Reporting the performance of a function or department to senior stakeholders is an opportunity to highlight the value or contribution made. The challenges lie in how to:
- Get away from issuing a monthly 'database' that collates every input and output in detail
- Provide just a handful (or two) of measures that really indicate the overall health of the function
- Report measures that reinforce the value of the function to the organisation, not just what it costs to operate.
Keeping the needs or the audience or recipients in mind at all times, consider how they may be helped to:
- 'See at a glance' how things are doing, helping them prioritise their time to focus on exceptions
- Understand how the function or department contributes value to the organisation.
An approach that borrows from the balanced scorecard method can help to identify measures of real interest to the target audience. There are four steps:
What does success look like, what objectives really matter?
- Customer Requirements or Satisfaction
- Internal Processes
- Employee Learning and Skills; Innovation
- Financial Performance
In this context think of objectives as being the ongoing purpose or value to be delivered, rather than that maybe used for an annual appraisal.
What Outcomes do these Objectives suggest (don't measure the inputs and outputs - measure the Outcomes)?
Alternatively, set a reasonable Target to begin with and adjust this over time in the light of experience.
Mind maps are available that summarise the approach and that may also be used as a template or checklist.
The MindManager map is also available at MapsforThat.
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