Category Archives: Performance Management

Philips Analysis of Needs – Performance Analysis

After discussing Rummler & Brache’s Organizational Analysis, we come to the second methodology of doing performance analysis.  The Philips Analysis of Needs based on upon the following approach:


Performance Analysis Needs - Performance Analysis

In Philips Needs Analysis, individual needs are linked to training needs, the training needs are in turn linked to the job performance needs, which is in turn linked to Business Needs.

Individual/Job holders needs need to be analyzed based on the performance planning checklist discussed under “Planning for Performance Management” post in the blog.  It is very important to track individual performance on a weekly basis to be able to understand the progress being made by the individual and this needs to be done by the immediate manager.  Deficits if any should be analyzed immediately and caused assigned to the same. We will be discussing “Cause Analysis” in detail in our subsequent blogs. Once Cause Analysis of Performance Deficit has been done it is very easy to find out the training requirement for the individual.

The individual needs then need to calibrated against the training needs.,for example, if the individual needs to be working on projects but is not PMP certified or the person has to be working on balanced scorecard approach but does not know anything about finance, etc. This needs need to tracked and recorded at least once in a month instead of waiting until the performance appraisal cycle to completed and then taking action.

Once the training needs have been identified, they need to be traced against the job needs so that there is complete sync in between individual needs, job needs and training needs.  The training needs can be based on skills, knowledge and attitude. We will discussing the same under Kirkpatricks Evaluation level in detail.

The Job Performance Needs as discussed in the previous blogs needs to be based on Business Needs.

The performance planning cycle works best when the planning is done in “Top-Down” manner.  The business needs to be penned down first, followed by department/process level performance planning, followed by individual plans.  When we talk about Philips Analysis Needs, it works best when we use it to decide the kind of training intervention a individual would require for him to perform better.  Whereas “Rummler Brache’s Organizational Level” works best when we are deciding on the objectives as well as when we are tracking performance on three different levels.  It is very important to understand the context against which each form of Performance Analysis Techniques can be used to be able to utilize them in completeness.

We will discussing how intricately Philips Analysis Needs and Kirkpatricks Evaluation Level are linked in my next post!

Happy Reading until then!


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Performance Analysis – Rummler and Brache’s Organizational Level Analysis

The  Rummler and Brache’s Organizational Level Analysis is based on two core concepts:

  1. The Three Levels of Performance.
  2. The Three Performance Dimension.

The Three Levels of Performance:  Consists of monitoring performance at Job/Performer level, Process Level and Organizational level.  These three levels are intricately depended on each other. Any change in strategy will result in change in process and which in turn will change the job responsibilities at the person level. Failure to successfully link the person-process-organization will result in poor performance.

The Three Performance Dimensions: The three performance dimensions are goals, design, and management. It is important to have job/performer linked to clear goals, similarly it is important to have goals defined for the process as well as the organization.   Apart from having clear goals, it is very important to have robust design at each level. A process which is robust in design is able to operate efficiently under various conditions.  Designing processes which are robust, scablable and reliable is very important in order to avoid making the process “person-dependent” on one hand and to build an organization which can withstand the pressures of constantly changing business environment on the other hand. Having good management at all the levels ensures that the organization is able to thrive and withstand challenging situations in business environment.

Rummler and Brache’s link the three levels and three dimensions to form the “nine boxes model.”

