Planning and managing performance improvement programs

Strategy or “strategic management” is a much broader task than simply developing and monitoring the business plan! … and performance improvement programs (PIPs) make a vital contribution to success.

… but most such programs fail or stall, because benefits do not seem to match the effort, so leadership weakens, and staff engagement evaporates (if it ever started!). 

Diagram showing the strategic management challenges needing time-based solutions - business plans and strategies, functional plans, launching new ventures, fixing one-off issues, planning and managing major initiatives - of which performance improvement programs are important examples

How PIPs actually work (summary)

  • Programs aim to cut some problematic outcomes (excess energy use, data-security breaches, staff accidents …)
  • Those bad outcomes are caused by some quantity and scale of problem drivers (inefficient equipment, data vulnerabilities, safety hazards …)

Two things need to be done:

  1. Put staff effort in to FIND those problem drivers (and their scale and impact) – each is an opportunity to reduce the problem
  2. Commit effort and spending to FIX those problem drivers (choosing on the basis of the scale, impact and cost of each)

All of these elements change over time as a program proceeds. Success depends on leadership commitment and staff engagement, both of which are boosted by visible benefits that the program delivers. Eventually, we run out of opportunities to find, and the cost-benefit of fixing the remaining opportunities becomes less attractive, and the program reaches its potential to make improvements.

Visualising how a PIP proceeds and drives benefits

Summary performance improvement program structure (PIP). Unknown opportunities are first found by staff effort, then fixed with more effort and spending. Success raises staff engagement to find more opportunities, and benefits are reinvested to fix more issues. Time-charts show opportunities moving through those stages, and the progressive fall in the problem rate that the program aimed to fix.

Learn more about how to plan and manage PIPs

This short course explains more detail about those mechanisms driving progress for any PIP, and the dynamic models that help plan and manage such programs. In 35 minute, you can learn about:

  • … the wide variety of performance improvement programs that boost business success

  • … the generic system structure that all such programs share 

  • … just how an energy-saving project cut 40% from a company’s energy use

  • … the principles of how dynamic models of such programs work and how they are built

ENROL HERE and enter coupon ‘mini50‘ at checkout to get this great course for HALF PRICE, just £20.

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