Focus on what’s important…

As a leader have you ever thought about what would help focus the team on the things that are most important?

With many competing priorities, and some diametrically opposed (cost versus quality, for example) the PMC TM, also known as the Business Review is the tool to help leaders focus the team and wisely use the resources available.  By shining a light on what is most important, the team has the freedom to systematically improve the performance of the organization, one step at a time.

Organizational leaders benefit from aligning the ability to act with the ability to measure through utilization of a scorecard-based PMC TM. The PMC TM is an effective solution to help focus a team, a department, division or service line on what is most important – strategically, operationally, or via regulatory requirements – helping to drive commitments and accountability to impact results.

A participant in a recent PMC TM launch commented, “This seems to be less about the mechanics of gathering and analyzing data, and more about changing to a culture of performance management.  In your experience, what are the biggest barriers to making that cultural change stick?”  It was an excellent question and one that I have thought a lot about during my time working with dozens of leadership teams. In my experience, the answer is really three things:

1.   Sponsorship – When I have seen this process fail, it has been largely because the leader of the organization isn’t engaged.  These leaders are going through the motions to satisfy an organizational requirement, but they find little value in the review.  If the sponsor doesn’t care, why on earth would the rest of the team?  Weak sponsorship spells an early death to a PMC TM.
2.   Metrics – Some teams create dozens of metrics for which there is no reliable data source.  Or they create metrics for things they think they “should” measure, not the things they are actively managing.  A good scorecard is full of the real measures that the leader and the team need in order to run their organization. 
3.   Improvement: The “So What” Factor – The purpose of the PMC TM is to pull together management teams to review performance, identify performance gaps, and take action to close those gaps.  It is really the “taking action” part that answers the “So What?” question.  Measuring for the sake of measuring achieves little.  The PMC TM is intended to drive accountability and improvement. 

Certainly there are other variables in the equation, but I consider these three the fundamentals.  Just as a basketball team cannot win games without a strong handle on the fundamentals of “pass, dribble, and shoot,” teams cannot manage performance effectively without mastering sponsorship, the metrics, and improvement. 

Read more about the Orion Advisory PMC TM 

Kara Carter is Director, Consulting Services at Orion Advisory.  Follow Kara on LinkedIn

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