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 measures
  • Current capacity for data collection and measurement (e.g., automated case management and financial systems)
  • Size of the court (e.g., number of judicial officers, staff, locations, and caseload)
  • Level of senior leadership and stakeholder support
  • Commitment, dedication and skill level of design team
  • Court “character” and culture (e.g., commitment to innovation and experimentation)
  • Resources including expert facilitation and consultation

These time estimates do not take into consideration the time and effort that may be required to reach the decision to proceed with building a CPMS. This is Phase 1 in which your court may, for example, need to spend more time than you thought proving the concept of performance measurement, changing people’s attitudes, breaking down resistances, educating staff and stakeholders, getting the right people on the bus, and so forth. Effective organizational performance measurement provides both incentives and powerful tools for change. For many, this prospect will be exciting, for other it will be troubling. The 3 – 12 months timeframe also does not include Phase 3, Implementation, which may take as long as two years, though partial or phased implementation is likely during or immediately after Design and Development.

For more information on this topic, click:

Q & A: Getting Started with Performance Measurement – The Right Attitude, December 04, 2005

Q & A: Getting Started with Performance Measurement – Breaking Down Resistance, December 5, 2005

Attitudes and Beliefs: A Quick Reality Check, February 13, 2006

Eight Reasons Not to Measure Court Performance, April 5, 2006

Q & A: Getting Started with Performance Measurement -- The Right People on the Bus, November 23, 2005

Q & A: Why Measure Performance? September 22, 2005 (Please scroll down to the September 2005 postings to find this very first Made2Measure blog)

Top 10 Reasons for Performance Measurement, September 26, 2005

See also:

Kotter, J.P. (1995). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review, 73 (2) (May/June), 59-67.

Kotter, J.P. (1996). Leading Change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Senge, P., Kleiner, A., Roberts, C., Ross, R., Roth, G., & Smith, B. (1999). The Dance of Change: The Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations. New York: Doubleday.


Planning Guide for Using the Trial Court Performance Standards and Measurement System (1997). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Assistance (Monograph NCJ 161568).

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