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Performance improvement is the concept of measuring the output of a particular process or procedure then modifying the process or procedure in order to increase the output, increase efficiency, or increase the effectiveness of the process or procedure. The concept of performance improvement can be applied to either individual performance such as an athlete or organizational performance such as a racing team or a commercial enterprise.

In Organizational development, performance improvement is the concept of organizational change in which the managers and governing body of an organization put into place and manage a program which measures the current level of performance of the organization and then generates ideas for modifying organizational behavior and infrastructure which are put into place in order to achieve a better level of output. The primary goals of organizational improvement are to improve organizational effectiveness and organizational efficiency in order to improve the ability of the organization to deliver its goods and/or services and prosper in the marketplaces in which the organization competes. A third area of improvement which is sometimes targeted for improvement is organizational efficacy which involves the process of setting organizational goals and objectives.

Performance improvement at the operational or individual employee level usually involves processes such as statistical quality control. At the organizational level, performance improvement usually involves softer forms of measurement such as customer satisfaction surveys which are used to obtain qualitative information about performance from the viewpoint of customers.

Performance defined[edit | edit source]

Performance is a measure of results achieved. Performance efficiency is the ratio between effort expended and results achieved. The difference between current performance and the theoretical performance limit is the performance improvement zone.

Performance is an abstract concept and it must be represented by concrete, measurable phenomena or events in order to be measured. Baseball athlete performance is abstract covering many different types of activities. Batting average is a concrete measure of a particular performance attribute for a particular game role, batting, for the game of baseball.

Performance assumes an actor of some kind but the actor could be an individual person or a group of people acting in concert. The performance platform is the infrastructure or devices used in the performance act.

There are two main ways to improve performance: improve the measured attribute by using the performance platform more effectively or improve the measured attribute by modifying the performance platform which in turn allows a given level of use to be more effective in producing the desired output.

For instance in several sports such as tennis and golf there have been technological improvements in the apparatus used in these sports. The improved apparatus in turn allows players of these sports to achieve better performance with no improvement in skill by purchasing new equipment. The apparatus, the golf club and golf ball or the tennis racket, provide the player with a higher theoretical performance limit.

Levels[edit | edit source]

Performance improvement can occur at different levels:

Cycle[edit | edit source]

Performance management and improvement can be thought of as a cycle:

  1. Performance Planning where goals and objectives are established
  2. Performance Coaching where a manager intervenes to give feedback and adjust performance
  3. Performance appraisal where individual performance is formally documented and feedback delivered

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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