Thursday, October 28, 2010

Performance Measurement

It is a painful period in the growth of youngish companies, from that of a start-up to that of a SME (Small Medium Enterprise). With this transition come many growing pains come many challenges:

  • how do we measure ourselves toward our goals?
  • what goals are worth following?
  • what happens if people don't meet these goals/expectations?
  • are the people who go us this far still the people we need tomorrow?
Plainly, you get what you measure and you measure what you get.

If your goal is not measurable it probably is not objective (knowledge, faith, confidence are all highly subjective but too often in peoples goals).

Goals should link to our bottom line, short, medium or long term. After all, if it doesn't help us ,make money it can't really be that strategic (I recently heard a person remark that strategic is often used as a euphemism for not profitable).

Have to be willing to call people to the carpet if the goals are not met, and that includes making very hard decisions linked to the last question.

The people who may have gotten you out of the gate might not be the people who should take you all the way into port. Just like the people who you need right now, might not have been the right people when you were boot-strapping the business.

One of my acquaintances, recently on noting that many of their companies technical staff might not be up to snuff on some of our more recent offerings, asked what would happen if we were to institute a "testing" or "assessment" of skill and capability. Unfortunately, my answer was that we would first have to decide what we should measure, what would make a good technician? And for that the company is still, not out of the dark.

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