Making IT work… performance management
Managing performance in a team is an essential role for all private, public and third-sector organisations too. As a result of the previous five years in the economy, resources, including time, money, equipment and people, are all much harder to come by. Management seem continuously under pressure to justify every item of expenditure.
IT can support performance management, by helping measure, record and present vital information to staff and management about trends showing both problems and opportunities too.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The first step in any performance management system is to identify inputs that affect outputs. This could be quality of raw materials, availability of staff or the temperature of a manufacturing process. If these criteria go out of range in some way, then they directly affect the outputs.
Every business should probably have around five of key KPIs. Each one should be assigned an owner, someone who is responsible and can act accordingly to keep the KPI in range.
Using IT track KPIs
A simple way of tracking KPIs is to use a whiteboard with bar and gate, smileys, or bar charts. Really simple and effective, as long as staff can see the display.
Spreadsheets may be a more visually appealing way of tracking KPIs for your organisation. Displaying each KPI’s current value, its history, its normal range, and out of range (problem) values too.
Sophisticated solutions could involve using the Status Indicator feature of Microsoft SharePoint. This provides a more collaborative ‘KPI status view web page’ with traffic light icons. It is a great way to support setting of team targets, tracking actual data and visually reporting by shape and colour. You can even set the status indicators to source their data automatically from a cell in an Excel spread sheet.
However you track performance, make sure that IT helps you communicate trends and current challenges to relevant staff.