What IS Performance Management?
We all tend to understand what we mean by “performance”, the work of getting something done.
The problem seems to be that some in the strategy, consulting, and software realms have inaccurately defined what “management” means.
“Management” is what a football or basketball coach does, before, during and after a game, not what the statistician does in the sky box hundreds of feet and hours away from the real action. Of course, analytics are a resource that leaders use to monitor and manage, but they’re a tool of the post-performance assessment elements of Management.
Performance Management in business and organizations today means what leaders and managers DO, and how they source and deploy resources to DO what the organization needs done.
Performance Management is a Verb. It defines action; not a tool, an office, or a person.
It is not a software program or SaaS or cloud application that stores workforce performance appraisal results, competencies, and work histories. Talent Management better describes those particular functions, automating a defined sub-aspect of broader Human Resource administration; which itself is another tool of Performance Management.
It is not Business Intelligence, Analytics or Data Administration software or processes that “crunch terabytes of data”. Again, these functions provide valuable information and insight into the past-tense, post-execution outcomes of performance, the job of getting something done; another tool.
Performance Management is also not administration, record-keeping, file management, or accounting about results.
If you’re a leader, at any level, in a business, government, organization or other enterprise, Performance Management, together with Priority Definition, Financial Resource Management, and Customer Relationship Management, is a root function of your leadership role: ALL verbs.
A veteran CEO summed it up completely:
“Performance management is not a ‘fad strategy-of-the-moment’, it is not a software or pseudo-software solution, it is not a cliché term that promoters misuse, abuse and confuse; it’s what we actually DO. If you’re a leader and you’re not actually managing and leading performance of your human and financial resources to serve your customers and stakeholders, what the heck are you actually doing, and… why?”