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Performance Management for any Application: Development Planning Phase

© 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.

Strongly Suggested Pre-Reading

Performance Management: Traditional and Progressive Approaches
Overview of Performance Management Process for any Application
Performance Planning Phase
Performance Appraisal Phase

Approaches to Development Planning

Remember that information in this section is generic to performance management, that is, the information generally applies to any domain of performance management, including an organization, an internal and recurring process, a team or an employee.

The development planning phase generally occurs after the Performance Appraisal phase. Keep in mind that the three phases (performance planning, performance appraisal and development planning) are all cyclical and highly integrated in nature. As in our descriptions of the performance planning and performance appraisal phases, we will continue with our example of the machine operator. So at this point in our example, a performance plan and the performance appraisal activities have already been conducted for the operator.

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).

  • In a progressive approach, performance development can occur in real time, that is, the supervisor and operator would address performance issues as soon as they occur. The supervisor and operator would collaborate to decide what improvements are needed and how they might be implemented. Their decisions and any documentation would include any decisions about additional trainings that might be needed and how they could advance the operator's career.

* 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.

Learn More in the Library's Blogs Related to Performance Management

In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to Performance Management. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog.

Library's Human Resources Blog
Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Supervision Blog

Also consider
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Employee Performance Management
Group Performance Management
Organizational Performance Management

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