innovation lab

Track Cost, Time and Customer Satisfaction

At Google, measures are the basis for determining the success of an idea, but the measures are not prescriptive; in some instances an idea’s impact may be measured in terms of profit, in others it may be in terms of customer satisfaction, or user adoption.

In the public sector, cost, time and customer satisfaction are key metrics to follow. Measures are used for judging the viability of an idea and determining which ones should move forward. They are also used to report on the impact of innovation.


ITD’s Innovation Team maintains an Excel-based tracking tool that tracks the following measures:

  • Number of implemented ideas with hours savings
  • Annualized hours saved from implemented innovations
  • Number of implemented ideas with dollar savings
  • Annualized dollars saved from implemented innovations
  • Number of implemented ideas with customer service improvement

Innovation Scorecards - Some divisions of ITD use an innovation scorecard, which is used to set targets each year for how many ideas employees think they can generate and how much money they can save the organization this year.  Some employees find the scorecard helpful while others feel the scorecard results in poorer quality ideas due to a focus on the quantity of ideas.

  • Lean Six Sigma Measures - Caltrans measures progress in employee training and cost savings as part of the Lean Six-Sigma program. 
  • Strategic Management Plan Measures - One of the strategic goals included in the Caltrans Strategic Management Plan is to “promote a positive work environment and implement a management system to maximize accomplishments, encourage innovation and creativity, and ensure staff performance is aligned with Department and State strategic goals.”  The measures associated with this goal that address aspects of innovation culture include:
  • Percent of Caltrans employees who agree, or strongly agree, that employees are encouraged to try new ideas and new ways of doing things to improve Caltrans - with a target to reach 75 percent by 2016 and maintain a level of at least at 75 percent through 2020.
  • Number of ‘Superior Accomplishment Awards’ and/or ‘Merit Awards’ given each year that specifically recognize innovation and creativity.
  • Percent of employees with performance plans that emphasize innovation and creativity, and that support organizational goal 


Organizational culture, innovation and performance: A test of Schein’s Model: Although this model portrays organizational values as the foundation underlying cultural emergence and change, it also presents opportunities to individually assess and manage specific culture layers to enhance innovation.

Innovation management measurement.  This article explores ways to evaluate innovation processes rather than just innovation inputs/outputs.