In the corporate world it’s an amazing feat that progress and delivery actually happens. In today’s society everyone lives, shops, plays in relative harmony with each other even though of the diverse differences between people. Inside the walls of a business, especially 1,000+ people size companies, having to get a team of diversity work together toward a common goal is a near impossible task.
However, it is possible with the right vision and control over that vision through capable business management. Top to bottom businesses deliver at varying levels of success through the success of the drivers or managers of the process.
So how do they do it? The key to success is through measurements and management of performance. Simple, right? How can you work toward a goal unless you measure the progress? How do you make a course correction unless you manage against those measurements?
Performance measurement is a process that a department / project / business function assesses and evaluates the extent to which it’s accomplishing a specific objective, goal or mission. By itself just measuring is not enough. In my experience the management followup is where things fail, stall and fall apart. How many colorful swim lanes have you been a part of creating to only look at it a year later and chuckle at the utter lack of follow up to it?
Performance management is the link between a company’s strategy, investments, and processes. Performance management is a comprehensive management process.
Measuring performance provides a manager, teams and the company many benefits:
- Enables decision making, the more you are informed the better decisions can be made
- Manage by results not by politics, emotion and/or assumption
- Promotes and enhances accountability
- Easy to distinguish between program success and failure
- Allows for learning and improvement
- Helps justify budget requests, teams that can get the job done get the money
- Optimize the investments, businesses want to get full value from their investments. People, technology, services, etc…
- Provides a means of performance comparisons, whether project to project or across teams
- Fulfills mandates
- Becomes a catalyst for change
For a business that does not measure performance they probably experience these situations:
- Do not know whats going on in their department
- No basis for effective decision making and supporting those decisions regarding investments, plans, policies, schedules and structures
- Cannot communicate performance expectations to subordinates
- Cannot identify performance gaps that should be analyzed, corrected or eliminated
- Cannot provide feedback on performance against a standard
- Cannot reward top, consistent performers
Like with anything you can go overboard and saturate the effort and be counterproductive with your measurements. Depending on your project you may or may not measure everything you can but what you need in order to manage to the goal. That’s the key, manage to the goal. Measurements should be meaningful, directly related to the project, department, and goal. Measurements should be valuable through managing the most important activities. The measurements should be balanced, don’t focus on one aspect of the project like recording hours. If you only focus on measuring on the team’s ability to record hours on time and completely you will not focus on the quality, efficiency or timely delivery of the project. You need to measure them all and comprehensively manage them. Most important the measurements should be simple, easy to calculate and can be understood by anyone looking at it.
Management, as much ridicule and jokes as it gets, is the vital glue to allow businesses big and small to deliver and grow. Having all the tools at your fingertips and used across the enterprise are useless unless there is a management structure to do something about it.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.