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Performance Improvement

Helping you deliver significant performance improvements to the critical areas of your organisation.

We work closely with you to identify your problem business areas – specific departments, functions, products or individual services – and drive out efficiency gains, cost savings, margin improvements – using our proven tools and techniques.

Our approach

Improving the performance of an organisation – be it the entire business or a single department or operating unit – requires a range of different skills and a blend of complementary techniques. You will need to establish a team that blends together strong leadership, good communication, excellent data gathering and analysis skills, and strong estimating and planning skills.

The steps you should follow to define and deliver your performance improvements:

Set the scope and direction. The first step in your performance improvement (PI) programme is to define and agree on the scope and set the broad direction of the work. For example, does the scope include all departments/units, or one specific department? To help you achieve this, it can be very helpful to carry out a quick high-level “Business Health Check” assessment.

Define the performance factors. The next step is to be clear about the performance factors that need to be tackled and how they fit into your organisation’s strategic context.  Without a clear strategy behind the performance improvement (PI) programme, there is a risk that the initiatives will only achieve short-term effects.   The targets for your PI programme could simply be to reduce costs or they might involve a variety of interrelated factors, such as: improving customer service and customer satisfaction, increasing profitability and achieving greater employee productivity.

Engage key stakeholders. At the outset of the PI programme, it is critical to engage with all your key stakeholders.  The outcomes will be much more effective, and are more likely to stick if the leadership, management and staff of your organisation support the initiative from the start.

Establish the Baseline. The PI team must gather enough data to provide a baseline for the current position – it is impossible to set targets and measure improvements unless you know the status quo.

Build your performance model. The next crucial step is to build a model, or set of models, which articulate the supply and demand factors that influence current performance, and then use these models to test a series of what-if scenarios.  This analysis is used to develop a set of individual performance improvement opportunities, to define the potential value of each initiative and to estimate the cost of implementation.

Develop business cases. Your team should develop a set of business cases, one for each potential improvement project, working closely with the key stakeholders to make sure they remain committed to the process. The team then needs to prioritise, plan and deliver the performance projects using a rigorous programme delivery approach.

Identify and Deliver Quick Wins. As part of the PI programme, we always recommend that you should identify and kick-off some quick win projects.  These quick wins will help you to build the credibility of your PI programme and reinforce buy-in from the stakeholder community.

Establish and deliver full PI programme. In parallel with kicking off your quick wins you should also establish the full PI programme or, if smaller scale, you may just need a single PI project.  You should follow standard practice for setting up the structure and key components of the project or programme – for example, defining the various work streams or individual projects you require, the overall governance structure – e.g. you should put some form of Steering, Project or Programme Board in place – and establishing a project/programme management office (PMO) function.  This solid foundation of programme/project delivery disciplines will help to ensure you deliver your performance improvements effectively.

Can we help?: If you’d like to schedule an informal discussion about your current or upcoming project, or if you’re looking for advice and getting a feel for your options, please do get in touch.

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