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Using Change Management to Ensure Performance Management System Success

Learn how change management can help ensure process and system changes are set up for long-term success.

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Every company wants to demonstrate its value. A performance management system allows you to effectively show how your organization is meeting its goals and accomplishing its mission. But establishing such a system can be challenging:

  • Where do you start?
  • How do you implement a meaningful and effective system?

One of our government clients came to us with such a problem. They needed to establish a transparent, repeatable process for effectively tracking performance and conveying the impact of their activities to outside entities. Working with their staff and leadership, we:

  • Identified and cataloged their core activities
  • Defined how the activities address the agency’s mission and ultimate goals
  • Selected a combination of metrics that would highlight the success and impact of each activity

Based on these findings, we developed a measurement-driven performance management system, complete with a data collection tool and submission process.

Once the system was up and running, we realized that creating the performance management system was just the first step. This was a major change for the organization, which previously responded to performance requests on a one-off basis and focused on providing effort-driven information about the amount of work being performed, not the impact of the activities.

How to Apply Change Management Techniques

Below is how we used change management techniques for this government client—working with staff and leadership—to ensure the long-term sustainability and success of the new system:

Create a shared goal

The previous system for responding to information requests was inefficient and frustrating for all involved—staff who had to drop everything to track down requested information and leadership who received inconsistent data. Having a central place for all data would make it easier to respond to requests with consistent, accurate, and impactful information. Using actual organization data, we demonstrated how the system and the combination of effort-driven and impact-based metrics would help the organization communicate its value, justify its budget, and ensure scarce resources are directed to impactful programs.

Collaborate on a solution with everyone impacted

Based on insights and feedback from staff and leadership, we selected the most effective and feasible measures for activities, modified the tool and process to make it more user-friendly, and incorporated some of their existing data collection methods. As a result, the final tool addresses the needs of both the people responsible for data collection and leadership.

Communicate the proposed solution and benefits

Throughout the process, we held briefings to explain the new system to leadership, staff responsible for data collection, and others throughout the organization. We worked with leadership to communicate the system’s benefits using specific examples of tasks that would become easier with its implementation. We also held training sessions to demonstrate how to use the data collection tool.

Celebrate minor successes along the way

After the system was up and running, we continued to meet regularly with staff and leadership to answer questions, get feedback, and discuss challenges. These meetings were also an opportunity to acknowledge successes. Leadership praised some of the first implementers of the process, and after a few months of use provided examples of how the data collected was being used.

Implementing a new system and process can raise expectations, generate fears and concerns, and arouse both resistance and support. We take care to monitor and manage the broader organizational impacts. By employing change management techniques and working closely with all impacted parties, we helped establish a successful, sustainable system.

How Nexight Can Help

We understand performance measurement is a human process requiring buy-in from staff to function effectively. Rather than dictating changes solely through leadership, our process engages staff during development to cultivate a shared sense of ownership, accountability, and investment. We have performance measurement leaders who bring Ph.D.-level expertise and 25 years of experience designing practical, high-functioning measurement processes for clients. Our performance management approach has been recognized as a best practice for the federal government.

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