Don’t Over Complicate Performance Measurement

If you’re anything like most organizations, you’re completely bogged down in 2021 planning. And the best part is you’re trying to put together the ideal plan for your organization all via Zoom.

Creating a compelling plan, and associated performance measures, was difficult enough under normal circumstances. Now when you factor in the inability to meet in person you’re faced with a difficult situation. But developing a strong plan is vital to successful performance management in 2021.

For 2021 your ultimate goal in planning and performance measurement should be simple. Simplify your life and don’t overcomplicate the ways you establish performance management.

I’m often asked, “What’s the best structure for a strategic plan?” and “Do organizations use templates to help them plan?”.

I’ll answer the second question first.

Do organizations use templates to help them plan?

Every organization’s strategic plan is like a snowflake. Each is unique. Some may start with a template but as soon as all stakeholders are included, the template goes out the window. When a template goes out the window, you’re opening yourself up to an overly complicated plan. One that has no semblance of unified performance management across the organization.

In need of a template? We have you covered.

So, what about the first question?


Strategic Plan Template

This five level strategic plan template will help you create a plan that’s built around best practices for optimized execution.

Free Strategic Plan Template

What’s the best structure for a strategic plan?

Well, after 8 years of pondering this question, I have a structure that I’ve seen work time and time again.

The best strategic plan structure for performance measurement is a four-level plan:

  1. Goals – What are you focused on this year?
  2. Measurements – How will you measure those goals?
  3. Strategies – How will you move those measurements?
  4. Tactics – How will you execute those strategies?

If you are interested in other structures, we’ve covered other strategic plan examples too.

Performance Measurement as a Framework

Since today’s blog is all about performance measures, I’ll focus on the second level of the plan structure: Measurements.

Every goal needs to be measured. Your organization must understand if you’ve accomplished your goal and performance measures are the way to get there. It doesn’t matter if you call it a Performance Measure, Objective, KPI, or something completely different. The important piece is measuring progress. This is THE foundational pillar of performance management.

Is your goal to have a best-in-class customer experience? Then measure NPS scores, customer survey results, or the number of clients willing to provide a comment on review sites. And don’t just measure the number for measurement sake. Each performance measure should have a focus to increase, decrease, or maintain a number.

Notice how I didn’t include 50 examples of performance measures. The moment you move past 3-5 performance measures, you’re now in the over-complicated zone.

I’m not saying you won’t track other measures outside of your plan. But I am asking you to identify the critical few, often lagging measures, to add to your strategic plan. This won’t be easy, but I can assure you it’ll lead to a plan that’s very easy to understand.

A simplified plan is a key to effective performance measurement.

Simplify your plan, simplify your life

Lastly, try and explain the logic of your plan in less than 30 seconds. Go ahead, try it.

If your plan is simple it will be easy to explain your thought process on the structure you’ve created. If you’ve overcomplicated things, then you’ll tend to ramble on for what can feel like hours.

If you can easily explain your plan, then the people you need to execute the plan will likely be much more successful.

Following these simple, effective steps for performance measurement will make 2021 your year!

About AchieveIt

AchieveIt is the platform that large organizations use to get their biggest, most important initiatives out of the boardroom and into reality. Too many great ideas never quite make it across the finish line, because there’s no real way to keep everyone on course and keep everything on track. What does it take to actually guide these initiatives all the way through to completion? You’ve got to:

  1. Get everything in view – so you can see what’s happening with every initiative, at every level, from the enterprise to the individual, in real time.
  2. Get everyone engaged – with an easy-to-use platform that connects your organization from the executive leadership to the project teams, keeping everyone accountable and on the same page.
  3. Get every possible advantage – not only because you have the premier platform in this space, but because you can draw on the experience and best practices of our execution experts.

That’s why everyone from global corporations, to regional healthcare systems, to federal agencies have turned to AchieveIt for their Integrated Plan Management. Let’s actually do this.

Ready to improve your plan execution?

Organizations of all types leverage AchieveIt to connect, manage, and execute their most important initiatives. Replace manual processes & siloed systems with interconnected plans in a single, automated platform.


Meet the Author  Joseph Krause

Joe has helped organizations execute thousands of strategic, operational, and project plans in his 10+ years at AchieveIt. Joe is passionate about helping teams drive successful business outcomes with a focus on practical, easy to use advice. Joe graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and obtained a Masters of Science in Healthcare Communication from Boston University. Joe recently completed his studies at Rutgers University where he obtained a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in finance.

Hear directly from our awesome customers

See first-hand why the world's best leaders use AchieveIt

See AchieveIt in action 

Stay in the know. Join our community of subscribers.

Subscribe for plan execution content sent directly to your inbox.