#39 QUIZ: Have You Got What It Takes To Be A Performance Measurement Leader?

February 12, 2010 by Stacey Barr

There are no professional guidelines (yet) which define what it means to be a Performance Measurement Practitioner – not like there are for Accountants, Project Managers, Finance Officers and Engineers. So there’s little wonder that there are so many talented and capable performance measurement practitioners out there who are underselling themselves.

Are you one of them? Find out with this quiz:

Q1: How much of your time do you spend – or should you spend – on performance measurement activities?

Performance Measurement Practitioners routinely spend at least 40% of their work time devoted to a broad range of performance measurement activities, including the selection of measures aligned to strategy, collection and collation of performance data, analysis and reporting of performance, interpreting and using performance measures to improve performance.

If you spend a good deal of your time on at least half of the following activities, then you very likely should be calling yourself a Performance Measurement Practitioner:

  • data collation
  • performance report production
  • designing or developing performance dashboards/scorecards
  • performance data analysis
  • helping people choose KPIs/measures
  • linking KPIs/measures to strategy
  • explaining or teaching performance measurement concepts to colleagues
  • using performance measures to guide performance improvement projects/activities

Q2: Have you had some exposure to structured performance measurement methodologies?

Performance Measurement Practitioners will have at least a rudimentary working knowledge of one or more formally structured and tested performance measurement approaches, such as the Balanced Scorecard, the Six Sigma Scorecard, the Performance Prism, PuMP® or the Performance Measure Blueprint(TM).

This means that you:

  • have read the book or done the course to learn the approach
  • have lead, been involved or witnessed close-hand the implementation of the approach
  • can successfully describe how this approach works to a colleague

Q3: Can you design and implement simple business projects?

Performance Measurement Practitioners need to have reasonable project management skills and experience, because managing a performance measurement implementation, and a corporate performance management system, needs planning of tasks, milestones and resources.

You’ll have gotten this skill if you have:

  • been a project manager
  • worked in a small project team on a project that was well-managed
  • taken a project management course
  • lead a group of people through the steps to define, analyse, design, implement and successfully achieve a solution to a problem

Q4: Are you confident with your presentation and facilitation skills?

Performance Measurement Practitioners need to feel confident with presenting to groups, and also managing group interactions and dynamics in workshop settings, because they run a lot of meetings with teams to plan and implement various aspects of the performance measurement system.

There are several ways you’ll know you have these skills too:

  • taken a presentation skills course
  • learned how to engage an audience through the failures and successes of your personal experience
  • role-modeled a manager or other colleague with great presentation/facilitation skills
  • get regular feedback from people in your “audiences” on your great presentation style

Q5: Can you speak about performance measurement in a way that engages your colleagues?

Performance Measurement Practitioners work with internal client teams to design and implement the organisation’s performance measurement system – they don’t do it on their own! So they must be able to engage their colleagues to commit to implementing the performance measurement process with them.

You get a ‘yes’ to this quiz question if you have:

  • offered advice on performance measurement that your colleagues acted on
  • opened people’s minds to what good measurement means, and why it matters, through your conversations with them
  • offered to facilitate meetings with people to help them with measures, and they accepted
  • given feedback to colleagues on their measures, which was openly received and considered
  • often been sought out for advice or tips or resources to do with performance measurement

Q6: Do you feel passionate about performance measurement?

Performance Measurement Practitioners have a passion for performance measurement and the profound transformation it can effect for an organisation. They also have a passion for learning and refining their capability, as a significant component of their career path.

You know you have the passion when you:

  • collect books, articles, newsletters and websites on performance measurement for your personal library (and read them!)
  • find yourself automatically asking people when they talk about goals, “And how will you measure your success with that?”
  • feel a surge of motivation and inspiration when you are reminded of how organisations have been transformed by measuring the right stuff
  • develop your own little systems to help you with measuring performance, like your own KPI library, templates and ready-to-go PowerPoints

Just like any quiz, the value is not in right or wrong answers. The value comes from considering the questions and seeing what comes up for you. So, how do you feel NOW about having what it takes to be a performance leader, or Performance Measurement Practitioner?

TAKING ACTION:
What value would being a Performance Measurement Practitioner have for your career? Start with describing yourself in your ideal role 3 to 5 years from now, and then describe how you got there. You’ll be surprised how powerful it is to plan from the end-point looking backward, compared with the traditional approach of planning from the start-point looking forward! (And you may want to take another look at the PuMP Certification Program for 2010 – perhaps you ARE ready!)

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  1. Steve Mason says:

    Hi Stacey,

    Good article as usual. I changed jobs about a year ago and the main issue I need to tackle is poorly written objectives coupled with unrelated KPIs. Because of this, there is little interest in performance measures. Wish me luck!
    Steve

    • Stacey Barr says:

      Steve, GOOD LUCK! 😉

      Although, luck is not really what you need, as you know. If you can highlight that the reason for the unrelated and not useful KPIs is the way the objectives are written, and you can show examples of well written objectives with meaningful KPIs, you’ll have more leverage than luck. It’s easier to see how we can improve our performance measures when we understand that we can change our approach to choosing them.

      Smiles, Stacey.

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