5 Guidelines for using Performance Management Tools

by Greg Skloot
Status Reports   |   3 Min Read
performance management tools

Everyone strives for a high performing team. However, the team will never be high performing because of performance management tools. For that, you need the right mix of people and culture. With that said, certain performance management tools can be very powerful for fostering the habits needed to sustain a high performing team. Consider:

1. Stick to simple and lightweight

There are many performance management tools that have more bells and whistles than we’d know what to do with. While this may work for some teams, a lot of us want something simple that just does one thing really well. Getting a team to adopt a tool is no easy feat. Try to find tools that make it ridiculously easy to use and participate.

2. Make it a habit of use each week

When a tool can be used in the same way every week, your team ends up building good habits. For example, I had my team start writing a quick summary of the plans, progress and problems each week. This turned into the tool Weekly Update, which we now use to share our status updates and shorten our meetings.

3. Have a bias for “getting it in writing”

Tools that help your team capture important details in writing tend to be the most impactful. This is because when we get it in writing, we’re able to hold each other accountable for the contents and ensure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Shorter meetings. Real accountability.
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4. Use the output of the tool effectively

The tool is only as good as how you use it. For example, you may use the weekly written updates to drive the agenda at your weekly team meetings, only focusing on the “problems” that were outlined, and spending the rest of the time on engaged discussion and debate making decisions about company strategy.

5. Make tweaks and optimizations as needed

It’s tough to implement a tool completely right the first time. Expect that you may need to tweak the process and try different tools until you find the right one for your team. That means you should look for tools that are very easy to implement and require minimal (if any) training from your staff. If the team needs to learn a new UI and remember a new set of credentials, that’s a big opportunity for failure.

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