Performance Management and Quality Assurance

What are performance measures? 

  • Performance measures are essential management tools in organisations
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) help:
    • measure the quality of services;
    • determine whether strategic objectives are being met
    • assess the impact and effectiveness of services (Dalton, 2012)
  • Booth provides a simple overview of quality and its related terminology (performance indicators, benchmarking and accreditation)
  • Performance measures can include input/output based metrics or numbers such as usage statistics or other operational measures


Irish hospital libraries 

An overview of performance indicators is provided by Dalton, 2012, who developed a set of measures for Irish hospital libraries.   

This comprised 5 indicators:  

  1. influence on patient care or guiding clinical practice/policy
  2. length of hospital stay
  3. referral to another department
  4. staff time
  5. risk/error reduction

Academic libraries 

According to SCONUL, key performance indicators (KPI) are financial and non-financial metrics used to quantify objectives and reflect the strategic performance of an organisation

Sconul are collecting data on KPIs for UK academic libraries

For academic libraries in the USA ACRL provides a range of standards outlining the expectations for an excellent academic library service.  They include standards for information literacy. 

Balanced scorecard 

Another method of monitoring performance is the balanced scorecard. 

This is a strategic planning and management system that combines financial and non-financial metrics to provide a “balanced” overview of performance.