“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing: the result.” — Vince Lombardi
So where has all this Management System/Management Practice stuff been leading? There is only one objective: Results that reflect the organization fulfilling its mission, achieving its vision, and exceeding its goals.
An earlier post addressed the need for objective measures to be able to gauge how well you’re performing. To sharpen the focus, some principles need to be in place.
There is no shortage of metrics you can gather to determine your performance, but it’s very important to focus on the key indicators that measure the health of your organization. What makes a metric key? Consider an aircraft cockpit with its often bewildering array of indicators. The casual passenger silently wonders how the pilots keep track of all those readouts. It’s simple: they don’t. For the majority of the flight, they focus on 4: airspeed, altimeter, attitude, heading. If any of those 4 don’t indicate something consistent with normal/planned flight, they can trace back via other indicators to understand the root cause. There is nothing magic about focusing on 4, but it’s a good frame of reference to select a critical few and only consider the many others if you need more information to understand what’s happening.
Another principle that helps is to understand the overall performance of the org, not just relying on the easily countable measures. That earlier post spoke of a balanced scorecard. To examine Results, we’ll broaden the categories to consider which may be among your critical few.
Product and Process
· Productivity – total output
· Cycle time – speed to produce a defined output
· Efficiency – consideration of inputs and outputs
· Security – multidimensional
· Safety – people, property, equipment
· Preparedness – for any disruption
· Supply chain – partners in creating things of value to customers
· Satisfaction/dissatisfaction – beyond averages
· Engagement/relationships – tangible evidence of commitment to your org
· People Satisfaction/morale – use a research-validated model
· Capability – all the things the org and its people can do
· Capacity – how much they can do
· Diversity — multidimensional
· Health – more important than ever
· Services – what the org does to foster well-being
· Learning/Innovation — programs completed, OTJ reinforcement
Leadership and Governance
· Develop leaders – programs, promotions
· Communication and engagement – track instances to listen, and speak
· Alignment – everyone committed to the same mission, vision, values, goals
· Ethics – track every lapse, opportunities for improvement
· Society impact – beyond your products and services
· Achieving strategic plans – how you achieve results
Financial, Market, and Strategy
· Performance to plan
· Total return
· Market share/growth
· New market penetration
In general, a metric is valuable as long as you understand its relevance to your performance and consider not just its current level but the trend which shows if you’re getting better or worse.
Next post: now that you have them, what do you do about them?