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Why do you need to measure performance?

19 May 2022   By   Share
In the nature of our enterprises, still carrying the weight of Taylorism, we associate too easily the words "Measure" and "Indicators" with "Checking".

We don't measure to check but to manage !

Originally, the watchword of the taylorian company was "One can't be good in every field, therefore one needs to be a specialist."
We used to find, and are still finding nowadays, managerial staff specialists, production specialists and measurement specialists to assure the total operation according to a predetermined method.

The three main parts...

The three main parts are defined by the following formula:
"I order, You work, He measures and You'll be penalized or gratified according to the results".
In a steady context, reasoning is not really open for criticism.
When we were working in the push system with very few disruptions, we could center management on planning and process. In that case, performance could be exclusively considered in productivistic and financial terms, the goal being Production increase and Costs reduction.

Nowadays, although we aren't in the same situation anymore, many companies don't change their habits and are still persisting (if not in what is said, it remains true in facts) in the application of the usual pattern:


It's nowadays absolutely sure that this kind of system is totally unsuited to the new economic configuration characterized by quick changes and unpredictability. We need to switch from an a priori logic of planning and a posteriori statement to an energetic and reactive logic as:


In short, we need to lead! With the "reactive" company, the cooperative performance dashboard isn't anymore a checking tool but a leading support tool for the actors/persons in charge.

The cooperative performance dashboard is not an instrument of motivation but an instrument of progress !

Using performance dashboards and key performance indicators (KPI) as objects of motivation is a rather common mistake in companies. Still too often, performance indicators presented to users are far too much general and far away from their concerns and means of actions. Such dashboards are purely and simply useless.

If the user doesn't have at his disposal a control level to be able to act, the performance indicator is needless. Note that the inevitable client satisfaction measuring indicators generally belong to this category.

It is also a tradition to define the goals to be reached.
Performance indicator is used as an official measurement of personal performance. This particularly common drift deserves our full attention. It should be seen entirely in the continuation of the archaic use of dashboards we were previously talking about .

A goal mustn't be considered as the pole jumper's bar that the direction places higher and higher. Performance indicator shouldn't either be considered as an established points meter. It is not in this way that motivation problems will be solved.

A performance indicator has to remain a decision-making support tool. It allows to make sure that the actions already taken are quite well part of the selected way of progress. That's the way performance can be defined.


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