Reports on a programme of research undertaken to understand the manner in which leading service organisations develop, use and integrate measures of their outlets’ activities and performance. In particular, looks at the extent to which academic guidelines for adding value to performance measurement systems are applied. Four service sectors where service delivery is seen as being critical were selected for the research. In each of these sectors, one of the top four organisations (in terms of turnover) agreed to collaborate in the development of a series of case studies. The research found linkages between objectives, drivers and key performance measures. However, the organisations still have some way to go in moving performance measures from being something that keeps score to something that helps people and teams improve their performance. Clarity of the communication of results and their relationship to corporate priorities is also an area where major development is still required. Finally, there is a tendency for performance measurement systems to be technology driven rather than needs driven. As a result, the complexity and breadth of measures now available may actually make it more rather than less difficult for service outlet managers to manage.
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