Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Driving performance in 2020 for individuals and teams was a challenge no matter what persona's/hats you wore or types of tools, technologies, and methodologies defined your environment. Reflecting back on interactions and experiences 2 strategies stood out which help create awareness and measure performance for individuals, coaches, and team leaders. To be effective each of these strategies must be adapted for each individual and team to incorporate the culture and capabilities that exist. These strategies rely on the philosophy that people are more important that process and outcomes are more important than audits.
The individual performance development strategy focuses on 4 areas of improvement over 90 days. I was exposed to these areas while serving as a coach in the Arizona State Soccer Olympic Development Program. In late 2015 there was a shift away from a coach centric approach to a player centric approach for performance development. You see very similar shifts in business with the adoption of agile methodologies and frameworks, executive coaching programs, and focused servant leadership. Complementary frameworks include continuous improvement activities delivered by Six Sigma certified teams and Release Trains or PI's (Program Increments) made popular through SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework). While these frameworks provide roles and strategy for teams, individual development activities are not at the core which can result in critical skills gaps, inadequate team structures, unsupportive daily activities (energy/purpose), and lack of communication or social cohesiveness.
The sample template provides descriptions and examples of each of the 4 Pillars of Performance. On your own or with a coach the first session builds a common understanding of each area, defines activities, when to perform them, and what is measured from the activities. Reflecting on the experiences is the key.
One executive I worked with identified the technical skill of public speaking to improve over the next 30 days. In order to achieve experience in public speaking we identified an event, defined the preparation activities, and practiced together and with a test audience. The presentation provided the experience she was looking for and led to a set of new measurable action items for the next 30 days. The key takeaway from this approach is that each person's maturity level will vary therefore co-creating enjoyable activities, achievable measurements, and rapid feedback loops puts them in a position to succeed.
The team performance development strategy is meant to last for 90 days and is adapted from a Kaizen, or continuous improvement event. The 4 areas that guide the process in the sample (summit approach) are Investigate, Ideate, Prototype, Evaluate and Produce. In your environment terms like Kaizen and the names of the 4 stages may be foreign. You may have to change the names to match your environment. If you need ideas let me know I have adapted this many times. It is critical to identify all the contributors to the desired outcome and the workstreams that they represent/own. There are three main roles, the facilitator, workstream owner, and stakeholder. The purpose of this approach is to drive understanding of each of the workstream owner's challenges and define activities over each 30 day period that will drive improvement across all the workstreams. This is where identifying dependencies is critical.
In the sample plan the team has identified 4 workstreams, a list of shared action items, and assigned one owner for each activity over the next 30 days. Teams work together between Kaizen/Summits to accomplish the critical list of activities with the facilitator scheduling 1-1's to prepare each workstream leader for the next readout. In the next readout the team will celebrate wins and define the action items for the next 30 days. After 90 days the team decides if there should be others invited to participate in the program for next 90 days to achieve more/better results and accelerate the outcomes.
If you would like access to the templates or tips on how to adapt these strategies to your environment please reach out at Derick.Brownell@thePMOSquad.com.
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