Performance Management Defined (PM Series)

10 09 2009

One  item plaguing Performance Management is that the concept has no real meaning that is both commonly understood and concisely stated.  To some, Performance Management is financial, to others it is software, and to some just a phrase they like to use. To shed a little light on this, I thought I would ask fellow bloggers, Jonathan Becher and Gary Cokins to debate the various definitions.

  • How would each of you define Performance Management and what does it mean when it is successfully implemented?

You both write specific blogs about the definition of Performance Management (Becher/Cokins) and have been examing the idea for some time.  Have your opinions changed on its definition?  What have you seen the market do over the last few years that you agree with or perhaps disagree with?  Jonathan, you do a nice job providing an indicator of the level of maturity that Performance Management in that a Yahoo search resulted in 14 million hits while the well understood concept of Customer Relationship Management returns 15 million hits.  Clearly, Performance Management is now mainstream, but does it really have a buying agenda like Customer Relationship Management?  Or are people just buying parts and using the popularity of the term to elevate the project?  And even so, does it matter?




4 responses

13 09 2009
Performance Management Defined (and Debated) « Manage By Walking Around

[…] Management Defined (and Debated) Throwing down the blogging gauntlet, Michael asks a simple – but provocative – question: How would […] you define Performance Management and […]

13 09 2009

Performance Management is a popular term but that doesn’t means it’s a mature discipline and there certainly is widespread confusion on what it really means. Most people still use the term “performance management” to mean workforce or human capital management, and the disciplines of financial, operational, and IT performance are related, but largely independent.

Three years after the post you point to, I’m not sure the market has evolved as much as I would have guessed. This is disappointing but maybe not terribly surprising. After all, many organizations still don’t have tightly linked CRM strategies for sales, service, and marketing and that market is arguably a decade more mature than performance management.

I’ve added some thoughts over on my blog (

18 09 2009
David Axson

We love definitions and we also love making them far too complicated. To me performance management today should be simply defined as “anything an organization does to promote fast, confident decision-making.” Ultimately performance is about two things – deciding what to do and doing it – everything else is peripheral.

23 12 2012
change management jobs

Greetings! I’ve been following your site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: