Market Overview

APQC Study Identifies Measurement Best Practices That Drive Bottom-Line Value


APQC, the nonprofit leader in benchmarking and best practices research, has released the results of its latest best practices study, Using Metrics that Drive Bottom-Line Value. The study outlines how successful companies are using performance measurement systems to uncover risks and opportunities, develop management strategies, and drive business success.

Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, supported the study, lending its insights into business process management to help direct the research.

APQC's research featured four organizations—Cargill Corn Milling, Delta Dental of Kansas, DM Petroleum Operations, and Public Service Electric & Gas—that experience competitive gains and successful business outcomes as a result of their performance measurement practices. Specific details on each organization and its respective metrics program are illustrated in comprehensive case studies in the report. Some of the most notable practices include:

  • Aligning measures with strategic objectives by:
    • Requiring senior management (a centralized team or group) to analyze the business value stream
    • Using collaboration systems that allow direct stakeholder feedback
    • Linking measures to high-impact business processes
  • Using “voice of customer” feedback from external and internal customers to identify and validate measures, and define customer-centric metrics
  • Assigning an owner of the measurement system to maintain consistent collection and reporting approaches across the organization
  • Using the following change management techniques to secure buy-in for measurement:
    • Create a sense of ownership by involving staff in the development of the measurement system
    • Provide a documented roadmap for the measurement process and outcomes
  • Using a variety of techniques to foster accountability within the organization:
    • Including measures as part of performance appraisals
    • Connecting those measures with compensation

“In this study we learned that organizations with measurement systems that truly impact their business outcomes share several key attributes,” said Chris Gardner, director, performance improvement, APQC. “Some of these include having a business process management (BPM) center of excellence; a strong or very strong alignment of the organization's measures with its strategic objectives; compensation and rewards that are linked to achieving targeted measures and results; a process to provide pertinent measurement data to the employees doing the work being measured; a culture of accountability for measures and results; and a centralized group responsible for analytics.”

“The importance of selecting the right metrics via focused planning and stakeholder involvement provides an important foundation for achieving value-driven business process management,” said Dr. Mathias Kirchmer, executive director of Business Process Management at Accenture. “Process-oriented metrics can contribute significantly to the transparency organizations desire to support fast, well-informed decision making.”

Those interested may download the report overview as well as the full best practices report.

About APQC

APQC is a member-based nonprofit and one of the world's leading proponents of knowledge management, benchmarking, and best practices business research. Working with more than 750 organizations worldwide in all industries, APQC provides organizations with the information they need to work smarter, faster, and with confidence. Visit or call +1.713.681.4020 and learn how to Make Best Practices Your PracticesSM.

Ross Coulter, 214-394-5538

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