When a dashboard is delivered from a Performance Management initiative, sometimes the creators then sigh: “Nothing happens with the numbers”. In this brand new white paper, senior consultant Rick van der Linden creates a clear framework for effectively managing with figures and supporting the discussion about it.
Are the figures capable to turn into actions?
The fact that nothing happens with the figures is extremely unfortunate and can have many reasons. One of the reasons that we least like to see for figures to be unable to turn into actions is that they have no explanatory power, except for a predictive capability. They just reflect a fact.
Success has many fathers
One fact that usually has several causes. And while success has many fathers, failure is often a stepchild. Usually, no one feels the need to further investigate disappointing figures. In this case, further research is reuired in order to find out what is causing the disappointing results.
“Nobody grew taller by being measured”
The “textbook example”
The “textbook example” is a metaphjor we use in this document to explain a distinction between performance indicators and key performance indicators, the KPIs. If we want to measure school performance, we often instinctively look at test scores and report numbers. But does it make sense to look at these daily? Can we manage using this?
No, because a test score is a result of many various activities. Therefore, a test score also lacks predictive power.
What numbers do have predictive power?
This example is elaborated further in this white paper, clarifying what figures do have a predictive power. We are accustomed to looking at results and holding people accountable for them. Results numbers are quite suitable for this, but failing to take into account nuance and depth results in a culture of distrust, window-dressing and, in terms of the metaphor, cheating.
Quality of the work processes
It is often much more valuable to examine the quality of the work processes. Figures that measure the quality of the work processes are predicting factors of the outcomes. These figures also enable organizations to intervene in time. Hence the title of this paper – Act before it’s too late.
A safe learning environment
This type of transparency requires a safe learning environment for the employees. This is further elaborated in the last section of this white paper.