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Performance improvement

Performance improvement is the concept of measuring the output of a particular process or procedure, then modifying the process or procedure in order to increase the output, increase efficiency, or increase the effectiveness of the process or procedure. The concept of performance improvement can be applied to either individual performance such as an athlete or organisational performance such as a racing team or a commercial enterprise.

In Organisational development, performance improvement is the concept of organizational change in which the managers and governing body of an organisation put into place and manage a programme which measures the current level of performance of the organization and then generates ideas for modifying organisational behavior and infrastructure which are put into place in order to achieve a better level of output. The primary goals of organisational improvement are to improve organizational effectiveness and organizational efficiency in order to improve the ability of the organisation to deliver its goods and/or services and prosper in the marketplaces in which the organization competes. A third area of improvement which is sometimes targeted for improvement is organisational efficacy which involves the process of setting organizational goals and objectives.

Performance improvement at the operational or individual employee level usually involves processes such as statistical quality control. At the organisational level, performance improvement usually involves softer forms of measurement such as customer satisfaction surveys which are used to obtain qualitative information about performance from the viewpoint of customers.

Performance defined

Performance is a measure of the results achieved. Performance efficiency is the ratio between effort expended and results achieved. The difference between current performance and the theoretical performance limit is the performance improvement zone.

Another way to think of performance improvement is to see it as improvement in four potential areas. First, is the resource INPUT requirements (e.g., reduced working capital, material, replacement/reorder time,and set-up requirements). Second, is the THROUGHPUT requirements, often viewed as process efficiency; this is measured in terms of time, waste, and resource utilization. Third, OUTPUT requirements, often viewed from a cost/price, quality, functionality perspective. Fourth, OUTCOME requirements, did it end up making a difference.

Performance is an abstract concept and it must be represented by concrete, measurable phenomena or events in order to be measured. Baseball athlete performance is abstract covering many different types of activities. Batting average is a concrete measure of a particular performance attribute for a particular game role, batting, for the game of baseball.

Performance assumes an actor of some kind but the actor could be an individual person or a group of people acting in concert. The performance platform is the infrastructure or devices used in the performance act.

There are two main ways to improve performance: improving the measured attribute by using the performance platform more effectively, or by improving the measured attribute by modifying the performance platform, which in turn allows a given level of use to be more effective in producing the desired output.

For instance, in several sports such as tennis and golf, there have been technological improvements in the apparatuses used in these sports. The improved apparatus in turn allows players to achieve better performance with no improvement in skill by purchasing new equipment. The apparatus, the golf club and golf ball or the tennis racket, provide the player with a higher theoretical performance limit.

Levels

Performance improvement can occur at different levels:
* an individual performer
* a team
* an organizational unit
* the organization itself

Cycle

Business performance management and improvement can be thought of as a cycle:

#Performance Planning where goals and objectives are established
#Performance Coaching where a manager intervenes to give feedback and adjust performance
#Performance appraisal where individual performance is formally documented and feedback delivered

ee also

* Collaborative method
* Feedback
* Experiment
* Effectiveness
* Efficacy
* Employee development
* Performance engineering
* Personal development

External links

* [http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmmi/ Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute CMMI]
* [http://www.opm.gov/perform/sitemap.asp Office of Personnel Management]
* [http://www.petrexonline.com/publications/4-creating-a-performance-improvement-culture Creating a Performance Improvement Culture]
* [http://www.ispi.org International Society for Performance Improvement]


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