Friday, April 17, 2009

Will Najib's KPIs Work?

I was quoted in the following The Sun article published yesterday.

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s call for ministries to implement comprehensive key performance indicators (KPIs) should include a requirement to use proper standards and benchmarks, said PJ Utara DAP MP and economist Tony Pua.

“Typically, KPIs are used in corporate organisations. They are not just measures of performance, they also assess the consequences of performing above expectations,
meeting expectations or a complete failure to meet expectations. Without a set of clear-cut assessment guidelines, it is going to fail,” he said.

Pua said he was “not confident” that the government could follow through with the consequences when ministries failed to meet the required standards.

“I doubt the government can pull it off because it does not seem to have the necessary political will to carry out some of the required consequences of under-performance. Do you think it can remove somebody without having to consider
the political consequences?”

“[The Ministries] Setting their own criteria for KPI assessment guidelines is another problem. KPIs should be set by civil societies or the public because if the Home Ministry were to judge its performance based on the ISA detainees held as a KPI, they could go out and do it (arrest people). It needs to be done by the end recipients. I cannot see it without public participation,” Pua said.

He criticised the criteria set as vague and not covering the qualitative performance of ministries.

“They are vague and possibly intentionally so. You can set KPIs for all ministries and ministers, but you have to deal with the qualitative aspects. “For example, you can set a KPI for the Education Ministry based on how many new schools were built or how many teachers were hired. But it does not cover the quality of education delivered,” Pua said, calling for results from KPIs to be made public.

“If you are going to have a KPI, why should you be ashamed of your performance. Is this the change that the PM talks about? Are they going to be accountable to the public at all? Is this the right period for ‘People First, Performance Now’?”

He said the DAP would monitor the measures implemented by each ministry.

Deloitte Malaysia’s human capital services group director Andrew Lee said KPIs, which have been used by the private sector for decades, were “report cards” to track, measure and report progress.

“For KPIs to be effective, firstly, there is a need to define the objectives. KPIs would then measure the fulfi lment of the objectives. Secondly, indicators that measure the fulfilment of the objectives need to be developed,” he said.

“There are seven tests used to check any KPI. If any test fails, the KPI should be rejected immediately. Any KPI should be measurable, controllable, simple, actionable, integrated and credible. Finally, it should be linked back to the objectives,” Lee said, also pointing out several ways in which a KPI can fail.

“Implementation can fail when too few or too many KPIs are defined. Not everything is important to measure. A KPI can fail one of the seven tests, or it isn’t measurable as data is not available. The culture of the organisation must also be considered. Are the staff ready for KPIs? It takes a high degree of discipline and staff don’t like to be tracked all the time."


Anonymous said...


since when did unmo based it performances on KPI?

the only thing you need to have is to be as racist as you can get and it helps too to be a bigot - thrashing the others - culturally, mentally and physically.


Anonymous said...

During Badawi's tenure, he used KPI on GLCs and on the surface, it worked initially for some. Better management was brought in, profits where up BUT eventually it upset a lot of the cromies who were sidelined. Complains about not getting contracts, help and favours. Eventually it contributed to Badawi's fall.

At the end of Badawi's tenure, there was clear back tracking on the KPIs. It was not a full retreat but many started doing things for the wrong reasons.

You will likely see the same thing but with govt and politics the improvement will be less remarkable and backtracking faster and worst.

Its consistent with Najib's leadership - more fluff than real. The beneficiary of his leadership and management will be those directly under him including the rank and file. But for the rest of us, it means little.

Anonymous said...

1. This KPI will slowly be forgotten and buried. OR
2. The PM will say he is satisfied with the performance of all his ministers.

Anonymous said...

No doubt it is going to fail. This KPI stuff sounds similar to AAB GLC report card la..transformation la. In the end nothing happen. Just take picture, show face. Because the mindset still the old mindset.

I personally have phobia of KPI even in private sector especially from all the consultants. Methodology is one thing. Effectiveness is another thing.

alvin_gov said...

What and where are the KPI's descriptions? Had it been brought up to the parliament for approval prior to implementation?

Najib's KPI only works for UMNO/BN and not for the best interest of the RAKYAT as a whole.

As a caring citizen of MALAYSIA, we the RAKYAT has the right to know the KPIs which directly effect the peoples interest !

Maybe the KPI minister still not sure or how to configure the KPI ???


Anonymous said...

PM najib seems to love this KPI as he had tried to implement it at his Ministry of Defense but sad to say it is not impressive at all and what is the outcome - zilch- and you know how screwed up the eurocopter issue and that was his KPI.
Wonder this PM really understood what he was talking or he still think that people will buy his rhetoric. What a sad nation, a country without direction and no priority. Bad, bad my country!!!

marcus63 said...

the answer is a big NO because he is not sincere to make it work. otw why would he put a softie who has no respect of the other ministers as he is just a backdoor minister, to run this kpi? you think they even bother to submit their reports? to give this kpi teeth, you need someone with integrity, someone like the hk icac director, who fears no titles or reputations. maybe someone like tun salleh abbas? in the final analysis, this kpi thing is just a sloganeering effort to con the rakyat that all ministries have been vetted and are sparkling clean. is the rakyat really bodoh!

