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This chapter is from the book

Performance Analysis

Performance Analysis emerges from the needs assessment to analyze what is needed to meet the desired end results. Organizational performance requires a holistic vision of what makes an effective organization rather than ideas pieced together by managers with different perspectives. Later in this book we provide a logical picture of the elements of an effective organization. We begin by identifying a clear vision, mission, strategy, and goals (desired end results) for the organization. After we have a clear expectation of these points (who we are, what we do, and where we want to go), we identify what workplace performance is needed to support our desired end results. One of our favorite questions to ask when discussing an intervention is “How will we know when we get there?” Indeed, how will we know when we have met the desired end results? What performance will we need to realize our desired end results?

This is often not as easy as it sounds. Frequently we have visionary leaders who develop a great vision, mission, strategy, and end results but fall short in implementation. Likewise, all too often we have great operational leaders who have difficulty looking at the organization from a visionary perspective. This leaves either unclear performance expectations to support the desired end results or performance expectations with no clear idea of whether the end results are the best ones for the organization. Long before we deploy any intervention, we need to know what performance will be needed. The following analogy offers an example for a company called Western Boats.

It sounds simple and yet complex. The key is to determine at the individual, team, department, division, and organization levels what performance is needed to support desired end results. We introduce some of these methods later when we cover evaluation. Our experience has shown that each workplace environment has specific issues and concerns that must be addressed. We recommend using scientific methods to analyze each organizational environment. These may include qualitative research methods (focus groups, project teams, ad hoc committees, interviews, observations, questionnaires), quantitative research methods (performance indicators, production records, trend analysis, surveys, questionnaires), or a combination.

After we identify clear expectations for the needed performance, we identify and measure the actual level of workplace performance. This performance has a cause-and-effect relationship from internal and external influences. We examine these influences during a gap/cause analysis. At this point, we spend our effort identifying the actual performance indicators and perform a basic mathematics problem, as shown in our Performance Analysis Model (see Figure 1.4). The level of the needed performance for desired end results minus the actual workplace performance equals our performance gap.

Figure 1.4

Figure 1.4. Performance Analysis Model

A systematic performance analysis need not take a lot of time, yet it should do the following:

  • Analyze the organization’s vision, mission, strategy, and desired end results.
  • Link the desired performance to support the organizational strategic business plan.
  • Determine a methodology to measure when the desired performance has been met.
  • Analyze the internal and external environment. External factors could include economic conditions, competition, and customer and vendor relations. Internal issues could include equipment and technology, breakdowns in communication, resistance to change, and labor-management issues. All or only some of these considerations could be included.
  • Link workforce performance with the environment.
  • Determine the gap between the desired performance and the actual performance.
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