The Nine Boxes Model
Goals Design Management
Organization Strategy, operating plans, and metrics. Organization structure and overall business model. Performance review practices and management culture.
Process Customer and business requirements. Process design, systems design, and workspace design. Process ownership, process management, and continuous improvement.
Performer Job specifications, performance metrics, and individual development plans. Job roles and responsibilities, skill requirements, procedures, tools, and training. Performance feedback, consequences, coaching, and support.
The Nine-Boxes Model links the Performer to goals in form of Job specifications, performance metrics, and individual development plans. It links the Performer to Design in form of Job roles and responsibilities, skill requirements, procedures, tools, and training.  It links the Performer to Management in form of Performance feedback, consequences, coaching, and support.
The Nine Boxes model links the Process to goals in form of Customer and business requirements. It links the Process to Design in form of Process design, systems design, and workspace design. It links Process to Management in terms of Process ownership, process management, and continuous improvement.
The Nine Boxes model links the Organization to Goals in form of Strategy, operating plans, and metrics. It links the Organization to Design in form of Organization structure and overall business model. It links the Organization to Management in form of Performance review practices and management culture.
The Rummler and Brache model is one of the most effective way of linking the Person-Process-Organization.
More information on the same can be read from the following links:
In the ensuing blog, we will be discussing Philips Analysis Need!
Happy Reading!

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Constructive Feedback Session – Monitoring Performance

It is very important to understand the intention of giving feedback to the employee.  The intention of giving feedback on performance should never be to reprimand the person for what has gone wrong.  The very intention of sharing feedback is to make sure that the employee understands the shortfalls in performance and is able to make progress/develop in areas in which he/she is not doing well.

The term “Constructive” means improvement or promote development.  In a constructive feedback session, we need to take care of the following aspects which are explained in detail in the 7-Step Feedback Model.  The 7-Step Feedback Model consist of the following steps (details in Teambuilding that gets Results by Diamond)

  1. Prepare well for the meeting.
  2. Setting the right tone.
  3. Based on facts/observable behavior.
  4. Listen
  5. Obtain agreement that the problem exists.
  6. Agree upon the action plan.
  7. Follow up

Prepare for the meeting

  • Get your reports right, get the facts in place.
  • Put up red flags wherever you see things are not going right.  This can either be results in terms of numbers on the report or some observable behavior such as insubordination at work or coming in late to work etc.
  • Put down your thoughts on paper this will really help you in conveying the right message.
  • Hold the meeting one-on-one in an undisturbed location in complete privacy (when it is female employee, you need to also check HR guidelines on holding this discussion in privacy).
  • Discuss the issue very very objectively (in terms of numbers or describing the behavior depending on the situation) and impersonally.
Setting the Tone:
  • Make the sitting arrangements comfortable.
  • It should preferably face to face discussion across the table.
  • Do not sit sharing the same sofa, couch etc.  You need to keep out of personal distance.
  • Sit with an open posture.
  • Smile when you greet the person. Make a little small talk to make the person comfortable and move to the topic gradually.

State the facts

  • Request that you be allowed to talk until you have described what has gone wrong so that you do not get veered away from your discussion
  • Make your notes useful. Describe the performance in an objective manner, in terms of number or facts without being judgmental.
  • In case of behavior, describe the behavior without being judgmental about it.
  • Description of facts/behavior should always be followed by the negative impact it might have planned goals,  perception of people around him/her etc.


  • After you have given your brief, please allow the employee to explain the situation from his point of view.
  • Be open to his viewpoint of the problem, put yourself in his shoes to understand his situation.

Problem Exists

  • The very reason that the discussion is happening is due to the fact that a problem is existing.
  • Get the employee to agree that problem exist.

Agree upon an Action Plan

  • Ask the employee to give suggestions for solving the problem.
  • Offer your suggestions after listening to his/her suggestions.
  • Agree upon a specific action plan.
  • In the action plan, please make the employee specify
  1. What is the plan?
  2. How will the plan be executed
  3. What are the major milestones in the plan.
  • Sometimes you might to meet twice or thrice to finalize on things.
  • Document the action plan.
  • Specify what will happen in case the employee is not able to correct the problem or put things back in place.

Follow up

  • Follow up, Follow up, Follow up
  • Monitor results on agreed upon periodic intervals.
  • Discuss progress on a timely basis.
  • Discuss setbacks on a timely basis.
  • Provide positive reinforcement and encouragement whenever the employee is able to achieve goals as per plan.
  • If the employee fails to achieve results or show changes in the behavior enact what was discussed in case the employee is not able to resolve the problem.

