Strategies for Performance departments

BI, Data Analysis, Continuous Improvement, Corporate Coaching

Many companies have data analysis or BI groups but few of them have a strong impact on wider business. This is often rooted in the misassumption that the Performance Management group’s primary role should be to measure performance.

That’s nonsense – every group needs to do that for itself – the Performance Management group needs to improve performance and spread knowledge of practical techniques and changes that will do precisely that.



The group should be the “hungry horse” of the company, taking data feeds in from every group, aggregating and consolidating them.

This should not only be “hard numbers” but also anecdotal inputs and data from surveys and polls (both internal and external).

Research & Analysis

Deep within the core of the group are a small number of people expert in analysing data and determining trends.

Care should be taken not to over-analyse and all outputs must be presented in simple clear terms that a layperson can follow.

Leading Indicators

Experience and a history of data should allow the group to pinpoint leading indicators of external and internal change that are of high importance.

These should then be embedded in every group’s measures and monitoring.

Improvement Approaches

This group needs to include experts in continuous improvement and associated methodologies such as Lean, Agile, Kanban and Systems Thinking who spend time with teams across the business, help them understand their current performance and train and coach them in specific improvement techniques.

Their mission should be to encourage creativity, innovation and agility throughout the organisation.

Change Management

Sometimes continuous improvement isn’t enough and radical change and transformation is needed.

Change Management specialists need to be on hand who are experienced in rapid change and restructuring teams, including organisational design and helping people deal with and adjust to big changes in their roles.

Managing Performance is a competency that every department needs to master.

A Performance department can be of great assistance by teaching useful tools and techniques that are reusable across the business. It can supply coaches and consultants to departments to help them master improvement approaches and tailor solutions to their needs.

A Performance Management department should lead the way by example and should be highly adept in demonstrating how their own work is making an impact on the rest of the business. Approaches, techniques and tools start at home and need to be mastered by the Performance Management group before they are promulgated to the wider business.

Developing a detailed strategy will also depend on local circumstances. I’d welcome the opportunity to work with you to define a specific approach to your department.

Posted in Strategy.

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