Case Study

Performance Management Framework Delivers Results

It is widely recognised that both sound and explicit organisational strategies and meaningful performance targets provide not only strong incentives for effective performance, but also timely, actionable signals that prompt interventions to avoid failure. This is because targets cause transparency, to provide people with indicators to frame purpose, guide direction and compel action.

Accordingly, establishing robust performance measurement frameworks are known to indicate the practical, final effects of policy and operational interventions, and to provide useful benchmarks for tracking ongoing performance to determine ‘what works’.

The Ministry of Education had recently undertaken a refresh of its governance structure and the Deputy Secretary, Performance and Change entrusted Azimuth Consulting to work with the leadership team to develop a robust Performance Management Framework (PMF) to enable more rigorous monitoring and ranking of all initiatives, according to their relative ability to achieve positive results in agreed areas.PMF2

The primary objective being that decision-makers would be able to more easily monitor progress against critical education priorities, by ensuring that work efforts are aligned to pre-agreed measures that track the achievement of significant targets: those ‘vital few things that count’.

Information about those ‘vital few that count’ lies variously in the Ministry’s Statement of Intent (SOI), Better Public Services (BPS) targets, Task-force Mandates for Action, and the Output Plan. People, who seek to form, plan and execute initiatives that deliver appropriate results are currently required to articulate, and then achieve, outcomes by linking effort and deliverables to those disparate and changeable sources, which are phrased differently and pitched at varying levels of measurement.

The resulting PMF is a contemporary, proven solution to calibrate the relative worthiness of all initiatives, in the overall portfolio of work, because it alone measures the Ministry’s progress toward critical educational priorities. It provides a comprehensive reporting framework that will replaces all other aligning actions.PMF

The PMF informs and guides decision-making – about what has to be done – across the Ministry, ‘vertically’ and ‘horizontally’. Different report formats reflect different foci for different audiences within different units, at levels of the organisation.

The PMF is refreshed quarterly. It incorporates metrics – at various levels – in a hierarchical, ‘cascading’ framework. In addition the PMF stimulates and complements the Ministry’s Monitoring and Evaluation strategy.

The Ministry’s performance measures and targets introduce greater clarity and transparency over the objectives of public policy and agency activity. The PMF enables enterprise visibility across all it’s key initiatives.

Through the PMF the Ministry has a better understanding of how policies, projects and programmes impact on performance, it enables better more informed decision, thus aiding in determining which interventions and courses of action to adopt, and in what quantity. Resources are deployed within specific target areas where they will have the greatest impact.