Anonymous said...

Well said.

I've been in the civil service and thus able to see that KPI will likely be a superficial one rather than to keep tabs. KPIs are created by the staff within and not by end users. Furthermore, performance tracked by the outsourced agent (if any being appointed) has little knowledge on our job description specifically because it isn't the same with corporate performance where its based on monetary returns. Government is otherwise, money is going out.

It has been done before in the last ministry but was only lukewarm and not well-received by even its own staff to chart their progress. Old staff didn't quite like to be pushed to get things done, if you know what I mean...besides, underperformed will not get fired.

Unless, there is an absolutely honest mean to chart performance with how money is well spent for upgrading the rakyat, I will stand corrected. Until then, it's wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

Unsavoury characters in cabinet don't like KPI.

Anonymous said...

KPI untuk "wayang kulit" saja. Don't take it too seriously, man.

Anonymous said...

If KPIs are forgotten, what will happen to Ah Koon?

Anonymous said...

KPI = Kick-out "Pua" Immediately!

ttc said...

:P Aha!

KPIs now is it? Shucks, :) what high falutin' and pesky tricky stuff yukky UMNO/BN seems to unfailingly pull out from beneath the deep recesses of its dark and surreptitious cabinet drawers.

:|Hmm, but maybe perchance Gerotten's....oops, :D Gerakan's KTK is the most perfect choice of tool for using to compile these statistical numbers though. Can't comment on that :| Unity bit of the job, but this is perchance okay for KTK to do. Don't you think so?

Friends Tom and Harry here say (with :| strangely fishy smiles) who better to compile some meaningful and accurately :D warm and fuzzy public service hard statistics on spectacularly bad failure in public governance performance than someone who is a solidly entrenched part and parcel member of that collectively engineered architecture of awesomely spectacular failure,and seeing that KTK himself has the added gravitas of being an obviously well-proven failure as a public servant himself, given that this leading light in public service failed miserably to even gain the simple confidence of his own constituency's citizen-peers to get re-elected as a serving public servant.

So shucks, bring 'em on, KTK, those 8) confidence-instilling, mixed basket of cheery pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap KPIs on UMNO/BN's rotten public service and bad governance.

Gee whiz, can't wait for them excitingly bad KPIs to be crunched and published by KTK, obviously with a flourish in the waggly-tailed brown-nosed MSM lapdog, so how about you out there?


2009 Resolution: Seek out all garbage and recycle or dispose post haste for a healthier life and planet!

Anonymous said...

KPI = Kind "yb Pua " Ideals

learn to acknowledge it, anonymous 6:40 !!

~ ais

Anonymous said...

don't expect too much from Najis's deadwood cabinet lah. they are a bunch of hopeless corrupt thieves.

Hamba said...

KPI will go the way of "Bersih, Cekap, Amanah".... Corruption became rampant and encourage by TDM...So going by that..the performance of the ministers and the govt will become worse and no one is going to bother about KPI...Remember that Najib is the protege of TDM..He'll follow exactly what TDM did... Corruption will rise and performance will go down...

ttc said...

Friend Harry's final cheery parting shot, aimed at non-elected public servant failure KTK, was this pearl.

Since KTK is dealing with awesomely abysmal failure in expected public job performance to even rock-bottom standards, then, rather than wasting his useless time searching for the right, or even reinventing the required, comparator statistical wheel for his crunching purpose, he, KTK, would do well to go and check out the many sticky benchmarking yardsticks now lying all over the place in the backyards of two other highly successful nations that now stand proudly (with no legs at all) in serious competition with each other to be the world's leading benchmark on awesomely, yukky catastrophic failure in everything: ZIMBABWE-MADLAND and MYANMAR-PSEUDOLAND, those cheery and destructive schizoid-lands of sunny clime and sick-inducing corruption (or, if you prefer to be an euphemistic ostrich or an economical with the truth emu, then you can deny, lie or pretend and switch those last three words into "money-politics infestation" instead).

Hmm, wonder what the odds are that perchance KTK will get Harry's pearly drift...?


2009 Resolution: Seek out all garbage and recycle or dispose post haste for a healthier life and planet!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Having KPI is one thing but can the BN administration also apply things like performance appraisal, promotion due to performance, cost cutting, downsizing, sacking of employees guilty of gross negligence/incompetence etc

if want to take a leaf from corporate world, take the lot.

Lee Wee Tak

Anonymous said...

In the end, it's NATO !!!