By Mark Samuel
A few years back, a client of mine implemented a Performance Management System to assist managers in coaching their direct reports. The company spent nearly one year customizing the system to work for their organization, culture and business. That is a lot of time, money, and resources spent on developing their employees.
Yet, just one year after the PMS was completed, the project was deemed a failure. A task force was created to develop a brand new Performance Management System – one that would work this time.
What happened with the original system?
The truth is no one really knew if the previous Performance Management System worked. No one was using it. The issue was not the system itself, but the accountability of the managers using it. It didn’t matter how they were to change the Performance Management System if people weren’t going to use it anyway.
Tracking is less about evaluation and more about learning. In the final part of our series, learn how to use tracking and measurement to achieve real results instead of as a simple evaluation tool.
Launching a B STATE Transformation
Part 6: Track and Learn to Stay on the Leading Edge
Today, most organizations are good about tracking results. Scorecards and dashboards are established and reviewed to turn projects and goals from Red to Yellow to Green (or, from off-target to on-target). The problem is that in most cases during evaluation, the conversation is about the individual accountability of the person responsible for the target and what they can do differently to improve the score.
What if they tried to find the source of the breakdown instead?
- Is it a lack of accountability or is it a lack of getting information or a decision from upper management or another department?
- Is it someone needing to work harder and more diligently or is it a competing priority, a lack of resources, or poor coordination with other departments?
Instead of giving a basic evaluation and receiving a commitment to change, what if there was a “deeper dive” into the challenges that prevent a project from being on schedule in order to truly solve the issue once and for all?
It is possible. Here are 3 tips for using tracking and measurement to foster Leading Edge Positioning.
Step 1: Establish Measurements for Outcomes and Execution
Establishing measurements for outcomes is easy. It’s even better if you are tracking the executions to achieve those outcomes, rather than actions.
Execution involves the strategy, coordination, collaboration and communication that has been agreed upon by all involved to produce results. Are the results of that level of execution being tracked? If not, you may not be clear on the root causes involved with missing measurable outcomes.
Step 2: Ensure that Completed Milestones and Projects are Consistent with your B STATE Picture of Success
Organizations cannot be successful with isolated activities, but individuals or departments may have isolated outcomes to accomplish. I regularly witness groups checking tasks off their list without inspecting the quality of their output. What was the quality, the level of information sharing, and the effectiveness of the output to ensure that others are set up for success?
Athletic teams and music groups are less concerned with playing the right part, and more concerned with playing the part that makes everyone else sound and look good.
Step 3: Keep Tracking and Measurement Focused on Future State Effectiveness
While it’s the priority to accomplish the desired outcomes for your current goals, you almost always want to have your eye on the future – customer trends, competitive advancements, changing marketplace, economic fluctuations and industry expectations. If you only track performance to current standards, you will not keep up or build the muscle of thinking, behavior and action to meet the demands of the future – always playing catch up and crisis management.
Prepare your organization and team members for the expectations needed in the future, and see how their ingenuity and inspiration drives you toward your picture of success.
If you missed Parts 1-5 of Launching a B STATE Transformation, click links below to catch up:
- Part 1: Creating a Compelling Picture of Success
- Part 2: Communicating Your Picture of Success – Your New Reality
- Part 3: Creating a Mindset Change that People Can Act On Immediately
- Part 4: Developing New Habits of Collective Execution
- Part 5: Proactive Recovery Plans – The Secret to Success