Chapter 8
Continual Improvements
Every stage in a performance improvement effort is an opportunity
to gather and use new information. Continuous improvement, in
fact, should be an ongoing goal and part of every organization’s
culture. From small tweaks that can improve process efficiencies to
broader performance reviews to ensure that performance solutions
are working, use the continual improvement process to achieve
desired results.
At the time of implementation, no performance solutions will be
picture perfect; there will always be opportunities to improve proc-
esses, procedures, techniques, tools, resources, and implementa-
tion tactics. Acknowledge these normal shortcomings by providing a
systematic process by which current applications of performance
technologies can be improved upon (see Figure 8.1).
Figure 8.1: Continual improvement process
Revise as required
Continual Improvement
Step 1: Assess performance
Step 2: Assess solutions
for alignment
Step 3: Assess implementations
Step 4: Improve performance
152 Performance by Design
Measuring Results
Not all performance solutions will contribute useful results, at least
not at first. Improvements will routinely have to be made to most
performance efforts in order for desired results at all levels to be
accomplished. Regularly assess and monitor the results being
accomplished, and then verify that those results are aligned with
desired performance objectives at the societal, organizational, and
individual/team levels. Measure current accomplishments against
the desired results defined in each performance objective to identify
new opportunities for improvement.
Use the same performance assessments you used to judge
potential performance solutions. Since all decisions regarding the
initial design and development of each performance technology
were based on the achievement of these results, it is only reason-
able to use them as standards for performance during implemen-
An organization’s strategic direction can also shift in the middle
of an improvement effort. If it does, performance objectives that
were drivers for early decisions may have to be adjusted. Review
(and possibly revise) the related performance objectives for each
performance technology. Based on your review, decide if the
selected performance technologies can accomplish the newly iden-
tified results, if current interventions can be revised, or if an alterna-
tive set of solutions should be considered.
When is it time to start over? Significant changes in the strate-
gic objectives of your organization (or its partners) suggest that you
should again select, design, and develop appropriate performance
Step One: Assess performance.
Desired results: An analysis report of the results being accom-
plished by implemented performance solutions.
Performance should be measured systematically and routinely.
Implementation is not the time to identify results to be achieved or
how those accomplishments will be measured. Regularly revisit the
performance assessments and apply those measures to evaluate
your success.
Continual Improvements 153
Use the assessments aligned with societal and organizational
performance objectives to evaluate the accomplishments of the
systemic performance improvement effort. Individual and team-level
assessments can then be used to measure the performance of
specific technologies.
During the planning stage (i.e., determining the performance
objectives that will guide decisions), you used performance objec-
tives sequentially from each level to define desired results (only
later identifying desired processes and inputs). Correspondingly,
when evaluating (i.e., assessing the achievement of results), you
should reverse the sequence. First evaluate at the Input level, and
then the process, micro, macro, and mega levels in that order.
As you move sequentially from society to organization to indi-
vidual during the planning stages and from individual to organiza-
tion to society during the implementation and evaluation stages, you
will achieve the strategic goals and objectives of the organizational
partners (see Figure 8.2).
Figure 8.2. Relating the levels of the Organizational Elements
Model in planning, implementing, and evaluating
and Evaluating
When you identify performance solutions that aren’t accom-
plishing desired results (or that are inefficient), review their selec-
tion, design, development, and implementation for opportunities to
improve. You may find that the selected performance technology
was not the right choice, or you overlooked things during the design
process or made errors during implementation. It is important,
however, that you evaluate each performance technology using

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