Showing posts from November, 2005

Q & A: Automated Performance Data Display Systems

Q: Step 6 – Building Performance Measurement Displays – of the Six-Step Design Process for an effective court performance measurement system (CPMS) requires the design, development, and implementation of performance measurement displays that provide relevant and meaningful information that can be quickly accessed and easily understood by the intended users (see the Made2Measure October 15, 2005 post). The step suggests that courts begin by reviewing the functionality of commercial computer software referred to as performance management or “business intelligence” (BI) solutions that are offered by an increasing number of companies. Courts can then decide to buy or to build their own computer-based performance display systems.

But what about courts, especially small courts, that do not have the money to buy, or the technology resources to build, sophisticated computer-based performance display systems? Are such systems a necessary requirement for success? management?

A: Not necessarily. T…

Q & A: Getting Started with Performance Measurement -- The Right People on the Bus

Q: My court wants to start using the CourTools and the Six-Step Design Process (see October 15, 2005, Made2Measure Posting) for building a court performance measurement system (CPMS). How do we get started? Who does it? How do we organize ourselves?

A: To start, get the right people on the bus. Sustaining the effort of planning, developing and implementing a court performance measurement system (CPMS) requires a guiding coalition of individuals who command both the resources and the respect of the court, and who can maintain the energy and momentum to keep the initiative going through its four phases (see below). The court should start the initiative by assembling a 9 to 15-membersteering committee to direct and oversee the work. The steering committee, as part of its early planning, in turn, identifies a 6 to 12-member design team to take the steps of building a court performance measurement system (CPMS) in the second phase of the initiative. These two groups form the guiding coaliti…

Implementing Performance Measurement

In the 1989 film Field of Dreams, an Iowa corn farmer (Kevin Costner) hears voices that tell him, “If you build it, they will come.” He interprets this message as a command to build a baseball field on his farm. He does and they -- Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other seven Chicago White Sox players banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series – come. This works in the movies but it does not work for court performance measurement. It is one thing to build a court performance measurement system (CPMS) and quite another to get the CPMS to be used effectively.

A Pile of Stethoscopes

Kevin Baum, a performance management consultant who works in government outside of the courts, warns us in a recent edition of Perform (Special Edition, Government, no date) that we make a fatal mistake when we declare victory too soon, that is, immediately after we have built a CPMS (see the October 15, 2005, Posting, “Six-Step Process for Building an Effective Court Performance Measurement Syste…

Q & A: Raising the Expectations of Performance Measurement

Q: Here’s a concern I hear often about performance measurement: Serious initiatives to build and implement court performance measurement systems (CPMS) will raise false expectations among court staff and other stakeholders that the court will actually make improvements in response to performance results. The concern is based in the fear that court leaders will be caught flat-footed responding to performance results (e.g., low public satisfaction with court services, sub-par on-time performance in case processing, and rates of compliance with court orders that fall short of benchmarks).

A: While a poor performance showing is rarely a cause for rejoicing, the concern that performance measurement itself will raise false expectations that something will be done is misplaced. The concern misses the power of performance measurement to engage individuals at all levels, not just top managers, in improvement strategies. It also makes the questionable assumption that all change for the better mu…