Thursday, June 5, 2008

In Search of Business Performance Measurement Standards

A sizable percentage of the people who find my blog for the first time are searching for specific answers. A number of you are trying to find a list of key performance metrics (KPIs) or how to calculate OTIF (on time in full), or how stock-outs effect revenue.

While a number of my posts deal with concepts, theory, and framework, the practical questions of how and what to measure have been one of the principle elements that have kept me interested in this area.

In the past few months I have been trying to use LinkedIn as a collaborative resource to find technical answers. I first tried to use the network tool to find benchmark programs and surveys but I had very little luck. Of course it is hard to determine whether I phrased the question poorly, few were interested in the subject, or the question didn't reach the right people.

Recently I asked people to identify their sources for KPI and metrics. I have been pleasantly surprised by the willingness of very knowledgeable professionals to share their experience. A number of them have volunteered to collaborate in the future.

As a result of the email exchanges with these professionals I am starting to assemble at least one other resource list that I will post and try to maintain as a living document - Metrics Resources.

The goal of my search has been a neutral respository of business metrics, preferably a handbook of definitions, formula, and discussions of how and why to collect them. While I haven't found that source, people have been identifying resources which have proven interesting and useful.

While the initial list is taking shape, here are a few of the initial resources:

The KPI Library - A web site of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) libraries for finance, IT, supply chain, project and other business processes.

The Palladium Group - A web site (formerly the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative) relies on Kaplan and Norton's books on the Balanced Score Card to support a consulting practice. The body of knowledge in the books provides the basic concepts required for using the Balanced Scorecard approach and their are a number of consultants who are apparently qualified to teach / assist in the area. (Books will be listed separately).

APICS - A web site for the Association for Operations Management is a source of information in operations management, including production, inventory, supply chain, materials management, purchasing, and logistics. The APICS Dictionary (will be listed separately) was a primary resource of Supply Chain Council members as they were developing versions of the SCOR Model.

APQC - A web site for the metrics, benchmarking, and a process framework. Most content is premium (available to members - membership requires a subscription fee).

Besides assembling this list for publication, I will be providing short monograms on metrics. I expect the first metric to be treated this way will be On Time In Full.

Finally, I will be asking for your input. What resources do you use to identify and deploy metrics? How do you compare the calculations and the source of the business metrics between two dashboard systems? What books, websites, blogs are important if you are a professional in the value chain area? I will include my library (even standard reference books like the MBA Desk Reference and a Pocket Guide to Financial Ratios) as well as sources of information that others find important. (I have begun asking people if they would be willing to help assemble an annotated bibliography - books, white papers, web sites, and blogs and a metrics dictionary. Unfortunately, I didn't ask them if I could mention them in my blog or point to their sites. Part of the learning curve).

If you know a source of standard business metrics please let me know.

1 comment:

David Gerbino said...


here are two books that I think will be a valuable addition to your performance measurement arsenal.

1) Key Performance Indicators - Developing, Implementing, and Using Winning KPIs by David Parmenter

2) Performance Dashboards - Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business by Wayne W. Eckerson

Good Luck!

- Dave