General Thoughts

Performance Management

 

Let us play a game of extremes:

 

Can you imagine being in an existing business and no goals exist?  The business as a whole would not have any sales or profit goals – whatever they sell, they sell and whatever profit they make is fine with them.  None of the departments have goals they are trying to reach; salesmen have no goals; managers have no goals, and employees have no goals.  Not even processes have goals (throw out Deming).  A goal-less company.

 

Now imagine a company management team that sets revenue and profit goals (in relation to the environment in which it exists). 

  • Those goals are reviewed and approved by the Board and will be part of the input used in evaluating the performance of the management team. 
  • The departments and process owners then establish performance requirements that support the overall performance goals of the business.  Those goals are reviewed and approved by the CEO and will be part of the input in evaluating the performance of the department leads and process owners.
  • Individual employees (Directors and Managers) then establish performance requirements that support the overall performance goals of the departments and processes.  Those goals are reviewed and approved by the department leads and process owners and will be part of the input in evaluating the performance of the individual employees.
  • At the end of the day there will be analysis to see what went right, what could have been done differently, what should be done the following year (design, implementation, execution and management – what has to change?).

 

Which company do you think is more likely to be successful?  How do you drive a company forward without creating a vision, mission, goals and strategies; designing your business to be able to execute those strategies and attain those goals; staffing the business with the right people to execute the strategies and design; creating a plan (road map) on how to get you to where you want to go; and then managing the design, strategies and execution?  When I speak about Performance Management that is what I am referring to.

 

Performance Management is not only concerned about goals and expectations but also about having clear roles and responsibilities defined and implemented.  I too have been involved with many companies and have experienced first hand what happens when departments are stepping on each other’s toes.  More time is wasted on pointing fingers and trying to garner control than on the success of the business.  Each area becomes it own fiefdom, self-centered and the performance of the business is adversely affected.

 

I can not place Process Management or Performance Management above one another.  To me they are so interwoven that without either one the business suffers.  You can have a great process design but unless it is fully implemented and executed the way it was designed to be executed then the process performance suffers and subsequently so does the business.

 

This was my response to a discussion on LinkedIn.  For those not familiar with my views, there is yet one other form of management necessary for any professional organization and that is Project Management.  I will refrain from expounding on the value of project management.  Suffice it to say that without it companies will talk in many languages, projects will grow out of scope and more money and time will be spent to complete them.

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