Performance Reference Model


The Performance Reference Model (PRM) is a framework within the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) that is used to measure the success of technology investments and their impact on strategic outcomes. It provides a standardized approach for assessing performance in relation to business objectives and customer service. Essentially, PRM helps in evaluating the effectiveness, efficiency, and compliance of IT processes and systems.


The phonetics of “Performance Reference Model” is: pər-fôr-məns ref-ər-ənts mä-dəl

Key Takeaways

Sure, here you go:

  1. The Performance Reference Model (PRM) is a framework that allows government agencies to measure their performance in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and output. This is vital for assessing the value of IT investments and making informed decisions.
  2. PRM provides a common language for different institutions to communicate and tackle issues that pertain to performance, inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes. This enables cross-agency comparison and promotes seamless collaboration between different institutions.
  3. As part of the Federal Enterprise Architecture, the PRM helps in achieving strategic outcomes by providing a baseline to compare performance across organizations, enhancing decision making, promoting reusability of business components, and fostering interoperability among different departments.


The Performance Reference Model (PRM) is an important term in technology because it provides a framework for measuring the performance of IT investments and their impact on business operations. The PRM allows business leaders to evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness, and overall quality of outcomes generated from their IT investments. It serves as a tool to analyze the strategic alignment of technology with business objectives, identify gaps or redundancies in IT services, and facilitate clear communication about IT performance across the organization. Thus, the PRM ultimately supports decision-making and promotes the optimal use of resources in IT management.


The Performance Reference Model (PRM) is an integral part of an enterprise architecture framework, specifically designed to support and enable the business-driven investment decision-making process. The primary purpose of PRM is to establish a consistent approach and common language for describing and communicating performance information throughout an organization. This model is utilized to measure the performance of major IT investments and their contribution to program performance.

PRM is foremost a tool used for facilitating improved enterprise-level decision-making. It aids organizations in monitoring and measuring the success of their IT initiatives and investments by focusing on output and outcome measures.

For instance, it can help ascertain whether specific technologies, systems, or processes are yielding the desired results or meeting intended goals. It’s a key part in evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of IT investments, contributing significantly to the overall improvement of managerial and business processes.


1. Federal Enterprise ArchitectureThe Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) within the U.S. Federal Government uses the Performance Reference Model (PRM) to improve the performance of IT investments by providing a uniform framework for measuring IT performance. The PRM helps identify process improvements and eliminate redundancies, ultimately enhancing the efficacy and efficiency of government operations.

2. Healthcare IndustryIn healthcare, many organizations use a Performance Reference Model to enhance their IT systems’ performance and improve patient care. For example, a hospital may use a PRM to optimize its electronic health record (EHR) system, ensuring the accurate and timely access to patient information, thereby improving diagnostic and treatment procedures.

3. Retail IndustryMany retail businesses use PRMs to optimize their e-commerce platforms. The model can help evaluate the performance of different technical solutions, comparing the speed, reliability, ability to scale up to meet demand, etc. The result is the ability to choose and implement technology that improves the customer shopping experience, leading to increased customer satisfaction and potentially higher sales.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is the Performance Reference Model (PRM)?

A: The Performance Reference Model is one of five reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA). It is a framework used for performance measurement that aids in the strategic management, investment, and delivery of IT services.

Q: What is the main purpose of the PRM?

A: The PRM aims to improve the strategic planning of investments in IT. It provides a standardized method to assess the outcomes and performance of these investments.

Q: To what fields is the PRM applicable?

A: The PRM can be used in any field that handles IT services and requires the management of IT investments. This includes businesses, federal agencies, and other organizations.

Q: How is the PRM structured?

A: The PRM is structured in three measurement categories: mission performance, customer results, and technology/IT performance. Each of these categories contains specific measurement areas, indicator categories, and indicators.

Q: What is the relationship between the PRM and the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA)?

A: The PRM is one of five reference models within the FEA. The FEA uses the PRM as a structure to assess overall performance, measure the success of IT investments, and identify potential performance gaps.

Q: Does the PRM represent IT investments in a quantitative way?

A: Yes, the PRM uses quantitative metrics to measure the success of IT investments. These measurements allow for more strategic management of IT investments.

Q: What improvements does the PRM offer to an organization’s IT investments?

A: The PRM provides a unified approach to measuring IT investments, identifies areas for improvement, facilitates strategic planning, and enables the sharing of proven IT practices across the organization.

Related Tech Terms

  • Business Process Improvement (BPI)
  • Service Component Reference Model (SCRM)
  • Enterprise Architecture (EA)
  • Performance Measure
  • Technology Roadmap

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms