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Garbage In, Garbage Out
We have been examining the 3 “Ds” of successful performance measurement as researched by Jerry Harbour, PhD, and will today look at the 2nd D – Data. Rarely do systems suddenly experience a downturn or failure without prior warning. Data that creates sensitivity and awareness of subtle changes is especially helpful as it may predict pending system shifts that affect your entire organization.
It is clearly impossible to have a good performance measurement system without high-quality, accurate, and believable data. As your mother may have told you, if you eat too many Ding Dongs you just may turn into one. If you have Ding Dong data, you can expect that your performance measurements will be about as healthy.
In order to apply the data you to performance metrics for your organization, you must standardize this data to ensure consistency over time and across your systems. This allows for performance measurement that makes direct comparisons across various departments, locations, and teams. It is also essential that:
- Measures adequately represent individual performances objectives and can also assess ultimate strategic performance
- Measures can be taken across your organization and are sensitive enough to detect subtle changes in performance
It can be daunting to select the right data points and aggregate them vertically and horizontally. While individual systems may produce great data points that indicate success, it is your overall organization performance measurement that will tell the tale.
The guidelines above are a theoretical beginning to establish the relevant data you need to inform performance measurement. Indeed, there is an entire industry devoted to defining and collecting appropriate data and you may benefit from those services. We can certainly help you review your data inputs and desired outcomes to see if they match up; or we can create the system from the start. Let us know if we can help.