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Business Performance Measurement

Business Performance Measurement

Note: see below the Performance Measurement sub-categories.

A business project or practice may be planned, but the path we must follow to reach its goals cannot be prescribed. The unexpected will happen and, in the re-planning that follows, fresh goals and methods will need to be tailored to the new situation. A work or endeavor lives: adapting and growing as it responds to events and to what it learns from those situations and their experiences.

Business Performance Measurement is at the Crossroads of Strategy, Decision-Making, Learning and, in some cases, Information Visualization.

Measurement is clearly fundamental to projects, given that it represents a controlled process for getting things done. But what should you measure, and what can you measure? And how should you best use the data?

Navigate this section to explore measurement in legal and business works.

Measure

Measuring progress

Always measure where you are against where you projected you would be at this time when you started the project. At project inception “freeze” the baseline schedule. The baseline schedule never changes. Schedules are always updated because the actual schedule is always changing. But don’t fall into the trap of measuring progress against the previous schedule because that can give a false sense of comfort. Measure progress against the baseline schedule so the lack of progress on activities in serious jeopardy will be pronounced and easy to spot. The same goes for physical measurements, tolerances, corrective factors and adjustments for actual conditions, which are all rubrics which can mask real shortcomings. Understand the procedures and protocols involved and learn about their limitations. Everything works on paper.

Always know what your measurements relate to and whether you are dealing with an absolute scale (such as “pounds per square inch”) or an interval scale (time from project start) so you can establish good and meaningful points of comparison that don’t move without you realizing it.

Assessment

Note: see below the assessment sub-categories.

Assessment of a legal or business work involves identifying and putting a cost and value to those parts of the work or project that predict the future. Two common areas of assessment are the project business case and the benefits. Navigate this section to find out more about the how, when and why of assessing your professional work.

Benefits assessment

Benefits are realised by the users of the products or services associated with an organization’s work. Since the benefits represent the value and the reasons for the work(s), it is important to assess them throughout the process to make sure you are working in a way that will ensure maximum value and to assure that this is achieved, even when this may be sometime after the work has finished.

Planned schedules

Good planning is not just about how to get from Point A to Point B. It is about anticipating what could stop you from getting from Point A to Point B so you don’t have to improvise on the spot. Identify all the routes on the business practice or project schedule and seek expert advice from an expert guide.

Since business practices and works are, by definition, time-bound, they are all about planned schedules; when and in what order will different activities take place?. Navigate this section to learn more about the art of project or work scheduling.

Metrics

Note: see more about the metrics sub-categories below.

If business projects or practices are all about control and progress then metrics are the key to providing visibility to project health. Navigate this section to find out how to create, use and understand metrics in corporate and professional works.

Quality management

Quality in legal and business practices implies fitness for purpose. Given the need to balance differing stakeholder requirements, increasing or reducing budgets, changing external environments, managing the quality of a professional work is critical success factor in assuring the requisite outcome for all. Navigate this section to find out more about quality management.

Work review

Work reviews represent opportunities to assess the health of a legal or business work, the likelihood of subsequent success, the quality of its processes or management, or the lessons learned from success or failure. Navigate this section to learn more about how to design, use and learn from work reviews.