OPINION | What is performance? With whom ? And for what objectives? We offer you a point of view.
By Cécile Michel, Patricia Beaumont and François Pouzeratte, Partners Eurogroup Consulting
The definition of performance provides for producing a good or service at less cost (efficiency) in achieving the strategic objectives of the company (effectiveness). Performance is at the heart of the operation of the company, the purpose of which is to create economic and social value. The famous phrase of the German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt from 1970 summarizes this economic and social dynamic: “The profits of today are the investments of tomorrow and the jobs of the day after tomorrow. ”
The contributions of operational excellence have shown that the search for performance is not just a financial action but an analysis of practices and how they create value for the customer. It all starts with the customer. Lean techniques, initiated in the Japanese automotive industry from the years 1970 , mobilize tools to analyze practices in order to improve quality in relation to customer expectations. It is also about optimally allocating resources to avoid waste. In addition to operational excellence initiatives, more financial approaches have been deployed aimed at optimizing costs, such as the zero-based budget technique. This consists of looking for less expensive alternatives for each cost item without degrading the quality.
The tools and procedures for analyzing performance have been improved over time. with quality, operational excellence and management control. Organizations today have a battery of levers to assess and improve performance. Sociological developments in terms of participation and collaboration, but also the emergence of reasons for existing and of companies with a mission, raise the question of the well-being of employees. The symmetry of attentions has shown that in order to have happy customers, you have to have happy employees. For all these reasons and with the concern of getting the stakeholders on board, we are going from OR to AND . It is not the performance or the well-being of employees but both at the same time and this is the objective of the Perf & Care approach.
A Perf & Care approach treats both concepts at the same time with the promise that the procedures will be anchored in the long term because they are carried out in collaborative mode and by seeking the commitment of stakeholders. To do this, operational excellence techniques based on process analysis and the search for optimization through simplification are mixed with collaborative and engagement approaches. This methodological proposal combines the processes of operational excellence with managerial innovations such as participatory workshops, the detection of irritants, autonomy, experimentation and the logic of individual and collective commitment. The operational excellence tools used are the A3 diagnostic, the value proposition, simplification, capitalization in knowledge mode management , activity and capacity measures
Phases and deliverables of the Perf & Care approach
– A3 diagnostic
– Value proposition
– Knowledge Management
– Activity indicators
– Capacity and maturity indicators
– Participatory workshops
– Autonomy variables
– Individual Posture
– Collective dynamics
The process takes place in 3 stages over periods of 6 to 12 months depending on the planned scope. The first step is that of dialogue and awareness by the beneficiaries of the situation and of the important subjects to be dealt with. The A3 diagnostic of operational excellence makes it possible to list subjects to be treated as well as the value proposition. For this, it is recommended to use participatory workshops to define the existing and deduce the main irritants to be treated. The second step is that of experimentation . Contrary to the top-down approaches aimed at applying a tool, it is planned to put the actors in an experimental situation for at least 3 months to test different alternatives to resolve the irritants and improve the functioning. In a logic of optimization, actions of simplification and prioritization are privileged. Beneficiaries are asked to experiment independently but also to tell the story of their experience in a logic of sharing in Knowledge Management videos. The third step deploys the notion of anchoring to stabilize the new practices over time. Too often, it is difficult for devices to take root over time. This has two negative implications. The first is the non-integration of new practices over time and the other lies in the fact that these mechanisms will have to be repeated. To avoid this, work on individual postures is carried out with a view to personal development in order to create a collective dynamic that creates meaning. To objectify the efforts made and the results obtained, activity indicators are calculated and capacity and maturity assessments are carried out.
The Perf approach & Care opens up the field of hybridization between operational excellence and managerial innovation. The proposed model is currently being deployed in organizations in order to stabilize the framework of the approach and consider the contingency of certain deliverables depending on the context. Being a hybrid means having several objectives at the same time and thus responding to the economic and social aspirations of today’s organizations.
Also read: How to adapt your management to a context of rapid change?