Performance Management for any Application: What is “Performance”?

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    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Adapted from Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development

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    Overview of Performance Management Process for any Application

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    What Does “Performance” Mean?

    Every organization has a set of overall preferred results that it wants to accomplish. The results might be implied to its members or explicitly conveyed to them. That is true, whether the organization is large or small. It is true for any of the parts of the organization that are working toward their own results, for example, a department, program, team or an individual in the organization. Each of these has a recurring set of activities — a system — aimed toward achieving its desired results

    In the context of performance management, the term “performance” means continually achieving the preferred results in a manner that is as effective and efficient as possible. Performance management reminds us that being busy is not the same as producing results. It reminds us that training, strong commitment and lots of hard work alone are not results.

    To sustain strong performance, all of the parts of the system must be closely integrated and aligned toward actively achieving the desired results. Only then can it be said that it is highly performing.

    See Maximum Performance — Different Things to Different People

    Here’s a story that further explains what “performance” really is — in this case, in an organization.

    So Performance Management Applies to More than Employees

    Typically, we think of performance in organizations, we think of the performance of employees. However, performance management should also be focused on:
    1. The organization
    2. Each of its departments (computer support, administration, sales, etc.)
    3. Each of its recurring processes (billing, budgeting, product development, financial management, etc.)
    4. Each of its programs (implementing new policies and procedures to ensure a safe workplace; or, for a nonprofit, ongoing delivery of services to a community)
    5. Each of its products or services to internal or external customers
    6. Each of its projects (automating the billing process, moving to a new building, etc.)
    7. Each of its teams or groups organized to accomplish a result for internal or external customers

    Additional Perspectives on “Performance”

    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Performance Management

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