Posted by Colin Weatherby 750 words
In the first two posts (see here and here) I discuss the requirements for a performance dashboard for my unit, the sources of performance measurement ideas, and the thinking behind creation of that dashboard. This post has the final dashboard.
At the outset I will remind you that purpose of the dashboard is to provide the performance information that I need in real time to be able to drive my unit. It is not intended to measure everything that might be relevant to understanding the performance of the unit. There will need to be other measures. The objective is to have no more than ten ‘dials’ ion the dashboard.
The performance questions that I have selected that are relevant to real time understanding and management of performance are:
|Performance question||Measure||Indicator||Dashboard measure|
|Are we providing value to our customers and the community?||convenience||complaints about registering service requests||1. number of complaints .2. complaints as a % of all service requests received/week|
|timeliness||customer service requests completed on time||3. % service requests completed on time/week|
|purpose fulfilled||complaints about expected service not delivered||4. number of complaints received/week5. complaints as a % of all service requests received/week|
|Are we providing value for money?||resources used efficiently||$/unit work, staff/unit output||6. number of staff at work each day as % total staff7. number of items of plant available each day as % total plant|
|Are we compliant with the law?||Road Management Plan compliance||monthly measurement against intervention levels||8. percentage of actionable defects completed within intervention time/week|
|Are we compliant with organisational policies?||procurement compliance||number of compliant purchases||9. number of purchases made/week10. percentage of purchases made when invoice received after PO raised/week|
|occupational health and safety compliance||reported hazards or incidents||11. number of hazards/incidents reported/week|
One of the constraints I have encountered is the inadequacy of organisational systems to provide information in real time. Most indicators will require manual manipulation of data, sometimes from multiple sources – i.e. the numerator comes from one source and denominator from another. Therefore, the dashboard will provide retrospective data from the week before. This is hardly the way to drive a car but it may be an acceptable way to drive my unit. It will mean that I have 52 opportunities to take corrective action using week old data.
Some of the indicators are for inputs and others are for outputs. There are no ‘in process’ indicators. As it is, the data required to provide weekly reporting using this dashboard is likely to be 4 hours work. That is 10% of someone’s time in the administration team (0.1 EFT) just to create the dashboard. Then there will be time required for the ‘drivers’ (supervisors) to understand and use the information to make corrections.
The value for money indicators are simplistic and intended to alert supervisors to the simple availability of all of the resources at their disposal. It is likely that additional indicators of plant utilisation and labour productivity will be required once the levels of resources are being maintained. Understanding the impact of staff absences and non-availability of plant being repaired is a starting point.
At this stage I haven’t followed Rummler and Brache’s really simple and doable process to develop measures and identify lead indicators based on their ‘nine performance variables’ matrix linking performance needs to levels for performance, as shown below.
Their process to develop measures has four steps:
- Identify the most significant outputs of the organisation at the organisation level, process level, and job performance level.
- Identify the ‘critical dimensions’ of performance for each of these outputs.
- Develop measures for each critical dimensions.
- Develop standards for each measure that are specific about the performance expectation.
To keep the discussion with my team simple and connected to their day to day responsibilities, I haven’t worried about whether or not the measure is related to a goal, design or management need, or whether it is for the organisation, a process or a person. I have looked at critical dimensions of performance.
No doubt there will be room for improvement in the next iteration of my dashboard and my team will be better able to participate in the discussion. It will also give me time to work with them on the differences between the nine performance variables and how to get the best return from the effort in using them to manage performance.
Rummler, Geary A., and Brache, Alan P. 1995. Improving Performance – How to Manage the White Space on the Organisation Chart.