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What Is a Technical Performance Measure?

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  • Written By: Jan Fletcher
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2016
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A technical performance measure is a formal, mathematical approach to forecasting and production management. Managers use a technical performance measure to gauge productivity, risks, constraints, accuracy, and technical benchmarks. It may be applied on an individual project basis, or used to measure an ongoing production system. A technical performance measure may also be referred to as a business performance measure.

Anything that contributes to the productive work, such as a person, an expertise, or a piece of equipment, is considered a resource. These elements are allocated and scheduled to achieve the synchronization of resources along a production or product development timeline. This is called leveling, because in the optimally efficient arrangement, each resource is level in conjunction with the other resources according to start and finish dates on a bar chart.

Resource load charts visually illustrate a technical performance measure along a timeline, illustrating which tasks are dependent upon others in order for the work to be completed properly. Tasks that have dependencies upon other tasks are often detailed in a Gantt chart, which uses horizontal lines to illustrate those dependencies. Pinning down variables and adjusting production to constraints are both part of a technical performance assessment.

A technical performance measure may involve a multivariate or combinatorial analysis. Both measurements assess the impact of multiple variables in a production scheme. Combinatorial considers the dynamics of groups of people and processes interacting in an endeavor. A Multivariate analysis looks at each variable individually.

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A company plans to design a prototype, and then to take that prototype into mass production. A design engineer may work as part of a team that would include a product designer, a researcher, and a quality control manager. This is an illustration of how technical performance measures might operate in a work setting.

At various stages of the process, an aspect of the designer's work would be dependent upon the researcher, and the quality control manager's work would be dependent upon the designer. A Gantt chart may show that one member of the dependent threesome on average is idle 20 percent of the time while waiting on another team member to complete a task. By applying statistical analysis to the dependencies, a manager can make adjustments and level the workload or scheduling to eliminate idle time.

When changes occur in product design, personnel, or equipment due to constraints, a technical performance measure would look at the risk the change creates. In a technical performance measuring system, costs, productivity and scheduling are assigned a measure of weight that corresponds to how many resources those factors respectively consume. In order to optimize technical performance, a manager would assign weight to each factor. Combinatorial, or multivariate measures can then be used to reassign more or less weight to each factor in the process.

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