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Step 3 – Creating Measurement Hierarchies

This is the seventh posting in a multi-part series exploring the Six-Step Process for Building an Effective Court Performance Measurement System (CPMS) first summarized in Made2Measure (M2M) in October 2005. See below for a listing of the parts in this series to date.Introduction

The third step of building a court performance measurement system (CPMS) is the construction of hierarchies (some call these “families” or “cascades”) that include a court’s core performance measures (identified in Step 2) and related subordinate measures (many of which may have been identified in Step 1). Step 3 involves three overlapping sub-steps: (3.1) breaking out (disaggregating) a court’s core measures; (3.2) identifying and defining subordinate measures that are related to core measures but are not necessarily breakouts of core measures; and (3.3) creating a hierarchy of performance measures for each of the core measure.

Beyond Core Measures
Measures are almost always proxies of outcomes or concepts – t…

Q & A: How long will it take? Three months to a year.

Q: My court is considering the building a court performance measurement system (CPMS). Your June 12 posting, Introduction to the Six-Step Process (Part 2), outlined the three phases of a typical performance measurement initiative. Can you give me an estimate of how long Phase 2, Design and Development, will take to complete?

M2M: Depending on the size of your court, and the time and effort already spent on strategic planning, three months to one year is most likely. Several weeks is possible.

Within this typical 3 – 12 months timeframe, the drivers of “shorter versus longer” include: Degree to which the court has engaged in strategic planning, goal setting, mission development, and so forth.Organizational complexity of the court (e.g., general jurisdiction court that includes adult and juvenile probation, and all court clerk functions)Inventory of current performance measuresCurrent capacity for data collection and measurement (e.g., automated case management and financial systems)Size…

Step 2 – Identifying Desired Performance Measures (Sub-Steps 2.3 and 2.4)

This is the sixth posting in a multi-part series exploring the Six-Step Process for Building an Effective Court Performance Measurement System (CPMS) first summarized in Made2Measure (M2M) in October 2005. See below for previous postings in this series.

As noted in the last posting, the amount of time and effort the design team devotes to the four sub-steps of Step 2, and how deliberately the team takes all the sub-steps, will vary depending on how much prior work a court has done to define its mission, direction and strategic goals. Identifying the right measures is hard work if done correctly. One challenge is avoiding the tendency to hurry up and to select a few reasonable measures the court may be already taking or, alternately, simply “adopting” measures prescribed by state or national authorities.

In most strategic plans and scorecard systems I have seen and reviewed, the development of performance measures is not taken very seriously.
- Howard Behn, Balanced Scorecard Institute

St…

Step 2 – Identifying Desired Performance Measures (Sub-Steps 2.1 and 2.2)

Sixth posting in a multi-part series exploring the Six-Step Process for Building an Effective Court Performance Measurement System (CPMS) first summarized in Made2Measure (M2M) in October 2005.

Step 2 is the most conceptual of the six steps. It demands thoughtful consideration of the purpose of performance measures – mission, strategic goals, direction, clarity and strategy -- not just their mechanics. The amount of time and effort the design team devotes to the four sub-steps of Step 2, and how deliberately the team takes all four, will vary depending on how much prior work a court has done to define its mission, direction and strategic goals. This prior work may have taken the form of a key management process, such as strategic planning, or a more targeted effort, such as performance-based budgeting or process mapping.

Step 2.1 - Identifying Key Success Factors

The first sub-step entails clarifying the court's key success factors or performance areas. These factors or areas have di…

Step 2 – Identifying Desired Performance Measures (Part 1)

Fifth in a multi-part series exploring the Six-Step Process for Building an Effective Court Performance Measurement System (CPMS) first summarized in Made2Measure (M2M) in October 2005.

Effective measures are not chosen haphazardly. The aim is strategic alignment – providing court managers with performance information explicitly linked to mission and goals. There is no ideal number of measures that should be identified. However, it is better to have a few meaningful performance measures than many poor ones. It is also preferable to select measures that indicate the desired outcomes of the court's programs and services rather than measures of the resources (input) or completed activities or level of effort (outputs) used to produce those outcomes.

The second step of the design process for building a court performance measurement system (CPMS) defines the scope of a court's performance measurement effort. It requires the court to identify its key success factors, determine the typ…