Performance Management is Not the Same as Process Management

Many leaders struggle with performance management versus process management.  The two are very connected but also very different.  You have to get the process right to better focus your time, energy and efforts on what really matters – performance.

Performance management versus process management
Performance management versus process management

Performance Management Versus Process Management

Gather your leaders and make a detailed list of the daily activities associated with running your business.  Force yourself to bucket them up by process or performance.  Once you’ve completed this exercise, it’s time to take the next step.  Dig deep into the PROCESS of how your business is working.

Ask these fundamental questions:

  1. Is this process considered a problem in my organization and is it a quick fix?  If not you may need to live with it until you receive the proper approvals or capital improvement plans.
  2. Who is in charge of making this process perform at an optimal level?  Are they the best for the job?
  3. Are the key processes needed to operate in the field being managed close enough to the field?
  4. Have we inventoried our key processes and gathered feedback from the users?  Then it’s time to make a commitment to fix what we can, as soon as we can.
  5. Is the process technical or organizational in nature?  Is this a software-based process or one that is operational in nature?  Is it more about stakeholders, management oversight and communication)?

Ultimately you want to involve your “users” in this process as much as possible.  Promise them that if they are open and honest with you, you’ll fix the simple process things and org chart issues.  Give them a commitment to improve the long-term challenges as quickly as possible (and as money and contracts allow).

The goal for any organization is to eliminate “excuse creep” and remove obstacles.   It’s important to get the process “right.”  Get ownership and buy-in from your teams.   Then you can then hold them much more accountable for higher performance.

The implicit deal between leader and employee here is “I remove the excuses, you produce more.”  That’s a deal I think we’d all take.  The key is understanding performance management versus process management.