The importance of measuring performance in the modern sports organisation

In the recent past, the world’s sporting organisations have transformed from mainly amateur bodies to fully professionalised ones.

However, one of the things that we still see from medium and smaller sized sporting organisations in particular, is a lack of clarity around the measurement of performance. There remains an element of ‘gut feeling’ when considering how the organisation has performed in a given time period, and little emphasis is placed on standardized measurements and metrics.

At TSE we have always believed in the importance of such performance measurement systems in sporting bodies. We have helped a number of our clients in adapting solutions such as the Balanced Scorecard to their organisations needs in order to help them guage, and therefore improve their own performance.

This experience has shown us that the first step in this process is for management to understand why implementing a standardized, systematic approach to performance improvement is so important.

There are 3 key reasons why this is the case.



  1. Management

There is a popular saying in management science that says “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. In other words, having a performance measurement standard can communicate clearly and concisely what success should look like to a manager. This can help them tailor their management activities towards this success as opposed to success remaining an abstract and unclear priority.

  1. Focus

Having set measurement standards helps to provide a focus on activities. As these standards are generally quantifiable and time related, this puts a natural urgency on the related tasks. The clear result of this is to increase the likelihood of task completion.

  1. Results

Having performance measurement standards helps to illustrate whether success is forthcoming or not. Without a commonly recognised standard for performance measurement, people can often work wastefully and towards divergent goals. A robust measurement performance system helps managers ascertain whether they are going in the right direction or not.


Modern sporting bodies should be looking at performance measurement systems as the ground floor of a professionalised approach. While installing performance measurement metrics is not always easy in practice, the first step should always be management understanding why they are needed in the first place. The three reasons outlined above – management, focus and results – neatly summarises this. Perhaps it is time for your organisation to consider your approach to performance measurement?

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Dan O'Toole
7 December, 2015

The importance of measuring performance in the modern sports organisation

Of course in the modern sports landscape, a more professional approach is needed and systematic performance measurement is a fundamental component of this. We have examined this previously in considering the application of the Balanced Scorecard to the modern sports organisation. But why is measurement so important? Why would is it wrong to let the various departmental objectives run on auto-pilot and go with gut instinct?

Dan O'Toole, TSE Consulting
12 November, 2015

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