DOE/Nevada Family Quality Forum Approach

This eleven-step performance measurement process was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy Nevada Operations Office (DOE/NV) Family Quality Forum. It is a guideline intended to show the process generically. Different organizations who best know their own internal processes should feel free to adapt the guidelines where necessary to best fit within their operations.

The Foundation for a Performance Measurement System
Successful performance measurement systems adhere to the following principles:

  • Measure only what is important. Do not measure too much; measure things that impact customer satisfaction.
  • Focus on customer needs. Ask your customers if they think this is what you should measure.
  • Involve employees (workers) in the design and implementation of the measurement system. Give them a sense of ownership, which leads to improvements in the quality of the measurement system.

The Process
The 11-step process consists of:

  1. Identify the process flow. This is the first and perhaps most important step. If your employees cannot agree on their process(es), how can they effectively measure them or utilize the output of what they have measured?

    Output: A list of processes, key processes, and flow diagrams for these key processes.

  2. Identify the critical activity to be measured. The critical activity is that culminating activity where it makes the most sense to locate a sensor and define an individual performance measure within a process.

    Output: A list of the critical activity areas for the key processes.

  3. Establish performance goal(s) or standards. All performance measures should be tied to a predefined goal or standard, even if the goal is at first somewhat subjective. Having goals and standards is the only way to meaningfully interpret the results of your measurements and gauge the success of your management systems.

    Output: A list of goals for each critical activity within the process.

  4. Establish performance measurement(s). In this step, you continue to build the performance measurement system by identifying individual measures.

    Output: The performance measure and its components.

  5. Identify responsible party(s). A specific entity (as in a team or an individual) needs to be assigned the responsibilities for each of the steps in the performance measurement process.

    Output: A list of people and their areas of responsibility.

  6. Collect data. In addition to writing down the numbers, the data need to be pre-analyzed in a timely fashion to observe any early trends and confirm the adequacy of your data collection system.

    Output: A growing list of data. Data should be monitored as they are being collected.

  7. Analyze/report actual performance. In this step, the raw data are formally converted into performance measures, displayed in an understandable form, and disseminated in the form of a report.

    Output: A presentation of the data in the form of a report.

  8. Compare actual performance to goal(s). In this step, compare performance, as presented in the report, to predetermined goals or standards and determine the variation (if any).

    Output: Decision based on performance variance.

  9. Are corrective actions necessary? Depending on the magnitude of the variation between measurements and goals, some form of corrective action may be required.

    Output: Action plan to implement changes or reevaluate goals (Step 11)

  10. Make changes to bring back in line with goal. This step only occurs if corrective action is expected to be necessary. The actual determination of the corrective action is part of the quality improvement process, not the performance measurement process. This step is primarily concerned with improvement of your management system

    Output: A successfully implemented plan.

  11. Are new goals needed? Even in successful systems, changes may need to be revised in order to establish ones that challenge an organization's resources, but do not overtax them. Goals and standards need periodic evaluation to keep up with the latest organizational processes.

    Output: New goals, measures, or no change.


Copyright 2005 Oak Ridge Associated Universities