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Stepping Up Performance Metrics

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During the growth stages of your business many companies focus their performance measurements on financial and costing information. These types of measurements usually represent outcomes of processes, but do not always provide the best information about what actually occurs behind the scenes. Your performance measurements must reflect and encourage a culture of people empowerment, the value of time, emphasis on continuous improvement, a quality mindset, and total people productivity. How we behave is dictated by how we are measured, and we cannot expect people to behave under the new culture if we continue to measure them under incorrect standards.


New ways of doing business require new performance measurements.  In our article on Performance Measurements we looked at what you need to consider when measuring performance.  This article deals with some of the specifics relating to what you could measure.

The following are but a few of the measures being used by world-class organizations to foster continuous improvement and achieve strategic goals.

List of Performance Improvement Variables

Whatever measures are utilized, one must remember that performance measurements in and of themselves do not add value. Attempts should be made to always focus measures on value-adding activities.

The most useful information derived from performance measurements is the trend of the results as opposed to the actual value of the measurement. We should be more concerned with relative performance over time than with absolute numbers. Small incremental improvements should be encouraged, and celebrated as progress toward the goal. When dramatic changes do occur, these should also be acknowledged. It is often worthwhile to set targets that may at first seem completely unrealistic. But doing so forces us to view the process from a completely fresh perspective, perhaps to find a whole new way to accomplish the objective.


It is important to remember that performance measurement systems must remain fluid and flexible, in order to change with the constantly changing needs of an organization.

How a company measures itself can have significant impact on how well the company performs in the marketplace.

Once measurements are established, success can be measured by marking progress week to week. This progress, no matter how small, must be published internally, rewarded, and used to motivate everyone within the organization to strive for continuous improvement and achieve excellence.

About the Author:

Jeff Hollingdale has significant experience in Quality Management. Having worked within both the service and manufacturing sector assisting clients with facilitation and implementation of Lean / Agile / TOC and ISO standards, i.e. ISO 9001, ISO 14001, Energy and Asset management. He has international certification in APICS (CPIM), Lean Manufacturing, TPM, TQM, SPC. Lean /Six Sigma and various ISO accreditation and auditing requirements including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 31000, ISO 50001, ISO 55000.


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