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Performance Improvement

What qualities allow the Performance Improvement approach to succeed in difficult real-world situations?

  • First, it’s a clear, simple, step-by-step process that’s applicable to any situation where actual performance doesn’t match the anticipated, desired performance. The field-tested PI tools—checklists, survey instruments, focus-group discussion guides, and cost and results analyses, for example—are easy to use and interpret.
  • Performance Improvement encourages organizations to discover the root causes of obstacles that stand in the way of providers achieving their potential. The process is a sustainable effort that builds capacity within the organization to recognize and address problems. Wide-ranging factors affecting performance are analyzed and prioritized because not all factors can or should be addressed simultaneously.
  • Once root causes are identified, teams using the Performance Improvement approach select remedies from an array of possible interventions that will address the root causes. Rather than responding only with familiar fixes—more training or new equipment, for instance—the group considers innovative and affordable solutions to enable excellent performance. Perhaps the staff has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform well but lacks clearly written job descriptions, reliable sources of supplies or recognition for good performance.
  • Excellent performance is emphasized and nurtured when the Performance Improvement approach is part of the normal way the organization conducts business. This holistic focus on desired performance helps develop an inherent, systematic emphasis on performance quality that influences organizational behavior and decisions at all times.
  • With Performance Improvement in use, the likelihood increases that program managers, governments, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector will invest in practical, sustainable solutions—all without the on-site presence of an outside PI expert.