Performance management refers to a wide range of systems and processes for communicating work-related activities (goals, plans, progress), to help your employees and teams achieve goals, in order to improve consistent strategy execution in your organization.

The good news is: there’s a revolution going on in the performance management industry.

This revolution is about creating continuous performance conversations between employees and managers, and using frequent calibration sessions, or check-ins, to gain accurate insight into employee contributions and progress. While annual performance reviews and ratings are not going away due to this revolution, they are playing an increasingly minor role, as companies are shifting their emphasis from collecting performance ratings to creating more effective ongoing performance dialogue between employees, managers, and leaders.

Today, there’s a variety of software and numerous approaches to assist organizations with performance management, goal tracking, project planning, and leadership development. The best performance management tools (like Six Disciplines) give your managers and employees clarity on how plans are progressing, how projects are tracking, and how individual employees are performing against their goals. Performance management is one of the key areas where Six Disciplines is making a large impact.

Six Disciplines has been connecting these disparate performance management concepts since 2001, and has been successfully implementing the Six Disciplines organizational excellence program with committed mid-market organizations across a variety of industries.

The Six Disciplines excellence program consists of a repeatable process, performance coaching, goals management software, and leadership development. Our experienced business coaches work with your organization by clarifying your strategy, helping you to establish plans and goals for teams and individuals, and by measuring progress and performance in real-time.

This current revolution in the performance management domain was discussed back in 2008 by Six Disciplines founder/CEO, Gary Harpst, with the publishing of his best-selling book “Six Disciplines Execution Revolution”. In his book, Harpst saw the revolution evolving with the inevitable convergence of performance management, strategy execution, community learning, organizational excellence, and many other organizational improvement systems and tools. (This best-selling book is now available as a free download here.)

A recent Forrester Research study from top industry analyst Paul Hamerman highlighted the overarching challenge isn’t goals management – it’s the lack of alignment of individual goals with overall organizational goals – that afflicts more than 40 percent of organizations.

To address this issue, organizations are now beginning to make use of innovative, continuous performance management technology (like Six Disciplines) that helps managers and employees schedule and hold productive ongoing one-on-one performance coaching sessions. The Six Disciplines performance management technology reminds you to have the meetings, helps guide check-in agendas, and tracks data from the meetings, with follow-up actions, reminders, and goals tracking.

You might even think of Six Disciplines as a mobile “health app” for employee-manager communication and dialogue. Instead of reminding you to eat right and exercise regularly, the Six Disciplines apps remind you and your manager of your goals and plans, and to discuss them regularly in productive one-on-one check-ins.

Performance management is both difficult and necessary. When you consider the kinds of activities and decisions involved in performance management, it’s not surprising that organizations have struggled to do it well.

Strategic planning, performance management, goals management, leadership development, strategy execution, change management, organizational excellence – all are VERY important initiatives – and all are very hard to do well individually. But these change initiatives are intrinsically tied together, and only a formalized excellence program like Six Disciplines can help make a lasting difference in your organization.