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Let's talk performance improvement

Updated: May 24, 2022

In this, my final of the series of three blogs about the services offered by sooth consulting I’ll focus on operational performance improvement. It’s an important topic in every operational environment.

For me, performance improvement is usually discussed in three contexts:

  1. Underperformance with a need to improve

  2. To achieve a target

  3. To create a general uplift in overall performance

So what is performance? Well, it can be personal, team, business function or company based. I’m interested in the performance of operational business functions - whether that’s service, sales, collections, complaints or second line teams (often called back office teams - I’m not a fan of that term, it makes them sound out of the way and disengaged from the customer experience to me).

How do you measure this thing called ‘performance’? While there will be metrics unique to different sectors and each company will have a varying degree of importance of various metrics there is one thing that is important - performance should be measured from an internal and external perspective.

Examples of external metrics are measures such as customer satisfaction and customer effort score. Internal metrics are measures such as right first time performance and complaints data.

In most operational environments everything is measurable and the risk is that everything does get measured and reported on - so be realistic about what you measure and why you’re measuring it. I’m a believer in a set of performance measures that are consistently measured plus a group of measures that may be measured at different frequencies, or as required. Measuring everything all the time uses (expensive) resources and rarely is every measure reviewed, discussed or acted on. There’s a whole range available to you - so choose wisely!

To me, these internal and external metrics are only one element of the overall performance of an operational function. There are other elements that should be considered when assessing overall performance. In the diagram below I’ve given an example of these elements on a rating scale - based on the current capability against each element and the relative importance.

Thinking back to the other blogs in this series - understanding where you are in terms of performance is essential when building your strategy, your culture or both…everything is inextricably linked and can act as drivers or resistors to what you’re trying to achieve. So understanding the current state and using it to inform the future state is critical.

When we start working with a client, we start understanding the goal, and then build a picture of current performance, using that to inform and build their plan and future operating model.

If you’d like to know more about how sooth consulting can help you, just get in touch!

Let’s speak soon.

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