In order to determine whether or not we are actually delivering improvement we rely on a ‘balanced scorecard' of performance measures. This scorecard sounds complicated but is simply a collection of different types of measure, each of which relates to one or more of our improvement objectives. Some of the measures we use are set at a national level - we are required to report on statutory performance indicators - others are set locally. The measures we employ may concern the cost of particular actions, their quality (how well we do something or, in some instances, how much of something we do) and the impact that particular actions have on our customers and the community.
We are particularly concerned with this last type of measure. Though we do set targets in some areas, establishing whether or not improvements have actually been secured for our customers is far more important than partial measures of service quality.
The process for collating this information is agreed in advance at a senior level within the organisation. Data and evidence is then fed into a performance management system and monitored, on an ongoing basis, by managers and directors. The performance management system that we use allows us to tailor the information reviewed to different layers of management. All our staff are responsible for improving performance, but our senior managers, need to be able to review progress across the whole authority.