Performance Management: Development Plan (for organizations, subsystems, processes or employees)

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business and Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision for Nonprofit Staff.

Organizations try to manage the performance of each employee, team and process and even of the organization itself. The performance management process is very similar, regardless of where it is applied. Information in this topic describes the general performance management process. The information is customized for each application in the topics Employee Performance Management, Group Performance Management and Organizational Performance Management.

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Suggested Previous Reading
Development and Contents of a Development Plan

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Suggested Previous Reading

Readers will benefit most from having first read the subsections Overall Goal and Basic Steps, Key Terms, Performance Plan, and Performance Appraisal.

Development and Contents of a Development Plan

As described in these previous subsections, development of the Performance Plan typically includes the first eight steps of the basic 14 steps in performance management. Development of the Performance Appraisal includes steps nine through 12. Development of the Development Plan includes steps 13 and 14. We also continue our example of the machine operator below. At this point in our example, the Performance Plan and Performance Appraisal have been developed.

Information in this section is generic to performance management, that is, the information generally applies to any performance management effort, e.g., organization, process, subsystem or employee.

NOTE: As review about key terms in performance management, key terms are bolded and italicized below.

13. If performance does not meet desired performance standards, develop or update a performance development plan to address the performance gap* (See Notes 1 and 2 below.)
If performance does not meet standards, implement a performance development plan. This plan clearly conveys how the conclusion was made that there was inadequate performance, what actions are to be taken and by whom and when, when performance will be reviewed again and how. In our example, if the operator (or other domain) was not performing to standards, then some forms of help (or interventions) should be provided (in this example, coaching, mentoring, training, more resources, etc).

* Note 1: Inadequate performance does not always indicate a problem on the part of the domain. Performance standards may be unrealistic or the domain may have insufficient resources. Similarly, the overall strategies or the organization, or its means to achieving its top-level goals, may be unrealistic or without sufficient resources.

* Note 2: When performance management is applied to an employee or group of employees, a development plan can be initiated in a variety of situations, e.g.,:
a.) When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is needed
b.) To "benchmark" the status of improvement so far in a development effort
c.) As part of a professional development for the employee or group of employees, in which case there is not a performance gap as much as an "growth gap"
d.) As part of succession planning to help an employee be eligible for a planned change in role in the organization, in which case there also is not a performance gap as much as an "opportunity gap"
e.) To "pilot", or test, the operation of a new performance management system

14. Repeat steps 9 to 13 until performance is acceptable, standards are changed, the domain is replaced, management decides to do nothing, etc.

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