Process Performance Measurement

Process Performance Measurement is the formal, planned monitoring of process execution and the tracking of results to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the process. This information is used to make decisions for improving or retiring existing processes and/or introducing new processes in order to meet the strategic objectives of the organization.[1]

Having the right performance data at the right time in the right format is a prerequisite for effective management. Of course, ‘having data’ is just one part of good management—it is necessary, but not sufficient. We need to use that data to determine where, when, and how we should actively intervene to secure a well-understood organizational performance outcome. We also need good process performance measurement if we are to prove that process improvement has worked, that it has delivered real benefits. “Seems faster” or “probably cheaper” or “customers seem happier” are not the evidence we need for a solid business case. In developing support for process-based management there is no substitute for credible evidence of proven positive results. Why is it then that process performance measurement is both an obvious requirement and commonly absent management tool? Below are four main reasons — all of which can, and should, be overcome with appropriate responses.

  • Lack of motivation. Why bother? We already have lots of KPIs. Some people immediately see the benefits of process-based management, some never get it, and the majority don’t care much either way. Benefits need to be defined and continually sold. Organizations always have functional KPIs (think KPIs related to boxes on the organization chart), but not so many that measure cross-functional processes, perhaps none. For process measurement to gain traction, the benefits of process-based management must be clear and accepted.
  • Wary of measurement. In this organization measurement is a precursor to punishment. A manager in an IT services company resisted process improvements that would radically improve a serious customer satisfaction problem. What would he do that? Because he knew that he would be sacked for not improving the problem earlier. That sort of organizational culture will never be conducive to active process performance measurement—to believing that continuous problem finding is an obvious prerequisite for continuous improvement.
  • Swamped by measurement. You’ve got to be joking—we’ve got hundreds of KPIs already. This is true. Organizations inevitably have lots of informal and formal performance measures. They are given different names, they are derived in different ways, and they have different impacts on management. Mainly though these existing measures are functionally bounded, i.e. they relate to something is within the control span of one organization chart box. This says nothing about end-to-end, or customer-to-customer, performance. Measuring the critical few KPIs of the high-impact processes will, over time, reduce the aggregate number of active KPIs as cross-functional process performance becomes more important than isolated points of performance. Process performance measurement rollout can be done one process at a time.
  • Daunted by perceived complexity. How can we have KPIs for our thousands of processes? The idea of ‘measuring all of our processes’, is obviously daunting. However, not every process needs to be measured. A hierarchy of processes is defined by the process architecture. The measurement of the performance of any process also reflects the performance of its sub processes. Starting at the top of the process architecture, and identifying the subset of high-impact processes, allows the capture of practical process performance without the need to continuously measure every process. Which processes need to be actively measured will also change over time. Process performance measurement need not be complex if approached in a structured, methodical way.

These four reasons for a lack of effective and sustained process performance measurement can be summarized as: a lack of knowledge of the benefits, an organizational culture that is not measurement friendly, mistaken concerns about the enormity of having to actively measure a very large number of processes, and unnecessary concerns about the complexity of building a new measurement system. A practical approach to process performance management is needed that will deal with all these potential barriers to success.[2]

See Also

Process Performance Measurement involves the systematic tracking of the effectiveness and efficiency of processes, aiming to improve their outcomes. This measurement activity is essential for organizations seeking to optimize operations, increase productivity, and align processes with overall business goals. It encompasses the identification of key performance indicators (KPIs), benchmarking against best practices, and ongoing monitoring to ensure continuous improvement.

  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI): Discussing specific, measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. KPIs are crucial for process performance measurement as they provide targets and benchmarks for assessing process efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Benchmarking: Covering the practice of comparing business processes and performance metrics to industry bests or best practices from other companies. Benchmarking helps organizations understand their position relative to others and identify areas for improvement.
  • Business Process Management (BPM): Explaining the discipline involving the use of various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve, optimize, and automate business processes. BPM frameworks often include process performance measurement as a core component.
  • Lean Manufacturing: Discussing the systematic method for waste minimization within manufacturing systems without sacrificing productivity. Lean principles and tools, such as value stream mapping, are used to measure and enhance process performance.
  • Six Sigma: Covering a set of techniques and tools for process improvement, focusing on reducing process variation and enhancing quality. Six Sigma utilizes statistical methods to measure and improve the performance of business processes.
  • Total Quality Management (TQM): Explaining a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction, focusing on the continuous improvement of organization-wide processes, including performance measurement.
  • Continuous Improvement (Kaizen Philosophy): Discussing the Japanese strategy of continuous improvement that focuses on making small, incremental changes routinely to improve efficiency and quality. Continuous improvement processes rely on performance measurement to guide and validate changes.
  • Balanced Scorecard: Covering a strategic planning and management system used to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organizational performance against strategic goals.
  • Data Analysis and Data Visualization: Explaining the process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making, including in the context of process performance.
  • Operational Excellence (OpEx): Discussing the philosophy of leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving resulting in continuous improvement throughout the organization by focusing on the needs of the customer, empowering employees, and optimizing existing activities in the process.
  • Process Mining: Covering the technique of using software to extract information from event logs to analyze business processes. Process mining tools help organizations discover, monitor, and improve real processes by extracting knowledge from event logs readily available in today's information systems.
  • Change Management: Discussing the approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations to a desired future state. Effective change management often requires comprehensive process performance measurement to guide and assess the impact of changes.


  1. What is Process Performance Measurement? Gluu
  2. The Need for Process performance Measurement Roger Tregear