In my next blog we will discuss the “Review Phase” in “Performance Management Cycle”.

Happy Reading!

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Monitoring Performance

The “Monitoring Phase” in performance management consist of monitoring the progress toward the goals identified during the “Work Plan”. The premise behind the monitoring phase that while monitoring the progress so that the plans can be adjusted if required and any corrective action required can be taken immediately.  Waiting for the appraisal cycle to end before offering feedback to the employee or taking corrective action at the fag end of the appraisal cycle should be absolutely avoided in order to keep the employee on track with regard to the goals expected to be achieved.

Performance management is about “Followup, Followup and more Followup”. The more you followup on progress as a manager the better position you are in to offer timely help and advice to the employee/subordinate/team member.

Monitoring should be help in two ways:

  • The first way is by taking a proactive stance by regularly meeting, discussing KPIs, unearthing the red signals well in advance so that counter measures can be taken immediately.  This is the right way for monitoring and should be the preferred way.
  • The second way is by correcting the performance problems as they arise within the organization. This is more of a postmortem which is done after an event is over.  This approach involves identifying the root cause and secondly, implementing a plan of action to correct the problem.
I would prefer the first way, which can be done in the following manner.
A very easy way of monitoring is making a checklist for monitoring.  The team member and the manager needs to agree on the following aspects of monitoring:
  • Frequency of monitoring (daily report, weekly report, quarterly report)
  • Key performance indicators (what is the parameters which should be measured to gauge performance)
  • Targets to be achieved in form of milestones (as no target can be achieved in a day)
  • Agreement with regard to minimum target to be achieved on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis depending on the type of objective.

The second way of taking corrective action after performance management issue arises will be discussed in detail in my succeeding blogs.


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Planning for Performance Management

In my last post, we had discussed on the three phases of performance management. Today we will be discussing the first phase that is planning for performance management in detail.

Planning phase consist of making a “Work Plan”.  The work plan should include:

  1. What needs to be accomplished that is the results that can be expected at the end of the year.
  2. How will this be accomplished that is the game plan for it.
  3. Measures and standards that will be used to measure the same.

What needs to be accomplished:  Requires some effort to be put in to find the appropriate language to describe the performance objectives and the measure/indicators of success.  After putting the appropriate language as per the role and responsibility of the individual, the performance objectives and measures need to be defined. These objectives need to be SMART that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound.

Work Plan – SMART Goals:

Specific:  The objectives should specify clearly

  • What is to be done
  • When it is to be done
  • Who is to accomplish it
  • How much is to be accomplished.

Measurable:  Ask questions again such as

  • How much
  • How many
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

These measures need to be valid that is they should actually measure things that you are trying to measure.

Attainable:   An attainable objective is one for which we can see a likely path to achievement, it should not be very low hanging fruit either but needs to be challenging goal which can accomplished with certain degree of effort.

Realistic:  The objective needs to be possible to achieve. We need to match the level of complexity of the task with the employees experience and capability. Another aspect to consider is the role and responsibility of the individual.  When deciding the final objectives Role and Responsibility precedes experience and capability.

Time-bound:  We need to be clear about the timeframe in which performance objectives are to be achieved.

Writing Objectives:  

• We need to make sure that the objectives are a good representation of the full range of duties carried out by the employee, especially those everyday tasks that can take time but are often overlooked as significant accomplishments.

Consider identifying critical objectives. If the employee does not meet his/her critical objectives then overall performance will be evaluated as unsatisfactory.
•The employee should have a written copy of the performance objectives and the measures/standards that will be used to assess performance.


