Glossary

Action Plan

An action plan has three major elements:

  1. Specific tasks: what will be done and by whom?
  2. Time horizon: when will it be done?
  3. Resource allocation: what resources are available for specific activities?

Administrative Systems

Systems that support internal office functions (eg, personnel, administration, support and accounting).

Assessment

An evaluation process which can include interviews, document reviews, on-site audits, analysis of data and reports. A process of collecting and analysing data to determine the status of an organisation.

Assessment Tools

Assessment tools gather information through various methods including observation, interviews, questionnaires etc.

Balanced Scorecard

The characteristic of the balanced scorecard is the presentation of a mixture of financial and non-financial measures within a single concise report. The report is not meant to be a replacement for traditional financial or operational reports but is a summary that captures the information most relevant to the organisation.

Baseline measurement

The beginning point (baseline) measurement. As changes are introduced, the performance of the organisation can continue to be measured and then compared to the baseline to see how much progress is being made over time.

Benchmark

A standard by which something can be measured or judged. The performance of an organisation is measured against a benchmark such as the standards set by a high-performing ‘like’ organisation.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the comparison of one organisation's practices and performance against those of others. It seeks to identify standards, or ‘best practices’ to apply in measuring and improving performance.

Best Practice

Best practice is a superior method or innovative practice that contributes to the improved performance of an organisation, usually recognised as ‘best’ by other peer organisations.

Branch Assessment

An assessment focussed on the whole of your organisation. Done individually by any number of people in your organisation, the participants choose their branch (set up by your organisation) and also their ‘type’ – staff, volunteer or board. The combined report includes some additional results using this information.

Change Management

A systematic approach to dealing with change from the perspective of an organisation.

Chart

A tool for organising, summarising and depicting data in graphic form.

Collaboration

Two or more parties sharing resources and working intensively with one another, sometimes in a formal partnership, to achieve a common goal.

Continuous Improvement (CI)

Continuous improvement is the ongoing improvement of services; an ongoing quest for improvement in all aspects of an organisation. The goal is to increase effectiveness by reducing inefficiencies (eg, rework, wasted time, duplicated effort, unnecessary use of materials, etc).

Data

Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.

Decision-Making

The process of identifying and selecting a course of action, often from several alternative scenarios, to solve a specific problem.

Effectiveness

The extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results achieved.

Efficiency

Relationship between the result achieved and the resources used, specifically the extent to which time, effort or cost is well used for the intended task or purpose.

Evaluation

Assessing the effectiveness of an ongoing programme or organisation in achieving its objectives.

Goal

A goal is a targeted achievement, a future aim.

Governance

Derived from the Greek ‘to steer’, governance is the act of governing and is the primary means of maintaining oversight and accountability in an organisation. It includes the establishment of policies, and continuous monitoring of their proper implementation, by the members of the governing body of an organisation.

Indicator

Something that indicates the state or level of something, a pointer or index. (see also Key Performance Indicator)

Induction

Orientation and training of new employees into the organisational culture; a formal introduction to an organisation.

Information Management

Information management is the collection and management of information from one or more sources and the distribution of that information to the right people at the right time.

Inputs

Resources put into an organisation to carry out an activity. Inputs may be human, material, financial, or expressed as time.

Innovation

The creation of new approaches to solving problems, or creating opportunities; introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A KPI is a type of performance measure of how well an organisation is doing. KPI’s are the critical set of measures that provide an indication of the extent to which an organisation is achieving its major objectives. A very common way for organisations to choose KPIs is to apply a management framework such as the balanced scorecard.

Measure

Measures are assessment tools used to ascertain levels of performance.

Mentoring

A relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person or organisation helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person or organisation; an ongoing relationship of learning, dialogue, and challenge.

Mission

A statement of the purpose of an organisation, its reason for existing.

Multiple Participant Assessment

An assessment done individually by any number of people in your organisation that includes results by participant ‘type’ – staff, volunteer or board. The combined report includes some additional results using this information.

Objective

A specific statement of a desired short term achievement; the planned areas of activity by which an organisation is going to achieve its aims.

Operational

Relating to the routine functioning and activities of an organisation; the business functions carried out on a day-to-day basis.

Organisation

A group of people and facilities with a formalised arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships.

Organisational Aim

Describes why the organisation exists and the difference it wants to make. Aims can be overall or more specific.

Organisational Culture

The written and unwritten rules that shape and reflect the way an organisation operates; the behaviour of people within an organisation. Culture includes the organisation’s values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs and habits. Organisational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders.

Organisational Effectiveness

The ability of an organisation to achieve its mission through a blend of sound management, strong governance, and dedication to achieving results.

Organisational Structure

The formal system of working relationships within an organisation, showing the reporting relationships between different functions and positions of the management and staff.

Outcome

An end result; a consequence. The changes, benefits, learning or other effects that happen as a result of services and activities provided by an organisation.

Outcome Measure

Evaluation of the results of an activity, plan, process, or programme and their comparison with the intended or projected results.

Output

What an organisation produces in a certain timeframe - the activities, services and products provided by that organisation.

Overall Aim

Describes why the organisation exists and the broad effect it wants to have. It summarises the difference that an organisation wants to make and is often linked to the mission, vision or purpose of the organisation.

Policies and Procedures

A set of policies are the principles, rules, and guidelines formulated or adopted by an organisation to reach its long-term goals. Policies are the course of action or guidelines to be followed; procedures outline what has to be done to implement the policies.

Process

A set of related activities which are designed to convert inputs into outputs.

Professional Development

The process of improving and increasing capabilities of staff through access to education and training opportunities in the workplace, through outside organisations, or through watching others perform the job; the acquisition of skills and knowledge both for personal development and for career advancement.

Single User Assessment

A NZ Navigator assessment completed by one person on behalf of an organisation. Information can be gathered from offline discussions within the organisation.

Stakeholder

A person or organisation with a legitimate interest or concern in a project or an organisation.

Strategic Planning

The process by which an organisation envisions its future and develops strategies, goals, objectives and action plans to achieve that future.

Strategic Relationship

An agreement between two or more entities to conduct certain activities or processes, to achieve specific objectives.

Sustainability

In organisational terms, sustainability involves the potential for long-term ‘survival’ or the capacity to endure.

Systems Thinking

A process of understanding how different aspects of the organisation work together to influence the state of the organisation as a whole.

Target

A target specifies the quantity and quality of outputs and outcomes that the organisation aspires to. They are specific, measurable and time-bound results.

Trend

A general direction in which something is developing or changing.

Value Statement

The core beliefs that shape the vision and guide the organisation's day-to-day actions.

Vision

A statement about the way an organisation wants to be; its ideal ‘state’ at a future point.

Vision Statement

Describes the organisation's preferred future.

Work Environment

A set of conditions under which work is performed; the physical geographical location, general surroundings and conditions.

Contact

Questions, comments and requests should be submitted via email to info@nznavigator.org.nz.

NZ Navigator initiative partners

  • Platform Trust
  • The Bishop's Action Foundation
  • Department of Internal Affairs

Software developer

  • Rabid Technologies Limited