“You can't manage what you don't measure,” is a management adage attributed to management guru Peter Drucker. This module will focus on performance measurement for your hub, alliance or department, and we’ll also touch on monitoring and evaluation for partnerships.
- Know what success looks like: develop organisational performance metrics around your strategic objectives.
- Determine metrics early and track your performance from the outset.
- Have a measurement plan in place for your partnership or collaboration based on quantifiable, measurable objectives.
Developing a Measurement Plan
It is important to measure our performance against our objectives, to understand how and when to make a change to improve our performance or mitigate any potential issues.
Having said that, we also believe in ‘going where the energy is’ – as long as it’s within our focus area and aligned with our mission. This allows us to be sensitive to where the demand in the market might be, as well as allow us to be agile enough to react to opportunities. We’ve benefited from unexpected connections and opportunities which may not seem logical at first but have led to valuable partnerships, capability and capacity growth and new relationships.
It is important for your Hub to track its performance as it enables the team to observe whether you’re on course to achieve your goals. Besides allowing the enterprise to focus and prioritise on working towards certain set targets, measuring performance can also serve as a motivation for the team to improve their individual or departmental track record.
A set of performance metrics should be developed methodically around the strategic objectives that your hub or department has set. These metrics could then help the hub in making decisions and reviewing its strategic objectives throughout the year. It is very important to define the indicators that will be used to measure the performance of the hub.
Measurement categories can include:
- Inputs and Activities: track actions that the hub wants to conduct both externally (e.g. how many organisations it intends to approach, how many events it wishes to organise) and internally (e.g. setting up a customer-resource management system, hiring interns). These are largely things that the hub has set out to do and can control.
- Outputs: track results that are produced from the ‘inputs and activities’ (e.g. how many partnership projects were actually brokered; how many people have attended your events or training.)
- Outcomes: these measure the impact of your outputs, eg. how many people benefit from the partnership projects; what changes have resulted from the increased knowledge people gained from attending our events. These might not necessarily be numbers that the Hub can control.
- Income: tracks revenue generated.
- Marketing/Communications: tracks results of the marketing strategy that the Hub undertakes (e.g. reach, open rate of newsletter, number of followers and levels of engagement on social media).
An example of a measurement plan to track metrics is below:
A Measurement Plan (like the example above) is an accompanying framework that will go alongside your Theory of Change (ToC) diagram, but forms part of your strategy/ work plans. A good ToC should define how you’ll measure success (what matters to your hub) and include measurable indicators of success. In the Theory of Change module, we included an exercise on defining Indicators and Measurement.
Consider time and resources and reporting requirements as you work on your measurement plan. It needs to be clear who will oversee performance measurement and how you’ll collect data. The cost of data collection needs to be moderate.
Think about how you can leverage technologies for real time monitoring , ease of data collection, analysis and reporting.
What We Measured
We measure our performance on 3 metrics:
- Impact – How many lives were impacted as a result of our multi-sector initiatives.
- Income – The dollar value amount/equivalent of our shared value partnerships.
- Influence – How many organisations have attended our events, network effect of event content, size/growth of our community list, and the reach of our published articles.
We also developed Communications and Marketing Metrics and tracked the following:
- No. of followers on Facebook & LinkedIn.
- Facebook/LinkedIn post reach, engagement, and click-through rate.
- No. of newsletter recipient (through MailChimp).
- Newsletter Open Rate/Click Rate (through Medium and MailChimp).
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
We set internal targets based on the three-key metrics aforementioned. As a grant recipient, we are also obligated to fulfil the criteria that we agreed with our donor:
- 3 multi-sector partnerships in Asia with companies with regional headquarters in Singapore covering WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene)-related opportunities. Each partnership must be commercially viable and proof of partnership is required in the form of agreements
- 6 networking events showcasing WV’s technical expertise in WASH solutions & programming; each one showcasing approach to corporate engagement and engaging new partners in the Singapore WASH sector
- 3 internships to Singaporean tertiary students
Note: we continue to experiment and adjust metrics to determine what is most meaningful and relevant as we move forward. Regular review and critical thinking is necessary: are the things we measure truly indicators of our desired performance and outcomes? The ToC process was an important exercise that we conducted to validate our hypothesis and assumptions and to keep us focused on what matters for our Hub.
Measuring the Success of Partnerships
It’s worth first noting what we mean when we talk about partnerships. We use TPI’s definition – based on their 20 years of experience:
A partnership is…
- An on-going working relationship between organisations from different sectors
- Combining their resources and competencies
- Sharing risks and reward
- Towards achieving agreed objectives
- That provide maximum value to the partners and other beneficiaries
- While each achieving their own individual objectives
Each partner in the collaboration will have its own (hopefully pre-defined) objectives and motivations for partnering. But it’s important to also come together and define agreed objectives and deliverables for the partnership itself, so that you know what success looks like, and what to measure. This should be done during the ‘design’ phase of the partnership, under our 3Ds model.
We need to answer these two questions in the context of the collaboration:
- Are there quantifiable, measurable objectives that will allow for monitoring progress and evaluating impact?
- How is success defined for the partnership?
Each partnership should have its own quantifiable, measurable objectives defined within the context of the collaborative project, and an idea of what success looks like, agreed upon by all partners. Work with your partners to develop a joint Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) plan. If the partnership is set to make a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there are SDG targets that can be adapted for measurement. The Sphere Handbook sets out indicators and measurement standards for humanitarian work that can be adapted.
A collaboration agreement can also include metrics for monitoring and measuring the partnership’s performance against each partner’s objectives and shared objectives.
Here are some key resources for Performance Measurement. Our downloadable Hub-in-a-Box guide also includes useful and relevant tools. And we’ve compiled additional tools and resources, that Asia P3 Hub has found the most useful in its journey so far on the resources section of the Asia P3 Hub website.