Put Away the Putter and Select Your Driver

In Performance Improvement, Jerry Harbour, PhD, shares a method for performance measurement that centers on the 3D’s: design, data, and display.  We are exploring his research on design through identifying key performance elements that enable desired outcomes.

Every organization should be able to identify those “oomph factors” that drive critical outcomes.  These performance elements are the key factors that determine strategic performance outcomes.  Assessment drives instruction, and in order to assess the effectiveness of your performance you must be able to identify the key factors that drive your performance.  All the output that your organization produces requires a defined set of resource inputs.  Identifying and evaluating those inputs is a central part of your assessment process.

Harbour provides an example through a security force organization whose primary function is readiness and assurance.  Readiness is driven by staffing, equipment, training and funding.  Assurance involves various levels of performance testing to assess and ensure readiness effectiveness.  These critical performance drivers can then be measured to assess staffing and equipment levels, training effectiveness, and funding adequacy.  Note that we are not measuring security force performance, but instead the drivers that impact performance.

To identify the drivers that impact your organization’s performance you may use

  1. Descriptive measures that describe what is currently happening or has happened.
  2. Predictive measures that draw inferences about the future (leading indicator.)
  3. Diagnostic measures that can help determine why or where something is happening and how to correct the problem.

Start with your strategic performance outcomes and work backward to determine those factors that drive performance.  What drivers can you identify within your organization?  Did you uncover any that surprised you?  Do you already find some areas that you know need measurement, assessment, and improvement?  In our next blog we will look at the data in your performance measurement system.



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