Characteristics of Good Performance Measures

Performance measures permit the systematic assessment of the degree of success a program has had in implementing activities as planned and achieving its stated objectives. Good performance measures have the following characteristics:

  1. Objective - measures should be free from bias and not influenced by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations
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  2. Relevant - measures should be applicable to the objectives and activities of the program
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  3. Clear - measures should be unambiguous and easy to understand
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  4. Reliable - measures should yield consistent, stable, and uniform results over repeated measurements
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  5. Valid - measures should accurately assess what is being measured
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  6. Practical - the knowledge, time, personnel, and ability to implement the measures are available
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  7. Allows for gradations of success
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  8. Appropriate for the clients of the program
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  9. Verifiable - the reported information can be confirmed
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Creating a performance measure that meets every one of these criteria perfectly may be difficult; however, striving to meet as many of these criteria as possible will result in more accurate performance measures.