"Strategic Performance Indicators"

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January 2001

Notes from January 19, 2001 (“Strategic Performance Indicators”)

On Friday, January 19 the Center for Quality and Planning sponsored another in the series of Quality Advocates’ Network meetings; informal gatherings to build and exchange knowledge about improvement and change. Louise Sandmeyer, Executive Director of the Center for Quality and Planning, and Michael Dooris, Director of Planning Research and Assessment, led a discussion about a systematic approach to performance measurement – that is, using performance measurement not as an add-on activity or an end in itself, but as one element in a systematic linkage of vision, goals, performance measurement, action, and process improvement.

Image 1


Their presentation included a definition of Strategic Performance Indicators (see image 1),

Image 2


a description of the Integration of Planning, Assessment and Improvement (see image 2), and

Image 3

a diagram illustrating Looking at Performance Indicators as Part of A System (see image 3).

The group shared their thoughts and experiences with the systematic use of performance indicators.

The following ideas were shared:

  • Consider your audience as you decide how to share information about strategic performance indicators. You may need to alter the language used to describe the ideas. Translate ideas into questions that reflect your department’s culture and traditions. The indicators you choose should match the values of your faculty.

  • Include different stakeholders in the discussions about indicators, because of the different perspectives they bring.

  • Strategy mapping, the balanced scorecard, and performance indicators are all tools to help units answer the questions:
    1) how do we link what we value with what we say, do, and measure; and
    2) how does what we measure reflect what we do, say, and value?

The Quality Advocates Network meets several times each semester to share ideas and examples of improvement and change. To join the Quality Advocates Network mailing list or to learn more about the meetings scheduled, contact the staff at psupia@psu.edu.

The Quality Advocates Network is open to all Penn State faculty, staff, administrators, and students.