Improving performance management at SkylineDx
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Background and objectives This report describes the case study performed during the business internship at SkylineDx BV. SkylineDx is a mid-sized biotechnology company that develops diagnostic tests, most notably for melanoma and multiple myeloma. The case study aimed to improve performance management at SkylineDx. This was done in two ways: through dashboard development and through the implementation of key performance indicators (KPIs). Dashboard development A dashboard is a performance management tool that can be used at virtually all levels of an organisation. It summarises a company’s or department’s most important metrics on a single screen. Dashboards can be operational, tactical, or strategic. In the current case study, three strategic dashboards were developed for SkylineDx. These included a financial dashboard, a sales dashboard, and an operations dashboard. The development of these dashboard was divided into four phases: requirement selection, metric selection, technology selection, and design. The dashboards were made using Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, for the back-end and the front-end, respectively. KPI implementation KPIs are a type of metric that reflect the performance of a department’s critical success factors; those aspects or processes that must be done well consistently. A good KPI adheres to a number of criteria, of which the most important is arguably its actionability. In the current case study, eleven KPIs were implemented at eight locations: human resources, the laboratory, general operations, customer service, IT, bioinformatics, the study team, and product development. Interviews were conducted with relevant personnel to obtain potential KPIs. These were optimised based on literature and input from the quality assurance (QA) department. The KPIs were then discussed with the employees who would be responsible for the KPI. Lastly, the KPIs were integrated into a KPI tracker in Excel. This tracker allowed input of data for the calculation of the KPI, as well as graphs showing the KPI’s value over time. Recommendations The dashboard section and the KPI section of this report both end with recommendations. For the dashboards, it is recommended to apply the build-measure-learn concept for further improvement. This enables continuous improvement over a longer period of time, based on experiences from the dashboards’ users. A change of dashboard platform can be considered, which could enable more complex functionalities. These include planning and forecasting, point-and-click interactivity, and automatic updating of the dashboards’ content. For the KPIs, it is recommended to evaluate the current KPIs after six months on effectiveness and user friendliness. During this evaluation, current KPIs can be improved based on experience and increased adherence to the KPI criteria. Additionally, more KPIs can be implemented. Most departments currently have only one KPI, in line with preferences of the QA department. However, in the future it is recommendable to implement multiple KPIs per department. This enables measuring past performance (lagging KPIs), as well as drivers of future performance (leading KPIs). Lastly, the KPIs could be implemented in departmental dashboards, which show other important metrics and information.