9 simple reasons why performance management is bollocks

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  1. There is no such thing as “performance” to be “managed”
  2. Plans are monitored instead of reality.
  3. It involves people completely ignorant about an area of complex work making judgements on it using a coloured shape. Invariably a green one.
  4. It is a job that self selects for people who aren’t interested in how it all works, and therefore remain ignorant of the flawed mind-set that it relies on, because if they do find out, they leave. Or if they are lazy, stay and type an embittered blog about it.
  5. It requires statistical innumeracy. For reason, see point 4 above.
  6. It costs an average large organisation at least £500,000 in annual total salary alone, across an organisation, for practically zero benefit.
  7. I wrote an annual performance plan for the corporate part of an organisation,( ICT, procurement, finance etc) that included the corporate performance area, in two nights sitting at my dining room table. In complete ignorance of any of the work I was writing about using only several scrappy notes from the Senior Leader in charge of who also was completely ignorant of the work. That plan was then used to report performance using coloured shapes (see point 3) for the next 2 years. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  8. It wastes the time, potential and talent of everybody involved all along the reporting chain.
  9. Deming, Seddon, Ackoff, Senge, Ohno. Read ’em and weep.
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5 Responses to 9 simple reasons why performance management is bollocks

  1. nosapience says:

    Can I add a couple to 9: Shewhart, Weiner, Bertalanffy & Snowden!

    Like

  2. nosapience says:

    Reblogged this on Nosapience's Blog and commented:
    KISS … need I say anymore?

    Like

  3. It strikes me that it is perfectly possible to differentiate performance for say, Olympic 100 meter sprinters.

    For Olympic ice skaters it is not quite so clear cut, the judges all watch the same performance but give different scores.

    For jugglers who are juggling with each other, lets call it team work, it is even less clear cut. Was it the bloke who threw the ball or the one who dropped it who screwed up?

    And for jugglers who are working as a team in the back of a lorry that is being driven across a ploughed field for 12 months whilst the judges peer into the back of the lorry for 5 minutes every week or so…

    Have I got reason 10 buried in there somewhere?

    James

    Like

  4. plexity says:

    Reblogged this on arthur~battram… and commented:
    Hoping this one might cheer up my chum in the RubyCorner*.

    *There are 4 corners in my space. The one in the top left is red in colour. On StarTrek they call corners quadrants. Performance Management is a Vulcan plot, designed to vitiate humans. PM was originally developed by the Borg collective who hail from the Delta quadrant. There be dragons. And Borg. BTW, the Borg collective purchased PWC about 10 years ago. Shh, its a secret.

    Like

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