Measurements Course

We have published articles on performance measurements. You can see a partial list at the end of this article. We are now pleased to offer a new 2-day course, “Measuring Process and Organizational Performance”.

Course Description:
A key aspect of organizational performance management is selecting, defining, collecting data on, monitoring, and responding to performance metrics. However, it is important that the right ones be selected, tracked, and responded to.

This workshop will present a process for selecting what to measure, how to specify in sufficient detail the “what” and “how” in order to create the metric, as well as how to report, review, and act on them. The basics such as differences between leading and lagging indicators, outcomes vs. controls, and efficiency vs. effectiveness will be discussed, as well as, more difficult issues such as aligning metrics and identifying gaps and conflict.

A balance of lecture, discussion, and case studies will be used to allow participants to gain insights into their own situations, as well as, build expertise in applying the concept to any organization.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify metrics based on organizational strategy and/or process needs
  • Define the detailed components related to each metric
  • Assess a set of metrics for gaps, conflict and alignment
  • Define optimum methods for displaying metrics
  • Use metrics to define appropriate organizational actions

Course Topics:

  • Process management as the basis of organizational management
  • Strategic, operational, and individual views of process management
  • How metrics support and drive process management
  • Types of metrics and their impact on organizational focus and timing
  • How to select and align and define metrics
  • Metrics data collection, analysis, reporting and use
  • The psychological impact of metrics
  • The metrics life cycle

This course is appropriate for anyone who is involved in process management and/or improvement, whether it is at the department/process level or of the entire organization. It is applicable to any type of organization, whether they are in the education, government, healthcare, manufacturing, or service arena.

The fee for our 2-day on-site course is $4600, plus $25 per student, plus instructor travel expenses. To schedule a class, call Larry Whittington at 770-862-1766 , or send him an email at

Duke Okes has been involved with process improvement for more than 30 years, most of which involved working with companies on quality system design and installation (e.g., ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949), internal auditing, root cause analysis, and facilitating process improvement teams.

He is the developer and primary instructor for the ASQ national root cause analysis course, and developer and instructor for their course on performance metrics. He holds ASQ certifications in quality management/organizational excellence, quality engineering and quality auditing, and academic degrees in technology, business and education.

He is the author of Root Cause Analysis: The Core of Problem Solving and Decision Making, co-editor of The Certified Quality Manager Handbook (2nd edition) and has authored numerous articles for publications such as Quality Progress (including Driven by Metrics), The Quality Forum, APICS – The Performance Advantage, The Business Improvement Journal, and Manufacturing Engineer. He writes a regular column titled “Auditing Outside the Box” for The Auditor.

Detailed Course Content:
Process management

  • SIPOC, stakeholders and process planning (e.g., customer needs, process, metrics, controls)
  • Levels of processes – organizational, department/process & individual
  • Roles of metrics in strategy, operations and process management (goals & objectives, PDCA)
  • SIPOC practice

Types of metrics

  • Metrics terminology
  • External vs. internal purpose
  • Effectiveness vs. efficiency focus; customer/stakeholders vs. company
  • Leading vs. lagging
  • Outcomes vs. controls; product vs. process
  • The metric triad of quality, cost & timing
  • Subjective/soft metrics
  • Practice classifying metrics

Selecting metrics

  • Number of metrics, critical vs. nice, alignment with strategic objectives, cost vs. value
  • Critical conversion points for outcomes, leverage for process/leading
  • Composite metrics
  • Assessing alignment, identifying gaps and conflicts; three methods
  • Fitting to level of organizational performance
  • Adaptation for project management
  • Practice selecting metrics

Defining the metric details

  • Operational definition, formula
  • Process owner
  • Frequencies (collection, reporting, analysis)
  • Source, normalization
  • When and how to report/analyze
  • Targets and benchmarks
  • The metric worksheet
  • Practice defining metric details

Data collection, analysis, and presentation

  • Trending, analysis of variation
  • Correlation, path modeling, multivariate analysis
  • Dashboards/scorecards; balanced scorecard, Baldrige, ISO 9001+ as frameworks
  • Integration with other systems (e.g., compensation)
  • Discussion of problems related to metric presentation

Use of metrics for decision making

  • Daily operations reviews, monthly reviews, management reviews, strategic reviews
  • Actions to take (e.g., none, average shift, variation reduction)
  • Impact on other metrics/parameters
  • Use of analytics
  • Practice – action planning

Psychological impacts of metrics

  • Good and bad aspects of metrics
  • Games people play

The metric life cycle

  • Performance shifts
  • Strategy shifts
  • Organizational maturity

Note: Our December 2013 newsletter contained an article on Manufacturing Metrics. Past articles on performance measurement include:

Market-Proof Your KPIs
Performance Metrics
Magic Metrics?
Quality Objectives