In my 10 short years participating in large complex enterprise IT transformations that have taken me to the far side of the globe and back, I’ve observed my fair share of success and failure. These projects in some cases span years, demanding significant human and capital investment.
The tie that binds successful projects is their emphasis on Change Management. Projects that place necessary importance on Change Management focus on the cultural, ownership, leadership, and educational aspects of transformational initiatives. Despite all the costs incurred— the blood, sweat, and tears leading to an eventual system go-live— I rarely see the necessary mechanics in place to gauge and monitor the effectiveness of the project’s Change Management strategy 6 to 12 months down the road and beyond.
How effective, or how “sticky” was the training? How confident are you that all the time spent re-engineering your processes and baking these into IT solutions are being adhered to? Furthermore, are the changes sustainable and a part of the new culture? Did you define ahead of time what the post-implementation performance would be? Most importantly, can you unambiguously measure performance improvements correlated to these process refinements (think ROI)?
The answer: you can’t unless you have implemented a Performance Management strategy to quantify process compliance. This, however, is only one facet of Performance Management. The backbone of Performance Management is the ability to correlate process compliance with strategy and execution expectations; you have now begun the Performance Management Continuum.
Ideally this framework was established back in the infancy of project planning, planted as an ethos standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Change Management. Assuming it was not, there is no time like the present to set the proper foundation!
The word Continuum was used above to highlight the dependency between Change and Performance Management. It is a philosophy that must be adopted by the organization and does not waver in the pursuit of operational excellence.
Performance Management provides an excellent catalyst for process and solution refinement. Not only do the process and technology deficiencies become apparent, but there is an underlying impetus to remediate the process gaps, driven by the desire to understand and improve performance.
Furthermore, the establishment of such initiatives forces an organization to think of any correlated improvements that may be achieved by implementing process refinements. These can be identified, tracked, and measured via the establishment of a business initiative, coincidently engaging the Change Management organization to achieve the task at hand.
At Cohesive Solutions, we think differently about how organizations achieve breakthrough performance. We believe performance management is necessary to obtain and sustain returns on the investments that organizations make to increase profitability, reduce risk, and improve performance.
Performance management is the assurance policy that makes change become habit. This is why we developed Propel™ for Performance Management.