Jul 27, 2016

Performance Measurement: We Know It is Important ... Why Don’t We Do It?

Posted by Deborah Bigelow Crawford | 0 Comments

Measurement takes commitment, resources, and time to implement, but pays for itself.

Performance measurement has become a powerful tool that can validate project success or point out failure. It can tell you if a new process is working, or if an investment is paying off. Why don’t we do more of it? 

A few reasons may be that it takes commitment, resources, and time to implement!  But if the statistics I read are true, setting up a measurement program will ultimately pay for itself … and better yet, it will provide you with a return on your investment!

Before you even begin, you need to know what items you plan to measure, why you plan to measure them (your objectives) and how you will use the information once you have obtained it. Then you can select and use a measurement model that will allow consistency in the planning, collection, and analysis of your measures.

How to Get Started

If you have committed to employ a measurement program, gained appropriate sponsorship, and know your objectives, then the first thing you need to do is to choose a model for implementation. The PEMARI model, developed by the PM Solutions’ research arm, has proven to work well in dozens of organizations. It integrates the following processes.

  • Planning: understand success factors, identify stakeholder roles and responsibilities, identify performance management goals and develop a plan for your performance management program
     
  • Establishing metrics: identify and select performance measures and develop measurement scorecards. The scorecards include high-level measures defined at the organizational governance level, and metrics that comprise these measures identified at the departmental or program level.
     
  • Measurement: plan for data collection, identify data sources and information technology required and ensure data quality
     
  • Analysis: convert data into performance information and knowledge; analyze and validate results; benchmark and perform comparative analysis
     
  • Reporting: develop a communications plan and share performance results with stakeholders  
     
  • Improvement: assess performance management practices, learn from feedback and lessons learned and implement improvements

When you are ready, it is best to pilot your program.  This way you can demonstrate to your organization the success and value of a performance management program and then expand its use.

When done properly, project performance measurement can transform your organization and reap huge rewards, including documented evidence of:

  • Productivity improvements resulting from process changes
  • Efficiency gains from application of new techniques and approaches
  • Profitability increases from application standardization and repeatability

So, if measurement has become increasingly important in your organization, take the plunge!  It is not hard, it just takes commitment and discipline. Here are some resources we've developed to help you begin.  Let me know if this framework works for you!

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