The frequency with which you track an individual goal should match the frequency of data availability. For example, if you want to track water pressure throughout the distribution system on a monthly basis, but operators only measure the pressure once a quarter, something has to change. Either the utility needs to change the way it operates and take monthly readings or the goal should be evaluated quarterly as data become available. If it will take considerable time to collect data for tracking a goal, the frequency should probably be less to reduce costs. If elected officials want information regarding a particular goal for every board meeting or on some routine basis, such as semi-annually, the frequency of tracking can be set to match the need for the information.

Similarly, the frequency of communication to customers can also be used to set the time frame for tracking a goal. If the utility has an annual meeting with its members, then the goal can be communicated annually and maybe it doesn't need to be tracked more often than that. If the utility has a quarterly newsletter, then the goal may be tracked on a quarterly basis to provide information to the newsletter. Lastly, the utility should consider how often it is possible to make adjustments to the goal in determining how often to measure it. If adjustments can only be made on a quarterly basis, then collecting data on a monthly basis is too frequent.

Similarly, collecting on an annual basis is too infrequent. An example of this type of situation is the following. Assume the utility has set a goal of responding to breaks within 6 hours during normal business hours. The utility has a contract with an operator to respond to breaks. The utility can only change the contract on an annual basis. In this scenario, even if the utility finds that one contract operator can not meet the goal of 6 hours after the first quarter, it won't be able to make an adjustment until the end of the year when it comes time to renew the contract. In this case, measuring annually, or semi-annually will make more sense than measuring monthly.

The main point regarding frequency of measuring progress towards meeting goals is that there should be a balance between the amount of resources it takes to get the data (time and money) and measure progress, and the importance of having the data.

An example of goals and tracking to see if goals are met is shown above.