There are three types of measures:
1. Activity measures
2. Output measures
3. Impact measures
Activity measures tells us how efficiently something was done. It answers questions such as:
- How long does it take?
- How productive is the department?
- How many resources were used?
It focuses us on internal tasks, timing and resources but it is NOT about outcomes. As an example, profitability is an activity measure because it relates incoming revenue to internal operational costs. It measures the efficiency within which resources are utilized to produce income.
You’ll find activity measures are usually used with internal operations groups and frequently these are the measures used for multiple phases of processes
Output Measures emphasize the results of the work rather than the work activities themselves. Outputs tend to be physical products, services and communications that one group sends to another. These types of measures answers questions about what has been produced such as:
- Does the product meet quality standards?
- Was the product sent on time?
- Was the product delivered on time?
- Was the customer satisfied?
Output measures are about products NOT about production. They gauge quality, timeliness and evaluation by the CUSTOMER or USERS and therefore the measuring source is usually outside of the group producing the output.
Customer satisfaction is an output measure that requires obtaining feedback from outside the organization (this can be a customer internal or external to the organization.) Most output measures are using internal standards. These measures are useful when you are interested in whether the results meet certain standards.
My personal favorite is the last of our set and the one the President and our legislative leaders truly want to cause.
Impact measures ALWAYS require feedback or customer research to develop meaningful measures. So what is the difference between customer satisfaction measures and impact measures?
Customer satisfaction measures what the customer likes. Impact measures what the product does for the customer. It is all about value.
Impact measures answers questions such as:
- Does the product make the customer more productive?
- More successful?
- Do the services make the customer more effective?
- More influential?
- Do the products help the customers reach their goals?
These measures require serious examination of the customer because there is no other way to get information about the customer’s productivity, success measures or goals without their input and evaluation.
Most important it shifts the focus to “What do you need from us to help you succeed on your own measures of success?” This type of measure alters relationships and makes what you achieve more valuable.
It makes you realize exactly what is the point of what we do.