M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 47

Improving Information Use By Enhancing Performance Measures

Kendra M. Asmar
Danjell H. Elgebrandt



Sequestration, which took effect in 2013, resulted in over $1 trillion being cut from the Department of Defense (DOD). Faced with drastic budget cuts and a 9 percent reduction in all financial accounts, Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) began a drastic reorganization from twelve to five centers to help absorb the effects while retaining combat readiness and stability for the Airmen. Congress requires quarterly performance reports to ensure effectiveness and efficiency. AFMC established 95 performance metrics to determine how the organization is performing and to provide Congress. However, 95 metrics may be too many to consistently track and to actively develop interventions at the command level. Very few studies show--or even evaluate--the effectiveness of performance measurement (PM) systems. Research suggests that PM systems must include the following three aspects to be effective; metrics that: 

-inform decision making: if data does not help make decisions, it is unnecessary

-look toward the future: goals in the strategic plan should be the focus of metrics

-contain an element of flexibility: once goals are reached, new metrics need to emerge for a continuously developing strategy

Download the paper in PDF format