This is an article about an interesting lesson we’ve learnt in strategic and performance management in the not-for-profit sector.
We’ve been working on a major review a client’s strategic plan. Part of the project has been to refresh the organisation’s strategic goals and then tie them to key performance indicators. The process has been fascinating and not as easy as we though it would be.
We conducted a full day workshop with the board and wound up with some great ideas about where they wanted to take the organisation. The goals that the board settled on were ambitious and gutsy, as well they should be; our clients work in an area of disadvantage that requires a significant investment of great ideas, time and energy. Our clients have all of these things in a seemingly inexhaustible supply. Our job was to get the ideas and the directions down on paper and work them into a form that could be ingrained throughout the staff and the work processes of the organisation.
This is where the job became tougher than we thought. It wasn’t until we set out formulating key performance indicators (KPIs) that were linked to the organisation’s strategic goals that we understood how difficult they were to achieve. This is the useful and fascinating job of KPIs. Not until you set about measuring how well an organisation is performing in achieving its goals can you understand whether the goal is properly formulated or even possible.
In the end, it was a matter of rethinking some strategic goals. And now that the process has been completed, our clients have a much better understanding of where they are headed and how they will know once they have arrived.
The process, we decided, is best expressed as a loop:
- Analyse vision and strategic plan
- Organise goals into key results areas (KRAs)
- Select KPIs and set targets
- Analyse and identify improvement areas
- Evaulate and revise strategy
At the end of this process, we have a set of KPIs that are aligned to goals and strategy, and a set of strategic and performance tools that the organisation can work with.
For more information, please call TBH Niche Managing Director, Emiliano Barzotto on (08) 9228 3855 or 0413 759 079, or contact us here.