A performance management system provides information that aids understanding of current service performance. However, the environment in which it is implemented is key to its success. Jenny North from Impetus-PEF said,
“What should keep you awake at night is not knowing. It’s not knowing what’s happening on the ground, it’s not knowing what levers you can push to change. Performance management is control, but not in a control-freaky way – it’s having control of your program to know how you can do it better. It’s knowledge. It’s visibility. It’s being able to sleep at night.”[i]
This necessary ingredient of what Impetus-PEF refers to as ‘performance anxiety’ was further explained by one of their performance analysts, Pedro Sampaio,
“It starts from the moment we begin screening new organisations to support. It’s very important that the leadership shows performance anxiety; that they never stop worrying about how well the organisation is doing. It’s about a culture of relentlessly pursuing better outcomes for clients. We believe we can support these organisations in implementing a performance management system and a culture of managing to outcomes, but the willingness and commitment from the leadership is absolutely critical in this process.”
[i] Interview with Jenny North, Impetus-PEF, 18 August 2014.