. It is critical for the government to establish innovative programs like competition programs and efficiency to drive excellence in performance. In addition, programs that recognize and reward workers who exhibit exceptional commitment and excellence in their work will enhance performance.
Performance measures are very important because they give an insight into how we are doing. They gauge our success and enable us to know areas of weakness so that we can make improvements. Performance measures cannot tell us the ways in which to make improvements, there are other tools that are needed for that purpose; however, they can be used as early warning system to help us to manage and address issues in a better way before they become problematic. Therefore, performance measures are a part of the general strategic and conceptual framework for more effective management system.