Performance Review Meetings: An Essential Part of Performance Management

Measures without meetings are meaningless

Performance data that are not used – by definition – are useless. Yet, an alarming number of courts and court systems ignore this simple lesson.

Many individual courts and state court systems have made vast investments in securing the right sponsorships and resources for performance management initiatives, creating the right metrics and standardizing their meaning, and even building pricey performance dashboards and business intelligence technology to deliver the performance data. But, after all that, they fail to ensure that the performance data is actually used to drive strategy and success.

This is a shame because many solutions, like a simple performance review meeting can help to integrate performance measurement into the very fabric of a court’s leadership, management and everyday operations. All it takes the decision to do it. By making performance monitoring, analysis, and management a standing item on the agenda of regular executive meetings, a court executive is signaling that performance is important to the court, and that court executives will be using performance data to manage it on a regular and continuous basis. Department or unit heads could, of course, do the same thing at their level.

A performance review meeting is an essential part of performance management. It establishes for court executives, managers and staff a forum and opportunity to review core performance metrics and subordinate measures, to discover exceptions and trouble spots, and then to explore, analyze and discuss further data that might shine a light on those exceptions and trouble spots; and, finally, to make decisions and to formulate strategies that might clear them up.

Performance review meetings can be conducted at various levels of leadership and management of the court, and can take a variety of forms including monthly executive sessions, weekly unit or division meetings, and informal team gatherings.

As I’ve suggested in pervious posts, performance measurement and management systems are not self-executing (see Made 2 Measure, November 12, 2005). Performance review meetings are a simple way to ensure their execution. For more on performance review meetings, see Implementation: How It Looks When You Get There, Made2Measure, December 13, 2005,

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