In our experience, focusing and motivating your teams to deliver value for your organisation remains one of the most considered challenges for leaders. Especially doing it in a way that works. In a way that is both efficient and effective. We know that sustaining teams and individuals to do the right thing is critically important and yet it remains hard work for us all. This challenge is heightened in our context of enabling clients to deliver value through the power of digital technologies. In our dynamic and developing contexts, we continue to work at making sense of which managerial and leadership approaches and tools will deliver the right outputs, let alone make sure that the outputs do really enable the value desired.
Addressing this challenge is made more complex in many of our client organisations because teams and individuals are typically ‘citizens’ of many units. Units that have a digital product or service focus, units that have a strategic business focus, units that have a professional focus such as programme and project management, business analysis, quality assurance, user experience etc.. We find that now more than ever, generic objective, KPI driven models rarely deliver for the individual, team or indeed the organisation. Sometimes such models can even work against the delivery of true shareholder or stakeholder value.
In response to this enduring challenge we developed an approach – the “Personal Measurement Framework”. We have used this successfully many times with clients, guided by three important axioms. Firstly, to design an approach that connects with value as perceived by the relevant stakeholders, connects to why your role, your team and your capability exists. Secondly, to provide structure and framework, yet empower individuals to develop their own measurement framework and thirdly, to balance the measurement framework across the full range of measures, not just on the traditional metric of output delivery.
The Personal Measurement Framework starts with the idea of a value proposition from the Business Model Canvas – see Business Model Generation. The process invites leaders and teams to teams to start with ‘end in mind’, to start with the job that their ‘customer’ or indeed their customers’ customer is responsible for delivery and what are the pains and gains for them in delivery of that job. Then the process gets the leaders and teams to make explicit the value proposition of their product or service in terms of the pain relievers and gain creators that they deliver. If appropriate you can add in a step of using the value proposition to structure and engagement with ‘customer’ or agent of ‘customer’ to validate the value proposition.
The next step is to use the gain creators and pain relievers identified in the value proposition to develop measures of delivery of value. And to develop measures through challenging leaders and teams to hold onto the tenets of Kaplan and Norton’s work on balanced scorecards – see Harvard Business Review article. Developing measures that don’t just measure output e.g. tested and integrated code, but also measure development of capability and learning e.g. codified process improvement alongside measures that are meaningful for the customer e.g. transaction speed, volume growth.
The Personal Measurement Framework delivers benefits through explicitly connecting your teams to value delivery with additional benefits delivered through the process that builds ownership and commitment leading to increased effectiveness and efficiency. As with all ideas and models our Personal Measurement Framework is only as good as the leadership that assures implementation, learning and development. And when deployed fully, with appropriate support and collaborative coaching amongst the team the Framework can and does deliver sustained value.
Business Model Generation: Osterwalder and Pigneur, Wiley 2010
The Balanced Business Scorecard, Kaplan and Norton, Harvard Business Review 1992