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Linking QualServe Performance Indicators To A Utility's Strategic Direction

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Abstract:

Defining appropriate measures is an important part of implementing a strategic plan. But what to measure? For some utilities, the answer has been found in utilizing one or more of the QualServe Benchmarking Performance Indicators to measure the results of a strategy in terms of effectiveness, quality, or efficiency. As an added bonus, using the QualServe Performance Indicators in this way provides valuable comparative data.

A number of utilities have utilized the QualServe Performance Indicators in the recent development and implementation of strategic plans, providing a broad base of measures to draw from. With this base already available, it is often possible to use QualServe indicators instead of creating new ones. Another key benefit is the ready-made, rigorous definition of the measures. This saves time and minimizes the effort required to define new measures and limits debate or bias toward existing internal or “favorite” measures.

It is also a challenge to set performance targets. Without an existing baseline of data – either utility-specific or general industry data – setting targets can be like shooting in the dark. Using QualServe Performance Indicators gives statistical analysis of utility performance (by size, region, type of utility, etc.) which sets the context for utility-specific targets.

One recent example that linked QualServe Performance Indicators to a utility's strategic plan is the process employed by Columbus Water Works (CWW) in Columbus, GA. CWW has not only used many of the QualServe indicators to track its updated strategic plan performance but the utility also has a history of using these indicators. Updating its strategic plan using the Scan-Plan-Do model, the utility identified six major strategies. This presentation will explore the process CWW used to develop its strategic plan using QualServe Performance Indicators as benchmarks.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864706783789888

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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