The 4th Step to Improving Performance: Implementation
When called on to improve performance by a friend, family member, or community organization to help solve a problem or improve systems management, there are steps to be followed: (1) Analysis, (2) Design, and (3) Connecting the Design to Development. This is the fourth installment of a five part series for Improving Performance. After a thorough review of gathered data we are able to move on to implementing the performance improvement plan, to add positive value while meeting expectations or goals of the organization. Tomorrow’s installment will complete the steps I go through when called on as a consultant to improve performance. These steps are useful for Individuals, Families, Communities, and Organizations.
The 4th Step to Improving Performance
Implementation is takes place when the performers and organization connect and begin the process of moving toward the agreed upon desired outcome. This stage of improving performance is the most identifiable for performers and organization to the instruction of design—Improving Performance. Once the basics are covered, testing and correcting any found mistakes, the project is about 90% complete. We next move into the most time consuming part of the process—meeting the objectives and evaluating the tasks to deliver maximum performance. This is where the uniqueness of the individual performers and organized systems differ. A person who is committed to improving performance from a level of five may see a large percentage of increase to a new level of eight. Another performer coming in on a level of 8, committing to getting closer to ten, may increase to a new level of nine. Both improved performance, however going from average to above average is more noticeable in the short term than going from above average to stellar. During the implementation stage, educating how to evaluate and measure the performance is required and must be understood in order to minimize frustrations and limit the question, “Why are we doing this again, and how is this going to improve performance?”
While there are actually four levels of evaluation, most times we are involved with one to two at the maximum. In today’s market place, often times we are only subjected to one level of evaluation. The first level of evaluation is reaction. After attending a training session we are given a survey asking basic questions: Was time well spent? Would you recommend this to someone else? What did you like best? What did you like least? Were objectives met? Did you like the way the material was presented? This is similar to being invited over for dinner and being asked afterwards, “How was dinner?” It’s a loaded question heavily favored in the host’s best interests. After eating and drinking, most people usually say it was nice and say more complimentary things—most of us where taught to be hospitable. Once you get home and spend a few hours in the bathroom the gratification (reaction) wears off. And your initial reaction to the host’s question, “How was dinner?” may change after you have had a chance to digest and evaluate the meal. In training sessions this is level one, the reaction survey. It is often times referred to a smile sheet—gauging likes and dislikes of the content, presenter, and room; and according to ASTD (American Society for Training & Development), represents between 72 and 89 percent of how organizations evaluate training—based on reactions.
The level two evaluation, is the actual “learning” part of the training. It is tied directly to the objectives and desired outcomes—the score card relating to the decision to commit to improving performance in the first place. According to ASTD statistics, organizations are only evaluating at this most important level 29 to 32 percent of the time. This shows that less than a quarter of all training is evaluated based on the relationship to objectives and desired outcomes.
Here is an example of an objective: After training, a basketball referee (person, performer, organization) should be able to present three reasons why self-doubt takes away from achieving the best decision based on facts.
With this objective in mind, I would design a classroom scenario to evaluate the task verses the objective: The performer (basketball referee) has just encountered a situation that needs a split second decision based on presented facts. The referee has to make a case for not allowing self-doubt to enter his mind and hinder his ability to make a quality decision based on the presented facts. It is important that you present at least three reasons why self-doubt will decrease the chances for making the best decision.
This example matches elements of the performer’s behavior, condition, and degree to the objective and the evaluation of the agreed upon desired outcome.
During implementation there will always be room for improvement of design because evaluating is and will be an ongoing process—life—which will have to be fitted to the individual needs of the performer’s and organization’s needs. Having open and honest communication allows the Performance Improvement Plan and performer to mature and achieve maximum results. The design plan will always be under scrutiny and there will always be the need for constant evaluation to make sure the reaction to the training meets the desired performance of agreed upon objectives for both the performer and desired outcomes.
Developing a Performance Improvement Plan is essential to increase and improve the desired goals and improved performance of individuals, families, communities, and organizations.
Stay tuned to tomorrow’s final installment topic on improving performance: Evaluation.
Decide, Commit, Succeed!
Posted on July 28, 2011, in Awareness, Career Development, Education, God, Health, Leadership, Personal Development and tagged American Society for Training & Development, Business, Business Consulting, Design, Individual, Organization, performance improvement. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.