WOW! What a Cool Performance Report!

January 19, 2009 by Stacey Barr

How fast you can get from “We need some measures,” to “Wow, what a cool performance report!”, the better.

We all know that one of the big reasons people will fight tooth and nail to avoid measuring performance is that it’s hard and boring (at least from a newbie’s or cynic’s perspective).

And it’s no help that people see performance measurement taking so damn long to get implemented.

So it’s probably no surprise that my PuMP Performance Measure Facilitators say the best part of their program is when they produce the first properly designed performance report with their teams.

One PuMP Facilitator said it was the point that it all came clear to his team just why they were putting the effort into measuring.

As a performance measure practitioner yourself, one of your own measures ought to be the cycle time to get from “We need some measures,” to “Wow, what a cool performance report!” And track that cycle time for each performance measurement implementation assignment you undertake within your organisation.

So how can you reduce this cycle time from the typical year or more, to mere weeks? Try these ideas on for size:

1. focus your team on measuring just one goal or one performance result first time through
2. treat it as a pilot test – don’t try to perfect and complete it all, just get a first cut measure established
3. give a deadline to each step in the measurement process, and get as good as you can within the deadline rather than waiting for perfection before starting the next step
4. make sure your measures team has allocated enough time to work on measures each week
5. have the measures team’s manager regularly pop in for updates

The sooner you have your colleagues using measures they value, the faster you’ll ramp up the performance culture and the faster everything else will improve!

YOUR CHALLENGE:
Reflect on how long, on average, it’s been taking your colleagues to get from wanting measures to actually having those measures ready to use, in performance reports. Then set a target to reduce that time by 50% and set about streamlining your measure creation process!

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  1. Francois van der Walt says:

    Stacey,
    I cannot agree more with focusing on one performance goal and take it all the way through to the report. I normally tell the story of how, when the miners in Tasmania were rescued, an initial pilot hole were drilled. Only once the exact location of the miners and the fact that they were alive were established, was the big machines brought in to drill a hole through which the miners were taken out. The initial pilot hole made it possible to pass food and air to the miners so they were kept alive during the time it took to create a hole through which they could crawl. Similarly by taking one performance measure through to the reporting stage might very well be what is needed to keep the Performance Measure project “alive”. In facilitations I try and deliver a report on one measure within one day so people can feel the excitement.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I like the idea of getting something out there initially to start measureing and keep adding to it. Great tip, thanks 🙂

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