Performance Management System
This series of articles describes a performance management system for teams: a systematic process for changing team behaviours in a way that leads directly to increased performance and business benefits.
At the core of the process is the principle that team performance can be improved using the following basic steps:1 Identify your behavioural goals
This might include canvassing opinion from the team, customers, management, staff, peers and others on what behaviours will lead to team success
2 Measure your current behaviours
Assess your team's current behaviours using the same behavioural framework as that in step 1, to enable direct comparisons
3 Undertake a gap analysis
Identify the most significant gaps between target/current behaviours
4 Close the gap
Design a programme of training or a series of team actions that will change the team's behaviour
This includes monitoring of the programme of improvement, remeasuring 'current behaviours' to make sure they are making progress towards the behavioural goals, and taking corrective action when insufficient progress is being made.
Define the Team
A preliminary step in this performance management system is to define the team. A team definition consists of:
- A description of the common goal towards which the team is working
That is, what is the goal to which the whole team are working, and cannot be achieved without the whole team.
- A list of people who are members of the team (ie who share responsibility in achieving the common goal).
- Sometimes, what appears to be a team is only a functional group - a collection of individuals who are assembled together within the company hierarchy for organisational convenience.
- To check whether the team really is a team, ask what is the common goal towards which the team is working. If that question cannot be answered, then you may be dealing with a group and not a team.
- It is not appropriate to use this performance management system if the group is not a team.
- Alternatively, they may be a team but unaware of their shared goal. In that situation, producing the team definition will help to make them aware of the team goal.
- Identifying who are the people primarily responsible for achieving the common goal can be difficult. Sometimes teams have clear boundaries and the membership is clear and discrete. However, there can sometimes be a small 'core team' whose primary focus is the team goal, but a much larger 'extended team', with a very broad and distributed membership, who have other teams to which they contribute.
- When considering whether the team really is a team, do not confuse the question of whether they are a team with whether they are a good team. If they ought to be a team but are operating as individuals, then they are a bad team - but they are a team nonetheless, with shared responsibility for achieving a common goal. This performance management system is still relevant and of potential use.
Part 1: Defining Team Standards