Successful delivery of service improvement depends on knowing what is actually happening, and making decisions using evidence (often termed Performance Management or Performance Improvement). All too often decisions are taken based on assumptions or suppositions, and audits measure things that nobody thinks are important.
My rapid assessment process has been used early in a number of service transformation projects, both to motivate and engage staff, and to assess the direction and progress of a project and any changes needed, early enough to make decisions which make a difference.
many audit and performance tools suffer:
they aren't seen as relevant - the things they measure don't mean anything either to the stakeholders or to whether the project is actually delivering benefits (milestones based on time rather than achievement, for example)
it takes too much effort to gather the information - the measures are too complex, too involved, or not clearly defined
the results are too late to make a difference
We typically need results in time to make a decision based on those results, and audit and measurement often have such a time delay built in that the decision-point is passed, and to change direction at the point of decision will cause a lot of expensive undoing.
Minney.org has developed processes which we work through with the stakeholders to:
define measures which are common sense and relevant
measure and report in real time so the people on the ground can see what is going on, and highlight potential changes of direction for appropriate decisions
focus on outcomes and what the project is trying to achieve. This also means that as the organisation's priorities change, so individual projects can change their own target outcomes - a shoal of fish changing direction instantaneously and without waves, rather than a massive whale.
see the pages below for more information