You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure

Thom Davidson

KPI Flow Chart

Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying, "You can't manage what you can't measure." That is certainly true when evaluating contract management. Unless you measure something, you don't know if it is getting better or worse. You cannot see positive progress unless you measure to see what is improving and what is not. One feature that helps provide these measures is found in Contract Guardian Workflow in the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). A KPI is a value that can be measured to demonstrate how well an organization is achieving important business objectives. The KPI is essential to evaluating success in achieving goals.

When designing the metrics for Contract Guardian, we needed to be very careful that the metrics were evidenced based and actually measured the output we're trying to achieve. Tracking metrics leads to potential measurement driven behavior. This is the concept that people may engage in unintended, negative, behaviors in order to achieve the desired metrics.

Contract Guardian provides an Administrative Workflow Agenda Grid and recently enhanced Workflow KPIs to help address questions like:

How long does it typically take to complete a Physician Hire Approval?

- How does that compare with last year?
- Where are the bottlenecks?
- Who seems to hold up the progress?
- What step is most problematic?
- What workflows are currently active?
- What step are they on?
- Are they progressing properly or are they delinquent?

The grids and charts provide:

Admin Workflow Agenda

  • Workflow Name
  • Contract/Document Name
  • Date/Time Stamp of start of step
  • Delinquency Date
  • Step Name
  • Status
  • Organization
  • Link - provides details of every step for that workflow including who is assigned, status, documents being reviewed/shared, etc.

Workflow / Step Statistics by Workflow Route and Individual Step within a route

  • Avg completion time
  • Number successful
  • Number rejected
  • Number in progress
  • Delinquency frequency

Workflow User Statistics

  • Organization/User
  • Number Accepted
  • Number Rejected
  • Drill Down for User by Workflow/Step

Analysis of your KPIs should include:

  • Establishment of Goals - Example: Complete Physician Agreement in 5 days
  • Measure - Contract Guardian does this for you
  • Evaluate Results - KPIs will provide you with the results for your review
  • Define Action Plan
    • Example 1: Gene Harris is delinquent on 70% of his workflow tasks. Requires a discussion with Gene and a determination if the time allocated is too short or Mr. Harris needs to improve his performance.
    • Example 2: Workload imbalance. Some employees and departments are constantly busy, while others have excessive downtime. Review assignments of workflow tasks.

The management of your KPIs will enable you to properly implement a strategy to address an issue or proceed to promote positive change and continue towards contract management excellence.