Building Sustainable Performance Management Frameworks

By Kendrick, Kaye | Issues in Innovation, Fall 2009 | Go to article overview
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Building Sustainable Performance Management Frameworks

Kendrick, Kaye, Issues in Innovation


What is a sustainable performance framework? A sustainable performance management framework exists when an organization has vision, "spirit", management structure and quality systems that consistently demonstrate value to their customers.

There are three overall areas critical to the success of an organization: Leadership, Management, and Process

Leadership: Are the reasons why the organization exists understood by management, staff and customers? Do they provide "spirit" and "inspiration"?

Management: What are the services being delivered to make the organization a success? To what extent are they accomplishing these results, and do they have the ability to continue accomplishing these results?

Process: Are the services being delivered at the necessary level of quality and efficiency to consistently provide desired results to its customers?

These critical success factors can be supported with a sustainable performance framework established within an organization. A sustainable performance framework ensures clearly communicated desired results throughout the organization. It identifies the services, activities and projects being undertaken. It illustrates the relationships between the services, activities and projects and the organization's desired results throughout the organization. It provides for performance measurement and costing of

programs and activities. It surpasses the dynamics of organizational structure and staff turnover, enabling succession planning and mitigating the effects of organizational change. It engages all staff in recognizing the reason for the organization's existence and engaging in the "spirit" of the organization. It recognizes that process is dependent upon people.

To maintain its existence, an organization must use its money successfully. A performance management framework fosters communication and informed decision-making. It enables adjustment to management structure and process when necessary to meet customer needs. The framework is critical to development of cost effective information technology development and reporting.


The development of a framework involves strategic planning, program logic modeling, performance measurement development, process system development, performance reporting and collection of reliable data, and resource allocation. A fully functional, comprehensive framework should be expected to take 5-7 years. This length of time is necessary for the collection of reliable trend data and analysis. However, benefits from the process are recognized quickly. The linking of budget should not occur until the system is fully developed although resource allocation decisions are aided quickly. Incentives should be provided for quality, accurate performance reporting and analysis throughout the organization. The focus for the incentives should be on the reporting and enhancements to management and process made to ensure the organization's success, as opposed to the actual performance results. This helps eliminate fear of reporting adverse results. Developing a sustainable performance framework involves the following steps:

1. Prepare for Framework Development

2. Understand Components of the Framework

3. List Desired Results and Services

4. Establish Relationships within the Framework

5. validate the Logic of the Relationships

6. Elaborate the Concepts in the Framework

7. Analyze the Elaboration Results

8. Cluster the Concepts to determine Programs

9. Adopt the Performance Measures

10. Collect and analyze the Data

11. Report the Data

Performance management training is important. Training should be provided for users of the performance framework, and more in-depth training for developers of the performance framework. Developers need four to six months of experience in performance framework develop to be "certified".

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