Performance Planning Checklist

  • Set up a meeting with the employee to discuss the work plan.
  • We need to make sure we set aside sufficient time and make arrangements so that we are not interrupted during the meeting.
  • Explain the purpose of performance planning, the purpose of the meeting and how you propose to proceed
  • Review the employee’s goals and objectives and the strategic plan for the next year.
  • Look at the employee’s existing job description to determine if it’s still accurate and reflects the reality of the employee’s job. Discuss with the concerned employee and make changes as required.
  • Identify objectives that will help the employee grow in terms of role and responsibilities.
  • Discuss the supports available to them for achieving their objectives. These could include courses, workshops or other forms of training which can helpful in their respective roles.
  • Senior management team can be helpful in this phase by helping employee out with resources, funds, and smooth functioning of the department.
  • It is very important to ask the employee if she/he sees any barriers to accomplishing these objectives or their day to day work and, if so, what needs to be done to overcome them. This needs to be done during the planning phase.
  • Finalize the objectives with the employee and  make an appointment for a follow up meeting to sign off on the plan.

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Performance Management, Is it Really that Tough?

The most common complain we hear from new managers, seasoned managers, experience managers, inexperienced managers is lack of performance by team members. Performance management has been an organizational issue for ages now and there are no quick recipes for the same. What needs to be understood by all of us is that with concerted efforts, we will be tackle this common problem very effectively.

What is Performance Management? 

Performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Giving a twist to the same, is it performance managed by each individual which adds up to process performance which in turn adds up to organizational performance?  If we were to put a jigsaw puzzle together, we would understand how performance of each and every individual adds up at the end of the year to create that magic for the organization.

Performance is most often misunderstood as we tend to look at performance in terms of Individual Performance and Team Performance.  We need to understand that performance in any organization matters in 3 ways or works at 3 levels:

  1. Business or Organizational PM
  2. Process Performance Management
  3. Individual Performance Management
This is illustrated by the “Three Level Framework” by Rummler and Brache. This Framework looks at performance as
  1. Organization level
  2. Process level
  3. Job/performer level
Here is a very effective illustration of the same:


Level of Performance Goals Design Management
Organizational Level  Organization Goals Organization Design Organization Management
Process Level  Process Goals Process Design Process Management
Job/Performer Level Job Goals Job Design Job Management


In this particular blog, we will focus on individual/job/performer level before discussing the performance of Process/Organization at a later stage.  This particular level looks at the job and and the performers who carry out the job.


“If capable, well-trained people are placed in a setting with clear expectations, minimal task interference, reinforcing consequences, and appropriate feedback, then they will be motivated.” – Geary Rummler and Alan Brache, (1990)


After reading innumerable books on performance management, the most effective approach that I have found over the years is Management by Objectives by Peter Drucker.  “Management By Objectives” term was first popularized by Peter Drucker in 1954 in his book ‘The Practice of Management’.

Performance management using a management-by-objectives (results-based) approach has three phases:

•Phase 1 – Planning

•Phase 2 – Monitoring

•Phase 3 – Reviewing
This can also be referred to as the “Performance Management Cycle”
Planning:  The start of Performance Management Cycle is characterized by Planning.  Planning involves identifying, clarifying and agreeing upon expectations with the team member.  Most of the managers do identify expectations clearly and clarify them too but fail to put in proper mechanisms to measure results.  Hence, two very important things to do in the planning phase are:
  1. To put clear measurements in place to calibrate results
  2. Put in mechanisms in place to monitor progress.
We could be fire fighting every single day and not bother about measuring results in a consistent and timely manner to monitor progress.  This will have a negative impact on the employee if he/she is not forewarned,  in case results are not going in the desired direction much before the appraisal time.
Monitoring :  Monitoring involves evaluating progress made by the team member/employee in a consistent and timely manner for example, tracking the progress every day, week, monthly, quarterly etc.  Apart from tracking performance, monitoring also involves taking corrective actions as warrranted.
Review:  Reviewing performance and evaluating it go hand in hand.  Most of us believe in quarterly, half yearly and yearly review cycle.
We will be discussing each phase in detail over the ensuing blogs!
Happy Reading!



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