Performance measure. Throughout this book, the term performance measure refers to an indicator used by management to measure, report, and improve performance. Performance measures are classed as key result indicators, result indicators, performance indicators, or key performance indicators. Critical success factors (CSFs). CSFs are the list of issues or aspects of organizational performance that determine ongoing health, vitality, and wellbeing. Normally there are between five and eight CSFs in any organization. Success factors. A list of 30 or so issues or aspects of organizational performance that management knows are important in order to perform well in any given sector/ industry. Some of these success factors are much more important; these are known as critical success factors. Balanced scorecard. A term first introduced by Kaplan and Norton describing how you need to measure performance in a more holistic way. You need to see an organization’s performance in a number of different perspectives. For the purposes of this book, there are six perspectives in a balanced scorecard (see Exhibit 1.7). Oracles and young guns. In an organization, oracles are those gray-haired individuals who have seen it all before. They are often considered to be slow, ponderous, and, quite frankly, a nuisance by the new management. Often they are retired early or made redundant only to be rehired as contractors at twice their previous salary when management realizes they have lost too much institutional knowledge. Their considered pace is often a reflection that they can see that an exercise is futile because it has failed twice before. The young guns are fearless and precocious leaders of the future who are not afraid to go where angels fear to tread. These staff members have not yet achieved management positions. The mixing of the oracles and young guns during a KPI project benefits both parties and the organization. The young guns learn much and the oracles rediscover their energy being around these live wires. Empowerment. For the purposes of this book, empowerment is an outcome of a process that matches competencies, skills, and motivations with the required level of autonomy and responsibility in the workplace. Senior management team (SMT). The team comprised of the CEO and all direct reports. Better practice. The efficient and effective way management and staff undertake business activities in all key processes: leadership, planning, customers, suppliers, community relations, production and supply of products and services, employee wellbeing, and so forth. Best practice. A commonly misused term, especially because what is best practice for one organization may not be best practice for another, albeit they are in the same sector. Best practice is where better practices, when effectively linked together, lead to sustainable world-class outcomes in quality, customer service, flexibility, timeliness, innovation, cost, and competitiveness. Best-practice organizations commonly use the latest time-saving technologies, always focus on the 80/20, are members of quality management and continuous improvement professional bodies, and utilize benchmarking. Exhibit 1.10 shows the contents of the toolkit used by best-practice organizations to achieve world-class performance. EXHIBIT 1.10 Best-Practice Toolkit Benchmarking. An ongoing, systematic process to search for international better practices, compare against them, and then introduce them, modified where necessary, into your organization. Benchmarking may be focused on products, services, business practices, and processes of recognized leading organizations.
Douglas W. Hubbard (Business Intelligence Sampler: Book Excerpts by Douglas Hubbard, David Parmenter, Wayne Eckerson, Dalton Cervo and Mark Allen, Ed Barrows and Andy Neely)