Monitoring Organizational Performance – Necessary Metrics

May 9, 2019

There are many ways to monitor the performance of your organization. Today we want to highlight 3 ways that are fundamental to understanding how well your organization is performing.

Metrics: "If you're not keeping score, you're just practicing"

Metrics establish performance and efficiency indicators for your management systems and are generated to provide both lagging and leading indicators. Lagging indicators are a measure of past performance, so that preventive measures can be identified and implemented. Leading indicators identify management system weaknesses and are critical to a facility's ability to meet its performance objectives.

Metrics: How are you doing?

  1. Have you established a system of metrics using both lagging and leading indicators?
  2. Do you identify roles and responsibilities for each metric?
  3. Do you identify what metrics data is to be collected?
  4. Do you have a system to collect the data?
  5. Have you determined how often data is collected? 
  6. Have you established what the acceptable performance limits are?
  7. Have you established the methods to communicate results and who to communicate them to?
  8. Do you have the resources to manage an effective metrics system?

Compliance Audits

Compliance Audits evaluate management systems to ensure they are established and functioning in a manner that protects employees, customers, communities, the environment, and physical assets against process safety risks. Audits are important monitoring and control mechanisms within the overall management of workplace safety.

Compliance Audits: How are you doing?

  1. Have you established a Compliance Audits system of standards and procedures?
  2. Have you established an audit plan and schedule?
  3. Are you conducting self-audits, second party audits, and third party audits?
  4. Do you have trained adequate resources to both lead and conduct audits?
  5. Have you established a system to effectively manage corrective actions for the audit findings?

Incident Investigations

Incidents that occur can highlight weaknesses/failures of management systems. Correctly performed Incident Investigations provide lagging indicators of the performance of the organization and what system improvements are needed. In order to benefit from incident learnings, first the incidents must be reported. To promote reporting there must be an atmosphere of openness and trust with all employees – which can be accomplished through an effective Cultural Safety program.

Incident Investigations: How are you doing?

  1. Do you have an effective Cultural Safety program so that employees feel free to report incidents?
  2. Have you established procedures and standards for managing Incident Investigations?
  3. Do your incident management procedures and standards include?
    • Immediate reporting?
    • Preservation of the scene?
    • Forming an investigative team consisting of trained team members and a team leader?
    • Determination of the facts?
    • Utilizing a Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA)?
    • Establishing a system to manage corrective actions?
    • Communicating findings and corrective actions broadly to the organization?

We hope the above checklists are helpful as you examine your organization's performance. We'll continue to explore some of these topics in the coming weeks in future articles. If there are areas where you need improvement or if you have challenges you want to discuss with one of our experts, we're here to help.

In fact, Operational Sustainability has developed Standards and Procedures for each of these ways to Monitor Organizational Performance. You can explore our library of available standards and procedures in the Technical Content section of our website.