5 Steps to Begin your data driven performance management journey TODAY

Posted by Joe Lonjin on January 22, 2020


Have you had the feeling that your organization isn’t “ready” to embark on a performance management journey? – a journey where your intent is to ensure that activities are meeting your organization's goals and objectives in an effective and efficient manner.

I understand. I’ve worked with clients that felt they didn’t have the right data (or any usable data) or documented processes in place to start incorporating performance management into their business, and therefore – felt stuck.

What if I told you that you can start where you are today? Too often we get ready to get ready; and this prevents you from making headway on reaching your goals and practicing continuous improvement.

Here are my 5 steps that you can begin TODAY – no matter what your organization looks like.

1. Establish a Team

Build a team responsible for and excited about leading this initiative. The team must be cross functional, having representation from the various aspects of the organization it will flow to. Find employees who possess true leadership qualities for this engagement: accountable, inspirational, and innovative.

Another must have for this team is executive sponsorship, or at least the ability to secure it. This is important because executive support and directives greatly influence the ability to implement and reinforce change throughout the entire organization. Lack of executive support does not completely remove change ability, but it severely limits progress and undermines needed buy-in from the organization.

2. Assess Current State

Next, you want to objectively assess your current state. You can’t embark on a journey without benchmarking where you are starting. Consider answering the following with your team:

  • Where are our problems and inefficiencies?
  • What are we missing and why is that important? Are there known issues or problems we can identify and address (the unknowns will make themselves known with deeper investigation)?
  • Are our actions in tune or aligned with stated directives and objectives?
  • What constraints are we currently working with? How can we move around them when faced with them?

Need help with where to start? We offer comprehensive Asset Management Maturity Assessments. Through this service, our customers can benchmark current state and define a roadmap to improvement. If you want to learn more about EAM Assessments or schedule a consultation, click here.

3. Identify Objectives

Next, identify what the objectives of the initiative are, be specific in creating these and make sure they are measurable. These objectives should incorporate your team mission, vision, and values. Consider determining what levels of the organization you are addressing and what goals you have for each one.

4. Determine what to measure (Metrics) and the initial data quality and confidence supporting those

Now it’s time to determine how you will measure those objectives. Take your objectives list and your as-is state and look for measures of quantity. These could be quantities of records supporting processes, or smaller elements that could be part of a process that is defined later. It’s OK to start simple here and first verify what data you have versus what you need to measure these results.

You’ll also want to ensure you are using quality data, if not – consider improving data quality as one of your first goals.  Remember, data is truth when it comes to measures.  So, if your data is bad, your measures will not reflect the actual state, which is why so many people modify data before sharing using excel.

Note the difference between data quality and data confidence.

  • Data Quality is the condition of a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables. There are many definitions of data quality, but data is generally considered high quality if it is fit for its intended uses in operations, decision making and planning.
    • i.e. what is considered 'good'
  • Data Confidence is the level of trust an organization can place in data based on characteristics such as System and Process Integrity, Completeness, Currency, and Governance
    • i.e.: how much data do we have, related to objectives, that is also considered to be quality data
  • As an example, think of a required data field in your software system that would be defined as needed for a metric or to support a decision in a process.  Do you use value lists for specific results vs a free text field where the data can be random?

Learn more about this in the blog: "Data: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly"

Verify your data confidence by looking at how many data records meet the definition of quality that are used for each measure. Easier said than done in many cases.  How do you monitor the quality of your data?

Don’t worry about KPIs at this time; those are more strategic and have identified owners and time frames.

5. Addressing the as-is state, identify initiatives to improve with ranking of effort and value. Attack the quick wins first, Plan, Do, Check, Act – Repeat

It’s time to start your action plan and begin the continuous improvement cycle. Some items will have prerequisites for beginning where some foundational items may need to be established or corrected. Other items may be worked in parallel, if the identified resource requirements are not overwhelmed. Remember that day-to-day activities still need to occur, don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Remember to ensure that all of your initiatives can be measured. Automated measurement is a must here – the goal is to improve, not to spend your time reviewing and possibly modifying the data to support the metrics.

I hope this gives you the confidence to embark on your performance management journey and the initial steps to do so.

What’s Next?   

Here at Cohesive, we enable customers to achieve and sustain maximum performance of their asset management program through asset and performance management. If you’re ready to take the best next steps towards optimizing your EAM system, learn more about how our EAM maturity assessments or request a consultation with us today.

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Written by Joe Lonjin

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