Performance measurement involves routine monitoring and reporting of programs' progress. Other names for routine reporting of progress are "performance monitoring" and "performance management." This is the ongoing monitoring and reporting of program accomplishments, particularly progress toward pre-established goals and a baseline measure. Performance monitoring uses information on measurable outputs (and sometimes short-term outcomes) obtained from routine data collection activities to address the question — "Did you achieve what you said you would achieve?" Routine data collection requires careful definition of the measures and data collection and analysis methods for accuracy and credibility. Explanations of why a target was or was not met, attributing the achievement to program activities, and determining program impact, require use of other types of evaluation.
Performance monitoring and reporting includes — Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Quarterly Performance Status Reports as applicable, Annual Accountability Report, the Departmental Performance Tracking System (Joule), and OMB's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART).
Joule is a tool developed by the U.S.Department of Energy to routinely track measurable results against a planned results timeline — quarterly milestones, annual technical targets, etc. — or accomplishment of defined procedural steps or milestones. The time-scale of these metrics might persist over several years, determining whether a mid-term goal has been achieved. The focus is on answering the question — "Did you achieve what you said you would achieve?"
Joule scores provide on-going assessment of programs' status in achieving their stated quarterly milestones and annual performance targets, where green denotes a milestone or target is MET and red indicates milestone/target is UNMET
|2004||2005 (2nd Qtr.)|
|EERE Programs||7 green, 5 yellow, 2 red||12 green, 2 yellow, 1 red|
|Program A||4 green|
|3 green, 1 red||9 green|
|Program B||2 red||2 green|
|Program C||2 green|
|Program D||3 green|
|Program E||4 green, 1 yellow||5 green|
|Program F||11 green, 1 yellow||8 green, 1 red|
|Program G||3 green, 2 red||4 green, 1 red|
|Program H||2 green|
OMB Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART)
In 2003, OMB took the program evaluation process a step further by creating the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). As stated in the PART Guidance, "PART is a systematic method of assessing the performance of program activities across the federal government. The PART is a diagnostic tool; the main objective of the PART review is to improve program performance." (The PART worksheet results contribute to OMB's comparative management and performance assessments across the federal government.) The ultimate goal of PART is to help senior decision-makers decide whether a program should be continued, modified to improve performance, or terminated.
PART is divided into four sections: program purpose and design, strategic planning, program management, and program results/accountability. Each of these sections has a series of questions to assess whether a program has sound management practices and is producing results. Program management submits answers to these questions to OMB. General program evaluation studies provide evidence to support a program's PART submission.
There are two questions in the FY2006 PART that have direct relevance to evaluation. Question 2.6 "Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program implementation and evaluate the effectiveness and relevance to the programs, interest, or need?" Question 4.5 "Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?" Several additional questions are indirectly relevant to evaluation. To the extent that objective and independent peer review and general program evaluation studies are completed, they can help to increase OMB's PART rating for a program, in addition to providing a program with ongoing feedback regarding improvements in program design and implementation.
Further information about PART can be found at the OMB website — Expectmore.com
Downloads of performance measurement reports are available at EERE Evaluation Plans and Reports.