The performance management tools that are well implemented should be organisation and operation specific, responding to the unique business and human capital context. Some of the most important performance management tools implemented at operational / tactical/ functional level are:
Dashboards represent Performance Indicators (PIs) repositories, with measures or metrics, allowing visualization of the information and analysis at operational level, showing deviations and warnings to the middle management. They are operational performance management instruments, used to generate tactical actions based on performance indicators (Wayne, 2006).
PIs, measures and metrics
These tools represent instruments that tend to indicate the health, progress and/or success of a project, process or area of service delivery (smartKPIs.com, 2010). They focus on resources and processes that are most likely to lead to successful outcomes and are usually short, focused, relevant, measurable, repeatable and consistent (smartKPIs.com, 2010).
Data mining / visualization tools
It is argued that between 80% to 90% of all data absorbed by the human brain is visual (Jensen, 2005, cited by Taylor). With the purpose of better illustrating and facilitating the mental assimilation of information, traditional data visualization tools, such as graphs, pie charts or bar charts, are probably in every professional’s work repository. However, modern and more complex approaches to design and visualization are emerging and constantly refining.
Data mining and visualization tools represent diverse tools used to support decision making process, by facilitating the process of data visualization and mining, usually in an interactive way. The visualization solutions, often software based nowadays, aim to instantly transform the data in valuable information for business decision makers.
Best practices are techniques and methods used within the industry that it is generally considered of being an example to deliver a particular outcome, in a more effective way than other techniques, when applied to particular conditions and circumstances. It can also be defined as an example of an efficient and effective way of accomplishing an operational task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of operations.
Performance standards are tools used to state the results and behaviors expected in order to reach at least a satisfactory level. They are often used in quality and productivity management, in order to encourage and generate the expected or required performance.
- Jensen, E. (2005), Brain-Based Learning (Revised), cited by Taylor, A, R., PhD., in Senses and the Brain, available at: http://www.arlenetaylor.org/brain-references-menu/1538-senses-and-the-brain-visual(accessed 1 December 2010).
- smartKPIs.com (2010), KPIs, KRIs, PIs, metrics and measures, available at: http://www.smartkpis.com/pages/context/info-i8.html (accessed 16 August 2010).
- Wayne, W. E. (2006), Performance Dashboards, John Wiley & Son, New Jersey.