Aligning KPIs With the Program Logic Model

images (38)Some governments and other organisations not driven by profit use versions of program logic or outcomes models. But just because they use a logic or outcome model, does not mean they automatically get great KPIs.

Program logic models visually map the cause-effect relationships that exist between the inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes produced by their programs or projects, for specific stakeholders.

Program Logic models also provide a framework for assessing the impact achieved by the organisation’s application of resources to its programs. These models are intended for organisations whose impact is social change, such as reducing health problems from smoking, reducing water consumption in times of drought, increasing use of sunscreen to minimise the incidence of skin cancer, or reducing homelessness.

The input-activity-output-outcome thinking that program logic frameworks encourage is very helpful in keeping performance measures focused on what matters, and I would suggest this thinking is useful beyond just social change organisations.

But most of the program logic literature focuses on how to build a Program Logic model, not on the nitty-gritty steps to find and implement appropriate performance measures to evidence the progress and impact at each stage in the cause-effect flow from inputs to outcomes.

Performance measurement methodologies, like PuMP, can help us design measures for anything, as long as we can articulate the results we want to measure, clearly and specifically. For the Program Logic Model, results are articulated at each stage in the cause-effect chain, from inputs to outcomes.

So once we have built our Program Logic Model, we can use a measurement methodology to create meaningful measures for it. Take this example of a Program Logic Model for reducing water consumption in a community:

Outcomes

Water is saved.

Water Consumption per Capita

Outputs

Water-saver tips are implemented

% Community Adopting Water Saver Tips

Activities

Tips on how to save water.

Community consultation on water usage and saving.

% Community Downloads of Water Saver Tips

# Participants by Community Segment

Average Participant Support For Water Saver Tips

Inputs

Staff time.

Budget.

Total FTE Hours

Total Spend

So, a good measurement methodology can dovetail into any kind of outcomes model – be it for a program, a service, a project, a business process, a product, or a strategy – at the point where that model articulates the results that matter.

DISCUSSION:
Do you use some kind of outcomes or logic model in your organisation? How have you handled the measurement of it?

3 Steps to Create Employee Accountability

images (39)Wouldn’t it be great if all of your employees do what they are supposed to do, and more? Employees have different levels of ‘accountability’ skills and in managing employees; you need to help them maximize this strength. Some people have it and with minimum direction seem to execute all that is required of them. Others get distracted, and at the end of the day, they were busy, but not necessarily productive.

Accountability is about taking responsibility and following through to completion on your commitments. In order to effectively manage employees, you need to know how to keep them accountable.

As a manager, you are responsible for keeping employees accountable and the employees are responsible for getting the work done.

How can you help build your employee’s “accountability muscles?”

Clear Around Priorities

I’ve heard from many employees how management keeps changing directions. They complain that there are too many projects going on at the same time. Where are you with department or company objectives? Are you clear on the company goals and have you communicated those goals to your employees?

In managing employees, this is your first priority? You will get the most from your employees when you are clear about the goals and how each of your team members plays in the success of the department or company. Take the time to create your master plan and share this with everyone on your team.

Present the information in different formats:

  • Department meeting
  • Share the plan documents
  • Follow up emails
  • 1:1 meeting with each of your team members

Clarity around priorities helps you and your employees.

Set Clear Expectations

Now that you have created your master plan and have communicated your plan to each member of your team, it’s time to work with your individual employees.

What type of manager are you? Do you micromanage your employees, take a hands-off approach with them, or do you set clear goals and expectations and then let them deliver? Too many managers micromanage or overreact and have a ‘hands off’ approach. Both styles don’t build ‘accountability’ within your organization.

You focus is to build a balance between setting goals, creating performance expectations, and creating follow-up meetings to ensure accountability.

It’s important for you to be clear about the consequences for non-performance. Have in place an intervention process that will help you support your employees. Be diligent in following up with employee’s performance levels.

If you provide coaching and counseling and the employee is still not performing, you need to take quick action for yourself, the employee and the rest of the team. Learn more about handling low performance or negative attitudes that are not productive for the wellbeing of your team.

Be consistent in handling all of your team members. You employees will respond favorably when a manager is fair and respectful to all.

Be Accountable Yourself

The most powerful impact on your employee’s performance is the strength of your ‘accountability muscles.’ Do you follow through on what you say you will do? Are you available to listen to your staff? Your team will follow you, no matter what. They will emulate your behavior and actions. This is a perfect time for you to create your own 3-step process: what are your priorities in managing employees, what expectations do you have for yourself, and evaluate yourself on how strong you are in being accountable. Be known as a strong ‘accountability manager’ and you team will respond accordingly.

