Performance Management Plan


This week’s Individual Assignment in the Atwood and Allen consulting memo series asks you to develop aPerformance Management Framework (i.e., system/process design) for the client. The instructions say “to recommend to the client” yet again the client expects you to tell him what to do (even though he always has the option not to follow your “recommendation”).

The word limit on this assignment is 2,450, so clearly the instructions are calling for a comprehensive and explicit performance management framework. Succinct writing (i.e., versus wordy and unnecessarily long) is generally the norm in business (i.e., don’t waste the bosses time), yet when it comes to planning then comprehensiveness and detail are the goal. Altogether this means the memo that’s on target will be succinctly written yet also filled with somewhat detailed direction (i.e., do this, then this) and thorough justification why this approach is best for the client’s situation.

Translating that back into word count, I’ve seen excellent memos that get the job done in 2,000 words, maybe even 1,800. But, if you are coming up with anything less, then you are probably not including enough specifics. On the high side, since comprehensiveness is especially helpful when it comes to planning, you cannot include too much detail or justification. If you go over 2,450, this is fine.

The information you need to complete this assignment is covered in Chapter 9 in generic terms . . . and aleading-edge model for a performance management framework is revealed in the Eli Lilly webinar from last week . . . but still you will once again have to think through the more practical day-to-day operations of this start-up limousine business in order to develop an appropriate performance management framework for this business (i.e., appropriate for the business scale, specific work, type of employee relationship, etc.).

When the assignment talks about “alignment of the performance management framework to the organizational business strategy”, this is where you explain your approach to designing a framework that “fits” this business situation and the business goals (e.g., “be the best in Austin”, “up to 25 employees in the first year”, etc.) . . . where you make the framework “appropriate” for this business.

“Organizational performance philosophy” means the approach you are going to recommend overall for the people side of the business . . . for staffing and managing the organization (e.g., great place to work, military precision and discipline, self-management, etc.).

Regarding the “job analysis process” you are being asked to explain how you learned about the job/work of company’s future limousine drivers and identified the skills that these employees would need (i.e., the professional level research you did).

Be specific when you talk about measuring skills. For example, how can a start-up business best measure the “customer service” level that each driver-candidate could provide, and that hired drivers continue to provide? How do you measure empathy and concern for customers? How about neatness?

Here’s a link to the NeuroLeadership Institute webinar recording . . . a presentation on Performance Management at Eli Lilly wherein the VP Talent Development explains why and how the company redesigned its performance management system (i.e., process, framework, etc.) – (look down among the choices for the Eli Lilly webinar replay).

As well, much of what is discussed is also discussed in greater detail in the article from our Week 3 discussion, Kill Your Performance Ratings (authored by scholars from the NeuroLeadership Institute) and published in MIT’s business journal, Strategy & Business –


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