You cannot improve what you cannot measure

To improve anything, you should be able to compare it with some (external or internal) standards and benchmarks. It helps you to know your strong and weak areas to know where to work more.

Continuing on my article “The Number Game”, performance measurement and performance management is a mandatory department for any sophisticated and modern company. The companies can expect to excel only if they have this important information.

The performance measurement system not only provides numbers but also helps companies to set direction,  discipline and control in their regular work.

One industry for which it is generally difficult to have a performance measurement system in place is the Software Development Industry. Reason why it is believed to be difficult is because it has very different dynamics from any other domain. The estimations, effort, complexity, rework and quality are not absolute and also the resources have to work for odd and extended hours very frequently. Same resource can require different effort on something which he/she had previously worked on several times. Also there is one problem with software development resources as they are generally not very good  and efficient in adding regular feedback into systems.

A good and effective Performance Measurement System can do wonders for you. It not only helps you regulate how to work but also efficient in highlighting strong and weak performers in each category during any time-frame. You can appreciate top performers and similarly work with low performers in areas which they need improvement.

I had this experience when a Performance Measurement system was implemented, the resources started coming to you and discuss how they can improve their scores. One area that really got boosted was the Quality. Resources started to become more conscious to avoid rework and bugs starting from the very first iteration. Similarly the QA department became more strict as their numbers were heavily based on that system.

All in all, performance measurement is a very good system to have but has to be carefully planned and implemented. Implementation requires educating the users and letting the system mature by giving it some time.

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