Background Management Systems

Management Systems Definitions

If you try to combine them in to one then you will end up doing neither particularly well.

Let’s try to define the differences between performance and improvement management systems.

Performance Management System

This is a structured, visual approach to monitoring the business performance, highlighting issues and reacting to them in a timely manner. It enables the organisation to run on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to maintain and sustain a defined level of performance.

It relies upon regularly gathering accurate data about how a process is performing and having a method to use that data to highlight problems or gaps and take action to close them.

This helps maintain stability and sustain any future step change improvements that are made.

Improvement Management System

This is the method which enables the organisation to make step changes in performance to improve its competitiveness over the medium and longer term.

The activities are prioritised to align with the vison and goals of the business and focus on raising current performance levels through specific projects.

It relies on thorough problem solving to identify these projects and action planning to make the improvements happen.

Continuous Improvement

This is the result of combining good Performance and Improvement Management Systems.

Just having a Performance Management System will lead to very slow, gradual improvement (see the blue line).

Just having an Improvement Management System will lead to erratic, unsustainable improvment results – like a saw tooth (see the green line).

The key is to combine them to achieve sustainable Continuous Improvement and by relentless application of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle.

However, they are discrete systems and need separate management routines to deploy them effectively.

Combining Performance and Improvment Management Systems for Continuous Improvement