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Draft Report

Procuring, Managing, and Evaluating the Performance of Contracted TMC Services

Challenges of Performance Measurement

Various arguments that have been made against implementing and using performance measurement typically focus on the challenges associated with the process.  A casual listing of these challenges might be:

Too time consuming to start another program from scratch,

Lacking in-house expertise or previous experience,

Difficulty in identifying critical activities,

Difficulty in establishing goals and objectives for those activities,

Lack of knowledge in selecting appropriate measures,

Lack of experience as a base for establishing appropriate performance targets,

Difficulty of identifying and collecting relevant data,

Producing, interpreting, and explaining results,

Time consuming to manage the program over the long-haul,

Too costly in terms of personnel time,

Lack of evidence that the program is useful, and

Paying for the costs of the system.

It could be argued, however, that upon closer inspection, these challenges are no different for performance monitoring than they are for any other type of system or process. In fact, these challenges are no different for an outsourcing program than they would be for an in-house system.  Performance measurement is in essence, simply a good management practice to identify and track the operation of specific activities.

A new program is often seen as another foreboding task, particularly if the available experience with it is minimal or non-existent.  While analyzing all of a TMC’s activities to determine the critical ones can be seen as a time-consuming or daunting task, focusing on the core functions should provide a meaningful list fairly quickly.  The challenges of establishing goals, objectives, measures, targets, and identifying and collecting data are intrinsic parts of any performance measurement system and should be viewed as more of steps in the system as opposed to challenges that must be overcome.

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