Diverse Measurement Mechanisms
Organizational performance measure output informs management decisions and drives workforce behaviors. As errant data may result in misdirected effort and highly adverse outcomes, it is extremely important that performance measure output be as accurate as possible.[wcm_restrict plans=”41624, 25542, 25653″]
Performance measurement errors evolve from a number of deliberate (see StrategyDriven article, Organizational Performance Measures Warning Flag – Data Source Manipulation) and unintended causes. One unintended cause of performance measure error is corrupted source data collection resulting from:
- Installed instrument or measurement tool calibration errors
- Individual misperception of the conditions being measured
- Individual misinterpretation of the data collection standards or procedures
- Variations in the understanding and interpretation of data collection standards or procedures between individuals measuring the same performance condition for different workgroups
- Differences in the underlying assumptions used by external groups providing source data for internal performance measures
Using diverse measurement mechanisms helps eliminate unintended source data collection errors. Philosophically, this approached minimizes variation in the underlying performance measure source data by providing mechanical and personnel checks and balances. Application of multiple measurement mechanisms varies by the method of source data collection and may include:
Instrument or Tool Based Data Collection
- Pre-data collection calibration checks
- Instrument/tool rotation
- Use of multiple, redundant instrumentation/tools
Personnel Based Data Collection
- Individual rotations
- Employment of self checking practices (see StrategyDriven articles Human Performance Management Best Practice – Self Checking, Demonstrative Self Checking, and Verbalized Self Checking)
- Use of peer checkers (see StrategyDriven articles Human Performance Management – Peer Checking and Qualify, Verify, and Validate)
- Use of diverse data sources (see StrategyDriven article, Organizational Performance Measures Best Practice – Diverse Indicators)
- Validation assessment of performance measurement outputs against management experience
- Management peer group evaluation of performance measurement accuracy on a periodic basis
Use of diverse measurement mechanisms is not to suggest the implementation of a shadow performance measurement system. Rather, leaders should evaluate their organizational performance measures to determine the criticality of each and employ one or more of the diverse measurement mechanisms commensurate with each measure’s importance. Those measures potentially driving costly adverse actions should be considered for periodic validation commensurate with its frequency of use.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember plans=”41624, 25542, 25653″]
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About the Author
Nathan Ives is a StrategyDriven Principal and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.
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