Do you want to increase transparency, accountability, and evidence-based decisions within your business or organization? Performance Management is the key to all of these, but sometimes this concept can seem complex and intimidating. With more than 10 years of professional experience in business development, merger optimization, and Performance Management, I can assure you—Performance Management does not have to be complicated to be effective.

Performance Management has been around in many forms for the past 30 years. However, with the recent influx of attention and priority on Performance Management, the process of managing performance to goals seems to be getting pretty sophisticated.

Currently, big data is all the rage for private and public sector organizations. Some public sector organizations, in particular, have everything from dashboards to statistic programs that can tell you when someone ordered a coffee, how much they paid for it, and how it contributed to the revenue of the city. This information might be helpful, but do organizations really need to dive that deep to get value out of their Performance Management approach? I don’t think so.

Many organizations that have implemented true change to their Performance Management approach will tell you the same thing: Keep it simple. Incremental changes to business process can have a significant impact on performance. When you’re finally able to submit a request for a new system, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck with all of the bells and whistles—totally understandable. Before making any big decisions, you should make the following considerations in order to find the right solution to meet your needs.

Prioritize the Requirements
It is important for the project team to look at a performance management solution and identify what the must-haves are; know what you need, know what would be nice to have, and know what would be an added bonus. After prioritizing the requirements, you should define why they’re necessary. Ask yourself: how will the requirements manage performance better? This type of prioritization can streamline the implementation.

The requirements that fall in the nice-to-have and bonus buckets may require a little more attention and effort from the team, because they may mean more difficult functionality and additional customization for your organization. These luxury requirements tend to eat up project time and provide minimal value compared to the critical requirements. For example, you may want to have individual dashboarding capabilities to map a custom value stream for each manager and their processes. This is a wonderful feature, which could potentially provide value. However, aligning goals to budget could be done first before comprehensive dashboarding is implemented. By prioritizing the former ahead of the latter, you can start immediately impacting decisions in your organization.

Phase the Implementation
After you prioritize your requirements, you may want to consider phasing your implementation. This enhances performance management projects on three fronts:

  1. Business process design – Performance management is about changing the way you do business. A success factor should be how the new business processes define that management.
  2. Technical implementation – Your technical implementation should support the new business process.
  3. Change management – The paradigm shift within the organization to manage goals, strategies, and outcomes is a process in itself that needs time.

If you can break up a project management implementation over time, the organization can update their approach and make sure the processes, technical system, and change management plan effectively reaches your staff.

Pack the Biggest Punch with Simplicity
Performance management is all about the way you run your business, serving the ultimate purpose of bringing accountability, transparency, and evidenced-based decisions to your organization. An implemented solution should be accessible and understandable to all staff members. The reasoning for certain dashboards should be evident by all the users. The methodology should not be overly-complicated or full of jargon.

Your performance management solution is the vehicle to transform your organization, not a program in itself. The key players in the organization are your employees; they need to know what you are saying and how your ideas impact their decisions. If these messages get lost in a sea of data, reports, graphs, and calculations, your staff will not understand what it has to do with them. I think we all can remember sitting in our high school Calculus class thinking, “When will I ever use this outside of school?” That type of disengagement from the start is never good. With your new performance management solution, you want to make sure that everyone is aware and engaged from the get-go. Build on simplicity and enhance capability over time—your staff will thank you.

TrueNorth, an exclusive BTRG solution set, is the market’s leading performance management consulting service, designed specifically for public sector organizations.
BTRG has been providing business process improvement, transformation, and re-engineering services to enterprise-level and public sector organizations for two decades.

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