Sunday, April 22, 2012

Eight Enterprise Performance Management Best Practices - Defining Phase

Have you ever tried looking up performance management best practices? If so, then you probably discovered the same things I did, that there is very little documentation or standard best practices dealing with performance management. You may find human resources best practices or IT best practices, and even best practices dealing with various departments within an organization. But chances are you will have little luck finding a comprehensive set of enterprise performance management best practices. The truth is, performance management is a complex process that affects every aspect of your organization. Even with a detailed plan on how to reach your organizational goals this can be an overwhelming task and take years to fully understand. I've put together a set of enterprise performance management best practices that drive organizational success and help you avoid the obstacles that can bring a performance initiative to a halt.

The Lifecycle Performance Management Model is an enterprise framework that is centered on 35 best practices. These best practices span across the five phases of the performance life-cycle: defining, planning, executing, monitoring and reporting. This article is the first of a series of five discussing the performance management best practices within Lifecycle Performance Management, and will focus on the defining phase.

The defining phase is where preliminary management processes are performed. These preliminary processes are those outside of traditional performance management, but which are critical to the success of your performance management initiative. Defining phase best practices are the executive processes that don't necessarily include participation from all levels within the organization.

1. Organizational Mission and Goals Management

Mission and Goals Management is the practice of ensuring that organizational mission and goals are well documented and communicated throughout the organization. Identified by executives and executed by management and staff, Organizational Mission and Goals Management is a process that includes participation at all levels and requires continuous validation throughout the maturation and growth of the organization. Organizational Mission and Goals Management includes identifying objectives throughout all business units, personnel, processes and systems and monitoring the progress of meeting those objectives. The objective is

to control costs by having people, processes and systems within the organization working toward supporting the mission and goals of the organization.

2. Performance Scope Management

The practice of defining the outcomes, documenting assumptions, and defining the scope of your performance initiative. Performance Scope Management can be approached in several ways such as defining deliverables, functionality and data, technical structure, and enterprise/organizational structure. Performance Scope Management involves setting the high level processes for which the performance management team will approach divisions, support teams and individuals in order to align performance to business objectives. Performance Scope Management ensures that expectations are met by clarifying roles, processes and expectations.

3. Performance Team Development

Performance Team Development is a critical process in Lifecycle Performance Management. It involves ensuring that the performance team is well aware of the issues facing the organization from the customer, employee, senior management and key stakeholders perspectives. Performance Team Development includes ensuring that there is support and commitment from the CEO, a direct reporting line to executive management, access to systems, data, organizational charts and processes, and liaisons form each of the business units to bridge the gap in communication and operational knowledge.

4. Vendor Performance Management

A low risk vendor conforms to the Gartner Group vendor suitability models. The vendor/service provider model assesses the viability of vendors against a set of characteristics that have been proven a low risk, high quality purchase. An organization that utilizes low risk, as well as high quality vendors and providers, will be less likely to encounter quality, reliability, or supply issues. This practice compares vendors and service providers on their financial viability, organizational stability, quality control, stringent testing for compatibility, independent market support for technology differentiation, and responsiveness to field service issues. We believe that vendors that have best in class capabilities will reduce the risk and associated costs compared to vendors that may offer lower priced products without sound testing, field support, or management practices.

5. Vendor Standardization

Vendor standardization limits the number of vendors that an organization purchases from. For given assets, an

organization selects a limited set of vendors from which products or services can be purchased. Vendor Standardization usually consists of a primary and secondary vendor. By standardizing on fewer vendors, an

organization can gain purchasing leverage and reduce incompatibility issues, support issues, vendor liaison requirements, testing of new technology, and administrative costs of vendor management. While it may limit the available selection of technology and features somewhat, it enables larger discounts with volume purchasing. Vendor standardization is part of a comprehensive asset management process that includes establishment of procurement procedures and policies, and compliance monitoring and management.

6. Organizational Stability

Stability of an organization is critical to keeping the staff members and teams consistent and focused. It enables the maturation of processes, procedures, and talent. Constant reorganization, management changes, and political infighting take a toll on moral, turnover, costs, risk and progress.

7. IT Cost Management

IT Cost Management is the financial management of your network that measures the total cost of IT services on a regular basis, compares the costs to industry benchmarks, and makes decisions on changes that include financial, not just technical, objectives. The process, policies, and tools are continuously and regularly applied to track progress and optimize spending. With IT Cost Management frameworks, such as TCO Lifecycle Management, proper technology refresh cycles can be established and investments can be verified as having positive financial impact and returns prior to implementation.

8. Performance-Based Budgeting

A results focused planning and budgeting framework which focuses on three elements: the strategy (how to achieve outcome), outputs (activities to achieve final outcome), and the result (final outcome). Performance-based budgets use missions, goals and objectives to justify funding. Through the allocation of resources, performance-based budging achieves specific objectives based on program goals and measured results. As a result, it is possible to understand which activities are cost-effective in terms of achieving the desired result.

About Victor Holman

Victor Holman is a performance management expert who provides fast, simple and inexpensive ways to transform organizational performance.

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