I have personally had the fortune to travel extensively around the globe with my job. As a result, I am getting a fresh view of the issues and concerns facing executives, mid-level managers and those in the project team trenches. This year I have already visited roughly 20 countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America, and one question has repeatedly emerged: how do we get started? At my gray-haired age, I'm not sure why I have overlooked this fundamental and basic issue, but it's becoming more clear to me now that a key barrier preventing organizations from pursuing their vision of performance management ‑ regardless of their vision of it ‑ is that they do not know how to get started. There are other barriers too, such as the false perception of some senior executives that the benefits from performance management do not exceed the administrative effort and expense, but the behavior of senior executives is a topic for another day. For today, let's talk about why the barrier that prevents organizations from getting started has slowed the adoption rate of performance management.
There will be confusion for a long time to precisely define performance management and how it may be different from enterprise performance management or strategic performance management. In my mind, the good news is this: performance management is not a brand-new methodology that everyone now has to learn, but rather it is the assemblage and integration of existing improvement methodologies that most managers are already familiar with. Collectively, these methodologies are interdependent, working together to manage the execution of an organization's strategy. And most organizations have already begun to implement some of the performance management portfolio of methodologies, such as the balanced scorecard, but not enough of them have reached that flash point where substantial synergy kicks in.
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