3.6 Where do we start in an organization that doesn’t want to do this?

The Short Answer

1. Start small and start with what you can do without “permission.” 

2. Keep it low visibility and low risk until it is clearly useful

Full Answer

(1) The answer to this question very much depends on your position in the organization. The truth of the matter is that it is very rare to find an organization that “wants” to do performance measurement. The reasons for this can range from organization inertia to fear about losing jobs, and everything in between. 

(2) If you are the chief executive: Consider this path: Don’t beat people over the head with it. begin by introducing the practice in your own work. Ask for and help shape a monthly report that uses the seven questions as the basis for its presentation. Use this report in your monthly or quarterly meetings with individual senior staff to review performance and agree on actions in the next 30 days. 

For those of your staff who are resistant or just don’t get it, assign a coach (consultant or buddy system), send them to training or send them to a remote island. Let people see that this information actually gets used. And find ways to use the information as pointers to success stories that your public information folks can use. 

At the same time, find 2 or 3 managers at the program or line level who you think are most open to new ideas. Provide support for these people again in the form of a coach or mentor. Help them set up a performance measurement structure based on the seven questions to use in managing their programs. This would include monthly or quarterly reviews both with the staff in the program and with management at the next level up. 

Important: let the managers play with and adapt the forms, the structure of the system. Consider this an experiment where the purpose is to make the products practical and most importantly useful to the manager. In the beginning provide recognition for the process itself. Later provide recognition for actual performance improvement. 

(3) After this, build out to more units of the agency, including all as soon as is practical. Then begin using the format and data in the internal budget deliberations. (This can be done for each unit as it “comes on line.”) This is the final statement of importance. It has something to do with money. Important: do not let the budget process ever become the primary reason for doing this work. And do not let the budget folks add complexity to the forms or process. 

(4) If you are a lonely manager or supervisor. Try it quietly and privately for your organization. Take credit for the improvements you are able to achieve. And if anyone asks, show them what you have done. If top management shows an interest in this, make them read the paragraphs above.   

Marc3.6 Where do we start in an organization that doesn’t want to do this?