Updated: Nov 14, 2021
Outcomes are the effects of capabilities which means that you if you want to advance your outcomes you need to advance your capabilities. The purpose of a management program is to adjust system set-points to the values needed (i.e. Minimal Viable Performance - MVP) to achieve the desired outcomes.
This works the same way that a thermostat works in your home. If you want to feel warmer you need to increase the thermostat to a higher value. It is then the responsibility of the heating system to first achieve and then maintain that value. This is called a persistent achievement obligation.
You may find that your compliance systems do not have the capabilities you need to achieve and then to maintain your higher standards. There are three categories of measures to help you know if your systems are operating at levels to meet persistent achievement obligations. These are:
Measures of conformance - evidentiary artifacts that demonstrate conformance to requirements
Measures of performance - abilities to meet compliance objectives
Measures of effectiveness - progress against compliance outcomes towards zero: non-conformance, injuries, violations, emissions, etc.
Internal and external audits mostly focus on verifying conformance. However, the purpose of the compliance function goes further to ensure that safety, quality, environmental, and regulatory systems are operating at the levels needed to achieve targeted outcomes. This requires an integrated approach focused not only on conformance to each element but also how each element performs in the context of the entire system.