Pillar 6

Internal Monitoring For Continuous Improvement

In high-performance organizations:

  • The board, management, and staff work together to establish quantitative and qualitative indicators tightly aligned with the results they want to achieve, for each program and for the organization as a whole.
  • Management and staff produce frequent reports on how well the organization is implementing its programs and strategies. Management and staff use these reports to chart course corrections and make operational adjustments and programmatic improvements on an ongoing basis.
  • Management and staff make the collection, analysis, and use of data part of the organization’s culture and daily operations. They ensure that people throughout the organization understand the key metrics. And they invest in training and coaching to help staff gain comfort in working with data as a natural part of the job.
  • Management and staff deploy systems to collect and analyze constituent feedback, drawing on existing tools whenever possible. The best systems not only help staff understand constituents’ views; they also help ensure that constituents play a role in creating needed improvements.
  • Management and staff prioritize collecting information that’s relevant for determining how well they are achieving the desired results, understanding what mix of efforts is critical to achieving those results, and continuously improving their results over time.
  • The board, management, and staff draw extensively on lessons from organizational assessments and evaluations of programs serving similar causes or populations.
  • Management and staff of direct-service organizations put special emphasis on data about recruitment and engagement of their target population, so they can find out if they’re reaching the people they aspire to serve and engaging them in activities long enough to make a difference.


Consider how well internal data help you make decisions—and ensure that monitoring truly supports continuous improvement


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Pillar 6: Internal Monitoring for Continuous Improvement


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