Are there any generally accepted indicators?

Before we study standards for indicator development, let’s review what we have learned thus far and what we have yet to learn. To develop a system of indicators, an organization would follow the steps listed in the first column. The second column explains other considerations for accomplishing the step.

Step Considerations
1.  Define policy and objectives/goals for the organization. 1. Contemplate what an organization should accomplish.
2.  Identify critical success factors to accomplish objectives/goals. 2. Clarify if the organization’s current resources are sufficient or if additional resources need to be acquired or developed.
3.  Define strategy to accomplish objectives. 3. Determine how to accomplish the objectives.
4.  Determine appropriate indicators to monitor progress. 4. Evaluate the possible indicators against a set of characteristics.
5.  Integrate all indicators into a performance measurement system. 5. Ensure the system is complete and balanced.
6.  Build an information system to collect the data for calculating indicators. 6. Incorporate internal controls to ensure accuracy.
7. Prepare the report containing the indicators. 7. Include narrative to help interpret the results.

All these steps interconnected, but we are concentrating on Step 4 in this part of the module. We investigate standards that are available to help choose indicators appropriate for a performance measurement system.