Performance Reference Model

What Does Performance Reference Model Mean?

A performance reference model (PRM) is one of several reference models used in describing Federal Enterprise Architecture, which provides a methodology for IT acquisition within the US government.


The Performance Reference Model is a standardized model to measure the performance of major IT investments as well as their contribution to program performance.

Techopedia Explains Performance Reference Model

The three purposes of PRM are to improve daily and strategic decision-making, to improve understanding and descriptions of inputs and outputs to align them for a clear “line-of-sight” to the desired results, and to identify opportunities for improved performance for a wide variety of traditional organizational structures and boundaries.

Existing approaches used include the following:

Balanced Scorecard: This is a report of a mixture of financial and non-financial measures compared to target values as a succinct summary capturing the most relevant information.
Baldrige Criteria: This is a methodology for achieving business excellence.
Value Measuring Methodology: This is a tool to aid balancing tangible and intangible values when making investment decisions; it also helps monitor the benefits.
Program Logic Models: This describes how an intervention, possibly a project or program or policy, can logically produce specific results.
The Value Chain: This references the value added by each activity a product passes through prior to delivery of the final product.
The Theory of Constraints: This is a management philosophy to aid organizations achieve goals consistently by seeking a constraint (or many constraints) and thereby restructuring the organization around that one (or those) constraint(s).
PRM also includes four measurement areas: Mission and Business Results, Customer Results, Processes and Activities, and Technology.

Other reference models include Business Reference Model, Service Component Reference Model, Data Reference Model and Technical Reference Model.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…