Performance improvement is the process of improving the efficiency of the processes that go into using resources to achieve defined objectives.
Improvement of performance essentially requires its measurement which may be tangible or intangible based on the objectives of the process. The objectives or benchmarks define what the performance should be to achieve those objectives and the gap that exists between the desired and actual performance. Performance can be of an organization, a process, for a job or an individual in personal life.
The process of bridging this gap requires a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis) exercise and doing a root cause analysis to find the exact reasons why the gaps exist. This equips us to identify the areas of improvement, prioritize them according to the gains and ease of implementation and make an implement plan of what we need to do, what strategy we need to use to improve the performance, resources required and the tools needed to monitor and evaluate the performance and meet the objectives.
Many factors go into improving the performance of organisations. Some of them are the products and services they offer, the market in which they operate, the competitive advantage, clear definition of goals and objectives, organisation culture and management, quantity and quality of resources, target and data driven orientation, measurement system and process control tools, level of motivation, training and skill upgrading, knowledge management, business intelligence, identification and encouragement of change agents.
Performance improvement is a process in which not only the top management but every member of the organisation needs to participate positively. This is difficult unless there is build up of trust which may be between the management and the employees in case of organisations or between an individual and the community or society. Trust is based upon the track record of living upto promises and the belief that the gains of performance improvement will be shared in a manner declared before the performance improvement efforts begin.
Success of an organisation or an individual in meeting goals lies in understanding the process and constantly improving the performance in an ever changing scenario. Once you have the awareness, the tools to measure it backed with good intentions, success cannot be far away.