Holiday week ramblings

Some performance management ramblings to kick off your holiday week:

(A) Barry suggests Four Questions To Ask When Building Your First Strategy Map:

  1.  What’s the advantage that differentiates us from our competitors?
  2. What are the three most important things we need to measure to drive that advantage?
  3. What are the three most significant gaps or barriers that keep us from leveraging this advantage?
  4. What are the three things we can pursue to close the gaps, overcome the barriers and positively influence our three most important measures?

All good points but I would have liked to have seen a focus on setting strategic objectives before beginning to measure.

(B) Stuart echoes the controversy over SMART objectives by pointing out How Being SMART Isn’t Always the Right Objective. He believes SMART fails the what’s-in-it-for-me test and suggests we look at the problem from a different lens; for example, PRISM:

PRISM is an acronym for Personal, Realistic, Interesting, Specific and Measurable.

I worry that Personal will feel disconnected from the greater good and lead to increased lack of alignment.

(C) Suresh worries about metrics without management and tells how Trent Limited, the retail arm of the Tata Group, used the Balanced Scorecard to sustain dramatic performance increases over long periods of time.

If you want to reap real benefits from BSC, be prepared for the long haul. If you are looking for an organizational “ruler” – an instrument for one-time measurement – maybe you should look elsewhere.

All very interesting but I think that management without measurement can be useful. Ask Sarasota County.

One Response to Holiday week ramblings

  1. Robert E June 30, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    Whether it’s SMART or PRISM, you do have to set strategy objectives first. When the strategy is fuzzy, it makes it much harder to commit to identify those key drivers of success. Because certain indicators don’t lend themselves to easy measurement, they are often avoided. And too much of what is already being measured is reverse-engineered into seemingly being SMART.
    Again, if the emphasis is only following a formula rather than looking for strategic outcomes and impact, it won’t matter how SMART you are or what PRISM you look through.

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