This paper does not claim to guide people through setting up a performance management system. For that, there are a wealth of excellent resources available.
The best starting point for any exploration of performance management is Mario Morino’s Leap of Reason. It is brilliantly written and supported by interesting and relatable practitioner case studies. It comes with a library of resources that have been classified, recommended and are continually updated by experts in the field.
Particularly recommended is the fifth essay of Patricia Brantley’s ‘What It Takes: Building a Performance-Management System to Support Students and Teachers’. Patricia writes about how the Friendship Public Charter School decided what was worth measuring, and explores three lessons from the Friendship schools, which can be easily transposed to other service models:
- Build the system to put the data in the hands of the classroom teacher
- Build the system to support teacher development, not just assessment
- For real breakaway performance, make the data useful for students and parents (not just administrators and teachers)
David Hunter’s resources and book Working Hard – and Working Well elaborate on the ‘how to’ of the performance management journey. Hunter provides excellent guidance for the organisational and leadership ingredients necessary for the implementation of the sort of system described in this paper. His writing is practical and full of examples that clearly illustrate his points. The book is also very helpful with the identification of outcomes and indicators, a task many organisations find most difficult.
Savingphilanthropy.org contains a short trailer and longer film about the performance management mindset. These might be particularly useful to people who are new to the topic or a great way to start the conversation at larger professional development events. There are also video interviews of David Hunter which are highly enlightening.
The report from the NTEN communities of impact group, Collected Voices: Data-informed Nonprofits, is a very readable guide to all facets of using more data in a nonprofit environment. Also, it contains a great collection of interesting stories and case studies of how the use of data has led to insights and improvements.
Transforming Performance Measurement for the 21st Century by Harry P. Hatry and published by the Urban Institute in 2014 is a ‘how to’ guide to help public and private service organisations design, operate and use performance management systems.
The Nonprofit Technology Network in the US publishes a library of case studies on all things data and information system related. They include the very technical and contain a bounty of lessons learned.
The Social Solutions Performance Management Resource Library has over 140 resources. Particularly relevant might be the webinar Performance Management in the Public Sector. However, searching the whitepapers, case studies, models and datasheets by service area or type of resource is the best way to find something specific.
Cooperatives might find the Guidance on co-operative, social and environmental performance indicators from Cooperatives UK particularly helpful.
Collective Impact projects might like Tamarack’s Community Based Strategies – Learning and Change resources.
Isaac Castillo and Ann Emery can be watched teasing out the difference between performance management and evaluation in this fun, five-minute video. Tris Lumley places performance management in a map of social impact measurement practice in this great diagram.