Q & A About the public sector and nonprofit agencies

Is your work relevant to Government and nonprofit agencies?

Most certainly. I have in fact written a book to address this issue. However, For measurement to work in government and nonprofit agencies, there has to be a radical change in the way performance management and measurement is approached and addressed.

Without tackling the common flaws in performance measurement, without a sound understanding of the great management thinkers of the last60 years, and without a sound grip of the performance management foundation stones, key performance indicators (KPIs) will simply flounder.

Government and non profit agencies were among the first to embrace the balanced scorecard. Part of the reason for this, I believe, is that management in these two sectors keep abreast with current trends more than their counterparts in the private sector.

They are, thus, more aware of the changes in business thinking. Measurement is just as important in government and nonprofit agencies, as the scarcity of both people and financing means any wastage is more acute. In addition, the impact of better alignment to the organization’s strategy and critical success factors will benefit the public they serve.

If due to factors beyond your control, monthly is the most frequent you can measure KPIs, do you have any advice on how to still create a meaningful KPI given this limitation?

There isn’t a meaningful KPI on a monthly basis. They are performance indicators and result indicators. They will be of interest, but will never change anything. All organisations can measure performance during the month. If management doesn’t think its possible, maybe they are a bit tired and need replacing.
It is common for Government and not for profit agencies to say there are no short-term measures. I refute this. In fact I have written a book on the topic, see davidparmenter.com/key-performance-indicators-for-government-and-non-profit-agencies/

What case studies available for non-profit or academic organisations?

There are many scorecards around the world in your sector. I suggest you use the search string “balanced scorecard not for profit case study”. My work simply helps organisations make implementing a BSC more effective. As my organisation is not a consulting machine, i am blissfully unaware of all the change that is happening. While I’d love to hear about every success story, I am often the last to find out about the celebration. However this should not deterred you from viewing what I’m saying your in-depth knowledge of your organisation and your own developed pragmatic sense from seeing the simplicity of what I am putting forward.

You said US Navy had implemented BSC also, so in this regard, What strategic themes were used?, and where we can get additional information related with Armed Forces?

The Navy that has successfully implemented a BSC I’m proud to say is the New Zealand Navy. I am sure they would welcome your inquiries.

Do you have any pointers to offer to government organizations who are inherently bureaucratic and have many measures – most if not all are not KPIs per your definition?

According to my 10/80/10 rule, most measures will not be KPIs they would be performance indicators. The issue is we need to revisit what we have done in the past with performance indicators. In the public sector, management have been aware of the importance of measures, but unfortunately, have followed the wrong pathway. For my full answer, listen to the webcasts which can be found via www.davidparmenter

How do you apply this to public sector organisations that provide regulatory compliance and that may not directly contribute to the bottom line?

The Balanced Scorecard initiative works just as well with public sector organisations. There is no need to change the titles of the 6 perspectives set out in the book, and in my articles (see davidparmenter.com). The major difference is the wording of the CSF and thus the measures.

Thus, it is relevant to review the general Q&A