Outputs are good….outcomes are great! Improving performance measurement in economic development organizations

Performance measurement is the collection and analysis of data and the reporting of the data results. Performance measurement helps organizations assess the progress their initiatives are making towards desired results. The results can include both outputs (what products or services an organization delivers) and outcomes (the resulting change that occurs as a result of a product or service being delivered).

Economic development professionals are used to reporting on deliverables (outputs). Today there is an increased requirement to report on outcomes. OMAFRA has a guidebook for organizations looking to understand how to measure performance. It’s called Measuring Up!. The guidebook has resources to assist economic development professionals understand performance measurement concepts and processes. It introduces performance measurement, provides a step-by-step systematic approach to developing measures. The guidebook is based on the following four stages:

  1. Prepare for measuring performance during the strategic planning stage
  2. Identify outcomes using a logic model
  3. Create performance measures
  4. Collect, analyze and communicate the results

A performance measurement plan can help organizations identify long term outcomes, decide on appropriate measures, and track the success of outcomes. Measuring performance helps inform future decision making and creates accountability for resources used. To download a copy of the Measuring Up! guidebook or express interest in training go to http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/rural/edr/pmr/pmr-inforeq.htm or email performance.resources@ontario.ca