Results-Based Accountability™ Advice


 

3.10

How do we identify performance measures for administrative functions like personnel, budgeting, etc.?



The Short Answer


1. For each administrative activity, identify the measures (in the upper right quadrant) that describe how well that activity is performed. These usually have to do with timeliness (e.g. % of invoices paid in less than 30 days, average time to fill a vacancy), accuracy (% of paychecks requiring correction/adjustment) or compliance with standards (e.g. % of repeat audit findings). 


2. For most administrative functions, customer satisfaction is the most important measure of whether customers are better off (lower right quadrant measures). Administrative functions usually help their clients by making it easier for them to do their jobs. Look for measures like % of customers who report that the unit was "very helpful" in meeting the staffing needs of the agency, or % of customers who report that the contracting unit helped them get their work done well and on time.


Answer Contents:


1.   Personnel
2.   Budget
3.   Accounting
4.   Management Information 
      Systems
5.   Research and Evaluation
6.   Facilities Management
7,   Audit
8.   Contracting
9.   Counsel/Attorneys office 
10. Director's Office

 



Full Answer


1) For administrative units or functions, it is generally easy to identify performance measures in the upper two quadrants. 

  • How much service did we provide?: Administrative units can easily list the activities they perform, convert each one into a measure. (Upper left - quantity of effort) 

  • How well did we provide service?: Many standard upper right quadrant measures apply to administrative units just as other units (like unit cost, workload ratios etc.). And for most administrative activities, it is pretty easy to identify timeliness and accuracy measures that are meaningful. 


(2) But administrative units or functions are the hardest when it comes to identifying performance measures in the lower right quadrant. The principle reason is that it is harder to figure out who the customers are and how you would know if they are better off? 


When you think about it, it becomes clear that the primary customers of administrative units are the employees and supervisors of the organization. It turns out that the most important lower quadrant measures for administrative units are customer satisfaction measures. "Did we help you do your job?" is the focus of such questions.


In addition to gathering data, there are other good reasons for administrative units to conduct customer satisfaction surveys (and/or interviews). The simple act of asking customers (and taking their responses seriously) can create good will with organization managers, a commodity that is often in short supply. And the users of administrative services can often identify ways to improve services. 


1. Common measures (in the upper right quadrant):


Many of the upper right quadrant "common measures" apply equally well to administrative units as to units providing direct customer service. Here is a listing of common measures in terms usually used in administrative units.


1. Workload staff ratio
 2. Staff turnover rate (This can be measured by % of vacant 
     positions - or more interestingly - % of employees with the 
     organization 1 year or less.)
 3. Staff morale (usually from surveys)
 4. Percent of staff fully trained
 5. Percent of satisfied customers (with courtesy and  timeliness of service) by 
     function
6. Percent of bilingual staff
7. Worker safety (usually accident or injury claim rate)                                             


2. Cost measures: The following measures are the standard cost measures which fall in each quadrant. The most difficult of these to obtain is the lower left "benefit value." The cost benefit ratio equals the lower left over the upper left quadrant values.

How well we do it

Unit Cost
Percent growth in expenditure

Is anyone better off? - quality

Cost Benefit Ratio 
Return on Investment
Percent Surplus/Deficit

What we do

Total Cost

Is anyone better off? - quantity

Benefit Value

Amount Surplus/Deficit


3. Unit Specific Measures The following section provides examples (not an exhaustive list) of some of the most important performance measures for each administrative function. In most cases, the lay definition, but not the technical definition, is given.

Personnel

How well we do it

Average time to fill a vacancy
% requests pending 30 days or more

Is anyone better off? - quality

Workforce stability - % vacant positions
Turnover rate (non-promotions)
% managers who rate personnel as 
     "helpful or  very helpful"
% of workforce without benefits
Rate of sick leave usage 

What we do

#
#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

#
#
#
    
#
#

Budget

How well we do it

% budget reviews on time
% forecasting accuracy
%

Is anyone better off? - quality

% Surplus or deficiency
Audit liabilities as % of budget
% Agency performance measures 
     heading in  the right direction
% Agency managers who rate support 
     from  the budget unit "good or better"

What we do

#
#
#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

$ amount surplus or deficiency
#
#
     
#

Accounting

How well we do it

% invoices paid in 30 days or less
% reports completed on time
% reissue/correct payroll or accounts 
     payable

Is anyone better off? - quality

% repeat audit findings
Audit liabilities as % of budget 

What we do

#
#
#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

# repeat audit findings
$ value of audit liabilities

Management Information Systems

How well we do it

% responses to requests for assistance 
     in less than 24 hours
Ratio of salary to market wages
Staff retention rate

Is anyone better off? - quality

% downtime during peak work hours
% managers rating overall MIS support 
     "good  or better"
% of staff with high quality computer 
     equipment
% programs (or lines of code) with state 
     of the art programming

What we do

#
     
#
#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

#
#

#
    
#

Research and Evaluation

How well we do it

% reports completed on time
Ave time to respond to requests for 
     information

Is anyone better off? - quality

% managers rating research and 
     evaluation support "good" or better.
% managers who report using research 
     and  evaluation products

What we do

#
#
#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

#
     
#

Facilities Management

How well we do it

% responses to requests in 24 hours or less
% repeat calls
worker safety - rate of accidents

Is anyone better off? - quality

% managers who rate facilities support 
     "good"  or better
% Sick leave due to building conditions

What we do

#
     
#
#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

#
     
#
    

Audit

How well we do it

% audits completed on time
% appeals of audit findings lost

Is anyone better off? - quality

% repeat findings
$ saved/ avoided (est.) as % of total 
     budget
%

What we do

#
#
#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

# repeat findings
$ saved from audit findings
     
#

Contracting

How well we do it

% contracts on time
% agency staff trained in contract 
     procedures

Is anyone better off? - quality

% managers rating contracting support 
     "good"  or better
% contractors rating contracting support
     "good" or better.

What we do

#
#
     

Is anyone better off? - quantity

#
    
#

Counsel/Attorney's office

How well we do it

Cases per attorney
Support staff per attorney
Ave response time to requests

Is anyone better off? - quality

% lawsuits won
% appeals won
Rate of avoided law suits
Damages paid as % of requested 
     damages, 
Damages paid as % of agency budget

What we do

#
#
#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

#
#
# lawsuits avoided through successful
     negotiation
# total damages paid
     

Director's Office

How well we do it

% correspondence response on time
% of agency locations visited this year
% of staff involved in two way 
     communication events
% employees who rate this a good place to 
     work
% of divisions actively using performance data
     to improve performance

Is anyone better off? - quality

% surplus  or deficiency
Bond rating (for state, county, city or school 
     district)
% agency's performance measures 
     headed in  the right direction
% customers  rating the agency servicea 
     "good" or  better 
Rating of agency compared to others 

What we do

#
#
#

#

#

Is anyone better off? - quantity

#
#
#

#

#
#


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