Showing posts from February, 2007

Q & A: Do Away With Traditional Performance Appraisals

Q: Beyond building performance dashboards, assigning “owners” to particular measures, and so forth, how do you hard-wire performance measurement into key management processes?

A: I asked this question today in the Webinar, “Beyond the Balanced Scorecard, Improving Business Intelligence with Better Metrics,” presented by Mark Graham Brown, a consultant with 25 + years experience and author of three books on performance measurement. Here’s what he said.

Do away with the traditional form of annual employee performance appraisal and replace it with a review of the organization’s performance dashboard. Make sure that performance has consequences for the employee, said Brown. A measure in the “red” should lead to negative consequences like salary decreases, and a measure in the “green,” i.e., a measure trending toward performance targets or goals, should lead to salary increases and promotions.

To make this work, ideally, an organization would need to have a sophisticated performance dashb…

Common Performance Measures Across the Justice System

Some performance measures are better than others. They bring people together for joint performance across institutional boundaries – the courts, law enforcement, jails, prosecution and defense services. They can be used at the highest policy levels to measure progress toward an overarching purpose and shared strategic goal that the separate institutions are expected to achieve.

Duration of Pretrial Custody

Duration of pretrial custody -- expressed in terms of central tendencies (mean and median days) and ranges of length of pretrial detention -- is one such measure. Because it is clear, focused and actionable across all justice system partners, duration of pretrial custody can be the rallying point of reform and improvement efforts that depend on justice system partners working together.

Use of this measure requires, first, an operational definition -- i.e., getting agreement about precisely what a pre-trial detention day is and is not (see Sub-Steps 2.3 and 2.4 – Identifying Desired …

The Yuma Superior Court Launches Its Performance Dashboard

On Thursday this week, the Superior Court in Yuma County, Arizona, launched the first version of its performance dashboard. In an email introducing it to all court and county employees, Court Administrator Margaret Guidero, who leads the CourTools Design Team developing the court’s performance measurement system, wrote that “together, the six measures of performance will help us to address the question ‘How are we doing?’ and improve accordingly.”

Guidero explained that the current performance dashboard is a static version that soon will be Web-based and dynamic. “In the future, you will be able to view the Court’s core performance measures at a glance and then move swiftly through successive layers of more detailed information,” she wrote. Currently, users have to open six PDF files attached to the static version of the dashboard for more detailed information about the corresponding performance measures. For general definitions of the six measures, as well as four other measures yet-t…

Transparency in Practice

Leaders of the Utah state courts are practicing what they preach. Utah’s Administrative Office of the Courts decided to go entirely transparent last month posting all of the courts’ performance measures on its Utah CourTools Measures website.

Most courts mention openness, transparency and accountability in pronouncements of missions or strategic goals. Few put these concepts into practice as have the Utah courts.

In Full View

Consistent with the mission of the Utah courts “to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law,” the Utah Judicial Council in 2003 began developing a court performance measurement system modeled on the National Center for State Courts’ CourTools. That in itself is not noteworthy. A dozen states and many more courts are developing and implementing court performance measurement systems. What is remarkable about Utah’s effort is that its performance measurement system is in full view of everyone with …