Overview of Previous Steps:

  • Measure:
    • Designated staff members will collect data for the indicators selected in Step 2 via the measurement processes and tools developed in Step 3.
  • Report:
    • Designated staff members complete and send the management dashboard and any program-level dashboards developed in Step 4 to the appropriate review teams.
  • Learn:
    • Following the review schedule for your dashboards, also developed in Step 4, the management and program-level review teams meet regularly to interpret and analyze reported data.
  • Improve:
    • Based on the insights and conclusions drawn from the reported data, the review teams assign responsibilities for implementing improvements to the organization’s strategy, activities, and operations. 

Launch Your Performance Measurement System 

Your first performance measurement cycle will most likely have some gaps that you will fill in future cycles.

  • Begin measuring the indicators that you are prepared to track
  • If you have decided to implement more involved software-based storage tools, use a temporary data-storage location such as a spreadsheet, until your storage tools are ready.
    •  Report the available data via your dashboards
    • Conduct your initial performance reviews to begin interpreting and analyzing the reported data
    • Make decisions regarding activities and operations based on your data review
    •  Update existing or develop new measurement tools and processes as needed.
  • Keep track of questions and address them in future cycles

Update Your Baselines and Targets

Complete your first performance measurement cycle and collect new data. Establish preliminary baselines for any indicators for which you did not have any previous data.

  • Adjust the targets that you set when you first created your management dashboard.
  • Consider past trends, current performance in relation to past targets, contextual factors, the most current strategic or business plan, and the input of the stakeholders involved in meeting those targets.
  • Update your targets so that they remain realistic but also ambitious enough to enable your organization to meet its goals.
  • Continue to revisit and update these targets in future cycles of your performance measurement system.

Refine Your Performance Measurement System 

As you progress through first few performance measurement cycles, revisit the various components of your performance measurement system itself.

  • Add new indicators, adjust existing ones, or remove ones that are not useful
  • Learn what is more relevant and important to measure 
  • Keep changes to a minimum
  • Performance measurement is most useful when able to collect consistent data over an extended period of time

Make An External Commitment To Continuous Improvement: Report Cards 

Once you are comfortable with your performance measurement cycle, begin to share your data and conclusions with stakeholders.

  • Can be done through existing publications, such as an annual report, or via a report card.
  • A report card requires additional explanation for readers who may not be familiar with your day-to-day operations

Concluding Step 5 

As you complete Step 5, your new or refined performance measurement system should be up and running.

  • Gather sense of the work you need to do in upcoming measurements cycles
  • Make additional refinements to your system
  • Begin reporting performance data to stakeholders

Root Cause (2009), Building a performance measurement system: Using Data to Accelerate Social Impact.