Visual Performance Management is a way to improve business communication and performance. Set up effectively, it can deliver information on how your business is performing, identify issues, and support a culture of continuous improvement to address problems.
The idea is to see what things need improvement to deliver your goals.
Assess what you need to know – and why – before developing how you are going to display your performance. This is fundamental to success, as the wrong measures can drive the wrong behaviour. Too many measures can confuse people. Performance measures should be linked to delivering what your organisation should be looking to achieve to meet your customer needs. Focus on the ‘must haves’ rather than the ‘nice to haves’.
Once the vital few measures have been agreed, a business may use a dashboard or performance board to display the data. Charts and graphs are useful to show upwards or downwards trends. Electronic boards may have the ability to show information in real time, but consider how often different types of information require this.
Standardising the display of information across your business makes it easier for people at all hierarchy levels to understand what is being communicated across functions. Keep it simple, clear and updated regularly. Standardisation also helps the information within visual displays to be scaled up or down for individual teams on the shop floor, up to top levels of management who may need an overall summary of business performance rather than the detail of each team.
Once your Visual Performance Management is set up, it’s vital to use it to drive the right conversations. Team huddles are a great opportunity to review and discuss performance improvement. These 15-20 minute meetings (usually held standing up around the performance board) place accountability and ownership onto each team member, who should be encouraged to discuss their contribution as well as their challenges. Held regularly, this provides an effective forum to log issues, track progress or escalation, and recognise good performance.