With more organizations focusing on metrics, the MCC has received an increase of questions ranging from how to use metrics, why some metrics are better than others, which type of metrics is best to use, as well as questions about specific MCC Metrics. This column provides a forum for us to share these questions and answers with you.
MCC Members at the Gold or Platinum benefit level, can access the “MCC Ask the Experts – Questions and Answers Archive” by logging into the MCC member website. Interested in becoming a member or have questions about your membership? Contact membership director, Terry Holland.
A: There are a number of possibilities that are worth investigating. Since you have not shared what KPIs you are using, we have several suggestions of what to consider:
- Check to be sure your KPIs cover different dimensions of oversight – not just time-based but also quality, finance and relationship. Time-based metrics are the easiest to gather and report and, of course, speed is important. But this means that sometimes, the primary KPIs used – even the only KPIs – are time-based ones. Completing activities on time is important – but other requirements such as quality and cost should be monitored to ensure that performance meets your quality standards and/or budget!
- Examine the definitions of red, amber and green performance targets. If the KPIs are always showing green and yet the performance is not considered adequate, it could be that the target levels needs modifying.
- Review the formulas used to calculate the metrics to determine whether they are averaging results over a long period of time. You could have a situation where current performance is “red” but the overall results are “green” because you are averaging results. If this is the case, you should consider adding metrics that look at recent results as a separate metric.
- Consider what performance questions each KPI answers and why that question is important to answer. All MCC metrics are developed to help answer a question and the reason that question is important is also defined for each metric. If it is not possible to articulate the question and the importance of the question for some of your existing KPIs, you may want to remove them.
The MCC Vendor Oversight Metric Development Work Group developed metric toolkits focusing on four different dimensions of oversight. The last of the four – finance – was released in February 2020. The toolkits include implementation support tools to help you select the right metrics for use as KPIs. This can be based on the question they are designed to answer, the issues you are concerned about, or the metrics other MCC member organizations recommend you consider. It sounds as though this would be a good time to review the existing KPIs and target levels, and make sure they align with your current needs for oversight.