Focus your attention on the 3 priorities in developing ‘accountability muscles’ within your team – clear around priorities, set clear expectations and be accountable yourself. If ‘accountability’ is not becoming stronger with every team member, start back at priority number 1 – clear around priorities. Then go through each step until you have mastered your ability to be a strong ‘accountability manager.’

My main focus is to help managers handle the day-to-day issues that surface in interacting and building strong working relationships with each of their team members.

Emerging Trends in Project Management

images (36)We have seen 2015 to be a year of rise of the Agile and Scrum. We saw increase in maturity of Project Management among the IT Companies. PMI started to focus on Benefits Realization and Leadership skills for Project Managers.

We have also seen that there are no pure Agile projects in a organization and neither do we see organizations following agile in total. People have mixed projects in the organization and need for governance did not go away and more and more organizations following agile is also feeling the need for project management.

Based on my understanding and experience the following are the trends in Project Management that I foresee:

More use of Agile Delivery with governance through traditional project management:
We need to deliver faster using Agile Delivery capability. At the same time we need to have proper governance in Portfolio, Program and Project Management. Agile delivery will be for Project, Program and Portfolio Management. This gives the best of both worlds and can handle the practical need of speedy delivery and strong governance.

Use of multiple tools as best suited for the situation:
Scrum is not going to be the only tool that will be used by organizations working on Agile methodology. Even though Scrum will be at the core, but use of Kanban, Lean Startup, TDD, etc. will be used in collaboration to get the best out of it.

Focus on Delivering Value:
Focus will be on delivering value to the customer. Projects or Service, the focus is on delivering value and not just the output. PRINCE2 has always had strong focus on Business Value. We now see PMI also have made changes to the exam content to bring importance of Business Value.

Avoiding waste and collaboration will be important:
We see the need for more productive situation. This is possible by trying to remove waste like in Lean. The first is of having cross-skilled team and then only we will be able to have more work done. There will not only be cross-skill within the team but also use of resources across development and service management. Devops will gather more momentum.

Importance of Leadership skill:
The need for leadership skills is a getting recognized. We see this in the change of the Continuing Certification Requirement of PMP where Leadership and Domain are areas of skill acquisition required. Now we will see PMs to be looked at as a Leader and not just a manager.

Focus on Program and Portfolio Management:
Program management is going to grow in its maturity. Focus will also be now on implementing Portfolio Management properly to ensure right projects are taken up and also value is generated by the projects. We have already seen the focus on value creation and it is possible with good Portfolio Management and Benefit realization in projects.

Using Contemporary Communication:
Project Communication will now not only be limited to the traditional channels like signed documents and mails but also newer ones like whatsapp, trello and other social media. This will be more useful as we have virtual teams.

Contract change to accommodate Agile:
The contracts also will need to be written differently to facilitate the Agile delivery. It will no longer be Fixed Bid or Time and Material that we see but will be more flexible to meet needs of agile delivery. Customer involvement throughout the project will also be a requirement in the contract.

 

How To Address Poor Workload Management

images (35)You have noticed that your employee motivation is low- particularly because of stress due to an unmanageable workload. What can you do?

The fastest conclusion to reach is that there is an issue with time management- employees do not understand how to manage their time well. Signing them up for a time management class seems simple enough and you may think it will yield effective results. However, what if time management is not the underlying issue?

The problem may be simple: too much work. An overburdened employee is one who does not slack off, is focused on work with minimal breaks but yet cannot manage to complete all the tasks at hand. If an employee is consistently overworked, s/he may slowly become disengaged or disheartened.

As a manager, it is you job to be aware of the symptoms of poor workload management, as discussed in a previous post.

Now that you have recognized the issue, analyze the situation.

  • Is this workload issue contained to one employee or is it seen throughout the entire department?
  • Does this problem occur periodically or all the time?

Sit down and take the time to answer these questions because it will determine the course of action that you should take.

If it is an individual issue with an employee, meet with them and talk about what is happening. By touching base, you will not only understand his/her perspective but will show him/her that you do. If the employee is going through a temporary personal problem, you may consider alleviating some of the stress by redistributing the workload to another employee for a little bit.

However, if multiple employees feel that they are overworked or if this issue arises more times than typical fluctuations, additional actions should be taken.

Possible solutions may be to analyze whether you, as a manager, are encouraging your workers or compensating them enough. You want to ensure that your employees enjoy working with you and do not leave. Another reason that work may be piling on can be that your company is understaffed. Hiring additional employees, either full-time or part-time, will help redistribute the total workload and make it more manageable. These actions can help increase the employee motivation and create a more efficient and effective workforce.

If you need help raising employee motivation or workload management, consider partnering with a business coach. S/he can help you find the issue and develop a solution best suited for your company.