Home > Random Rants, The Monday Musings Column > musings on performance reporting (again)

musings on performance reporting (again)

My loathing of KPIs is well documented amongst previous scribbling here, but recently I felt the bile rising again when I was asked to provide some comments on the Crown Commercial Service framework for Facilities Management.

I know well the old adage that if you can’t measure then you can’t manage, but almost everyone that I have heard trotting that line out couldn’t manage anyway, at least by my book. Of course you need some metrics to manage by, but which ones? The best data is that which comes when recorded from the act of performing the work because it is free. In many situations you can look at almost any aspect of your operation and see what you are doing, where, when and how often. This is great as long as you don’t spend too much time looking at it.

But all too often there is a contractual requirement to report on things that you need to collate and compile information of and doing that takes time, and therefore money. Now I don’t mind spending money if I am investing it wisely, but I don’t like wasting it and all too often I have had to throw cash away on producing KPIs that have been little more than an excuse to waste more time talking about.

In the brief on the new CCS framework there is a reference to holding monthly meeting to report on, amongst other things, a raft of Social Justice activities. In other words people are going to be asked to demonstrate that they are obeying the law and other regulations. This is a principle that I first remember coming across in the bribery and corruption regulations a few years back and basically this requires you to prove that you are innocent. That is wrong on every level, but it seems that our civil servants don’t think so.

It is a fundamental part of due diligence during the vetting of contractors during the tender phase to ensure that they have appropriate compliance processes in place and, once the contract is placed there is no reason why the client should not seek to check these processes. But to have the contractor report on how they are applying them monthly is just ludicrous.

We should be cutting red tape, not adding to it and I think that this sort of thing is a national scandal. This year I reach my three score years and ten. So far the Grim Reaper has had his hands around my throat three or four times and yet I have wriggled free each time. If the above is the way that the world genuinely wants things then if the bloke with the scythe was to knock on the door now I would rush out screaming “Take me, Take me now.”

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