To fulfil its responsibilites the governing body needs to ensure it has the means to effectively monitor the implementation of the strategic plan, and assess whether progress is being made towards achieving the planned outcomes. For most institutions this has meant the adoption of a system of key performance indicators (KPIs). Governing bodies may also receive an annual report and update from the executive summarising the actions taken during the year to implement the strategic plan, and evidencing progress towards meeting the planned outcomes.
Reflecting the complexity and scope of most institutions, KPIs are normally introduce to cover a range of activities, including, for example, student recruitment, the student experience, research activity, staff and finance. The desire to looks at different aspects of the institution in order to assess performance has lead to the use of a 'balanced' scorecard or dashboard to assess the institution's performance.
Agreeing appropriate KPIs, including deciding whether they should be qualitative or quantitative measures, establishing baselines, agreeing targets, together with the frequency of monitoring the individual indicators are all part of establishing an institution's Performance Management System.