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Working Hard & Working Well: A Practical Guide to Performance Management

Working Hard

Working Well

A Practical Guide to Performance Management


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For Leaders Serving Children, Adults, and Families

From Author’s Note: I hope this will be a useful guide for those who are interested in understanding performance management, those who want to learn how to develop performance-management systems, and those who are looking for practical knowledge about how to implement such systems in order to “manage to outcomes” as Mario Morino points out in his book Leap of Reason.

Learn more about Leap of Reason, which was Virtual CAP’s Feature of the Month for January.

The Pillars of Performance

Chapter 3 describes three pillars and six elements that support performance management:
  • Pillar 1 – Performance Leadership
    • Element 1 – Operational Leaders
    • Element 2 – Operational Managers
  • Pillar 2 – Management System
    • Element 1 – Accountability Systems
    • Element 2 – Results-Focused Budgeting
  • Pillar 3 – Information and Knowledge Production
    • Element 1 – Measuring and Monitoring Systems
    • Element 2 – External Evaluation

How to Get Started (Introspection)

Chapter 4 gives a framework for developing a “theory of change” to serve as your organization’s blueprint for success. A model for a four-day Theory of Change Workshop is included:
  1. To help the agency develop a top-to-bottom consensus on what each department, program, and person contributes to the value of what the organization produces
  2. To create a blueprint for the (re)design of the agency and its programs to make it robust and sustainable and its work measurably effective
  3. To design the performance-management system that the agency will use to keep its work at the highest levels of quality, effectiveness, and efficiency

Appendix II features a Pre-Workshop Worksheet to be completed for each program within your organization.

From Introspection to Culture Change

Chapter 5 offers some basic points for implementing performance management and monitoring.

Easy-to-Apply Tools

Appendix III offers web-based tools that can be used to assess organizational strengths and capacity for managing performance, and also to chart the areas that need further development. Additionally, tools to help determine when an organization is ready to undertake an evaluation, either formative or summative.

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