Monday 27 October 2008

Performance Management after the event

I'm constantly called into situations where a set of projects or initiatives have been started, funded, and after the event the funding body recognises that they need to apply performance management. It's easy to spot - the projects or initiatives have names such as "2.5 Community Matrons", or other indicators that they are based on the resource used rather than the benefits to be delivered.
But for those who've tried, it's very difficult to go back into a project that's already got its funding and say "hold on, we need to performance manage you".
This is the point of the personal motivation approach.
Everything that gets done, gets done by somebody. What it achieves depends on the motivation of the person doing it. So when you go back to a project after it's already started, and want to assign some measures for the delivery of benefits, make sure you include the people who do the work (as well of course as the sponsor, and the people providing the funding).
The key to remember in these situations is that Performance Management is not the same as Benefits realisation. You can Manage Performance in many different ways, but if you want to deliver benefits, you need to steer the performance back to benefits, not just measuring against milestones. I can't emphasise this enough - focus on benefits and that's what you will get. Focus on anything else, and you'll get whatever you ask for - but it may not be what you want!

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