Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Guidelines for Core KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Executive Summary

The development of key performance indicators (KPIs) for the Government of Canada (GoC) became a priority as Canada's Government Online (GOL) initiative matured from 1998 through 2004. The rapid development of the Internet channel as a means of providing effective public service delivery created an appetite for revolutionary change in all types of service delivery.  Prior to GOL, large-scale improvements to service delivery were confined to specific government programs and services.  Interdepartmental projects were rare. The advent of the Internet and the preference of Canadians to to access on-line government services has created cutting edge opportunities for change in delivering services to Canadians.

In the past three years, dozens of interdepartmental initiatives have taken hold and have helped to foster citizen-centred service delivery.  As more and more business improvement opportunities were conceived, it became clear that the Government of Canada needed clear communication for analytical decision making.  Many departments have made significant investments in performance management and made progress towards the disciplined decision-making characteristic of the world's best corporations. Nevertheless, differences in terminology, definitions, usage, data collection, and performance frameworks were quickly identified as limiting the ability to monitor and affect 'enterprise'-level performance.

The genesis of the Core KPI project came from the GoC's Telephony Service Working Group - an interdepartmental collection of GoC call centre managers and executives that came together to share best practices, establish consistent service standards and generally improve the capabilities of GoC call centre operations.  In 2003, this working group quickly identified, and provided precise definitions of, common KPIs.

Coincident with this achievement, Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat developed a modernized approach to the management of the public sector organizations and programs called the Management Accountability Framework (MAF). This comprehensive set of tools, standards, and processes provided an over-arching framework for the Core KPI project.  The operational nature of KPIs strongly supported the MAF and provided direct information to two of the primary MAF categories - stewardship and citizen-focused service.

In 2003, as the GoC's Internet channel rapidly matured and initial significant transactional capability came online, new interdepartmental working committees were formed to deal with the complexities of multi-service, multi-channel delivery alternatives.  Internet gateways and clusters rapidly evolved; this helped organize services in parallel with client segments and life events.  This has created opportunities to effect corresponding changes in how GoC services are delivered in-person and by mail.  By 2004, there was a clear need to establish common core KPIs and establish a working environment to develop further a common performance language.

The Core KPI project brought together numerous government managers -experts in delivering services to Canadians, visitors and businesses.  Managers with operational responsibility for call and mail processing centres, Internet sites, and in-person locations were engaged in several meetings to identify the KPIs that provide maximum management value. 

The result of these meetings was a small set of channel-specific core KPIs that reflect specific MAF themes.  These KPIs will be required for a variety of reporting requirements, Treasury Board submissions, and ongoing reviews. Additional operational KPIs were identified that are recommended by Treasury Board (but not required) as effective indicators that provide strong operational benefits to service delivery organizations.

The Core KPI project is not complete.  There is an ongoing requirement for implementation, improvement, and additions as the GoC service delivery strategy evolves.  Perhaps the most important and lasting benefit is the networking of the best performance management people in the GoC. These experts continue to develop new techniques and identify improvements to ensure that Canada remains one of the world leaders in public sector service delivery.  And that position clearly improves our competitive position in the twenty-first century.