How to Drive Performance Improvements in your Organization

Oftentimes, plans and strategies are developed and implemented.  Many times the implementation is handed off and the team left on their own to implement.  And many of the times, the implementation fails or the results are not delivered.

Why is this?  It is because there is a lack of governance and accountability.  These are more than just words.  They are a system, process and a sense of ownership throughout the organization to ensure that the plan is implemented and any roadblocks are dealt with.

What is Governance?

Governance can be defined as “Governance determines who has power, who makes decisions, how other players make their voice heard and how account is rendered.” (Institute of Governance). In short, governance is the continuous monitoring of any implementation, for proper decision making, accountability to deliver the actions and ensure a successful implementation of any plan, strategy, or project.

What is Accountability?

Accountability can be defined as “The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.  It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.” (Business Dictionary).    Essentially, accountability is the willingness of an individual to accept responsibility to complete the tasks to deliver the plan, strategy or project.  Without accountability, no plan or strategy will survive.

Building a Governance Structure

Implementing a governance structure for any activity can be overwhelming the first time it is done.  Often times a governance structure does not have to be complicated.  When implementing any reliability improvement strategy or plan, a basic governance structure should be utilized.

  • Establish a Governance Board:  In order to provide governance of any project, a group of selected individuals should be brought together periodically.  This group should not be involved in the day to day activities, but be made up of decision makers and have a senior role in the organization.
  • Establish the Right Meetings: The Governance board will not be meeting daily.  At most, they will review the progress weekly, but more than often it is monthly.  This does not mean that the plan will not be reviewed more frequently.  It will be reviewed daily or weekly by the implementation team and issues or decisions escalated to the Governance board as needed.  During the Governance review meeting, progress will be reviewed and escalated issues resolved.
  • Make it Visual: One way to help manage the daily and weekly progress is to make it visual.  Have the key measures posted on a wall and track them by either red or green.  This will allow anyone involved in the plan to see where it stands.
  • Escalate Issues: During the implementation, certain measures will not progress as expected.  These may not need to be escalated to the Governance board yet.  If a measure is off for a single week, but there is a realistic plan to bring it back on track, there is no need to escalate.  However, if the measures are red for 3 or more weeks, it is time to escalate.   Be sure to define the triggers of escalation early in the implementation.

The whole purpose of the governance structure is to ensure staff is completing their actions on time, to remove roadblocks and make decisions.

With a governance structure in place, you will be able to watch the benefits rise as the plan or strategy is implemented.   A governance structure will not eliminate the issues that arise during any implementation but will enable any issues to be addressed quickly and correctly.

Does Your Organization Utilize a Governance Process?

I am curious if your organization utilize a governance process for any projects, strategies, or plans.  If you are, how has it been setup?  What benefits have you seen as a result of it?  If you don’t utilize a governance process, how do you ensure your implementation is successful?

In closing, having a plan or strategy and utilizing a governance process will ensure success in the new year.

Remember, to find success, you must first solve the problem, then achieve the implementation of the solution, and finally sustain winning results.

I’m James Kovacevic
Eruditio, LLC
Where Education Meets Application