Showing posts from September, 2006

Open Book Management in the Courts

Open book management is a management technique popularized by John Case in his 1995 book, Open-Book Management: The Coming Business Revolution (New York: Harper Business). As the name implies, its aim is to give employees all relevant financial information about their company so they can make better decisions as workers. The concept behind open book management is the same as that supporting line of sight court performance metrics and measurement hierarchies. That is, in order for performance measures to be practical tools and to serves as incentives for improvement -- for measures to be motivational -- there must be a line of sight between the measure and actions that can be taken by employees at various levels of the court. It conveys to everyone what the drivers of success are and provides them with the concrete knowledge of how they contribute to that success.

Here are the basic rules of open book management extended beyond financial information to all performance data available t…

International Center for Best Practice

In a post last February, I wrote that I was tired of "best practices" and recommended that the concept be replaced with evidence-based practices, defined as programs, strategies or procedures for which there is demonstrable evidence that their use produces desirable performance outputs and outcomes. I wrote that best practices, the way the term is used in court administration, instead should be called “interesting practices,” “intriguing practices,” “promising practices” and, maybe, “practices-you-might- want-to-see-in-person-if-the-weather-is-right.” I worried that the irony was a bit too sharp. I should not have worried.

In his July Bob Behn’s Public Management Report (Vol. 3, No. 11), Bob Behn, a lecturer at Harvard University’s School of Government, takes the irony to another level. If, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” then “best practice” is the refuge of unimaginative ones, writes Behn. Why are public managers so obsessed wit…

Step 6 – Designing Performance Measurement Display, Dashboards and Scorecard Systems (Part 2)

This is the final installment in a series of articles exploring the Six-Step Process for Building an Effective Court Performance Measurement System (CPMS) first summarized in Made2Measure (M2M) in October 2005. See listing below.

The design of a measurement display system should not wait to begin until the first five design steps have been taken. Instead, a rough mock-up of a display of the core performance measures – in the form of a simple hand-sketch, for example – can be produced as early as Step 2 - Identifying Desired Performance Measures. A simple mock-up will facilitate the first five steps by helping potential users to imagine what they might see when they interface with the court performance measurement system (CPMS). It will help to focus and to energize the building of the CPMS. Completion of Step 3- Creating Measurement Hierarchies adds detail to this mock-up with the addition of subordinate measures cascading from the core measures.

The Role of Technology

The last seve…

Step 6 – Designing Performance Measurement Displays, Dashboards and Scorecard Systems (Part 1)

This is the eleventh in a series of articles 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.

If you have reached this final step of the design of a court performance measurement system (CPMS), you’re probably already convinced that your court or court system gains a lasting advantage by providing leaders, managers, and staff -- as well as other stakeholders – clear and actionable data to monitor, analyze and manage performance. But how are you going to do this? How are you going to ensure that those who need the performance data are able to access it? Performance measurement displays, dashboards or scorecards represent the final output of the design of an effective CPMS.

The Right Place, Time and Manner

It makes no sense to take the steps of designing the right measures and assembling the critical performance informatio…