Evaluation and Performance Management
Barnes, Robin and Blank, Susan. "Goal: Stronger Nonprofits, Technique Make Counting Count." Foundation News and Commentary, Vol. 41, No. 5. Washington D.C.: The Council on Foundations, September/October 2000.
The organizations Seedco and the Non-Profit Assistance Corporation have come up with a strategy to help nonprofits see both the forest and the trees. They work with nonprofit managers in training them to create a flow chart they call a "logic model." This chart, constructed for an individual program or the entire organization, graphically shows the outcomes the organization is hoping for and the connection between those outcomes, resources and strategies required to reach them. The managers learn to assign appropriate indicators to keep track of and use in ongoing management practices.
An organization that used this system, PM&M at The Valley, an agency dedicated to empowering youth, was in serious financial trouble. This logical process enabled them to stop reacting to fundraising and start planning. They greatly diversified their funding base and now maintain a balanced budget. Many nonprofit agencies seem to be benefiting from this process. John Bess, from The Valley, described his agency's experience with this evaluation and performance management model this way: "We were experiencing a famine. This process gave us the tools and talent to reap a rich crop."
Blecher, Michele Bitoun. Making the jump: What to consider, H&HN: Hospitals & Health Networks October 5, 1997.
When one is considering taking the jump from for-profits to nonprofits, or vice versa, organizational philosophies and principles must be considered. Some aspects of both types of organizations that must be considered are pay, performance, "mission versus margin," accountability, safety nets, and culture. Compensation is more of a risk for for-profits while nonprofits have more flexibility in meeting quarterly or annual goals. While quarterly returns at for-profits create an urgency to meet margins and may create a materialistic edge, a strong commitment to the mission of the nonprofit is fundamental. Accountability for a nonprofit is tied to community leaders and those being served while at a for-profit organization, it is tied to stockholders, investment analysts and paid directors. The culture of an organization is also something that must be considered. It is more difficult to move from a nonprofit to a for-profit than vice versa. And as in major job decision, the compensation package must be considered.
Finigan, Kathleen. "Performance management gives a competitive edge" Capital District Business Review, Albany: February 15, 1999.
In recent years, companies are finding that there is a positive correlation between the project management system and gains, productivity, quality, and customer services. The stronger the system, the greater the gains, productivity, quality and customer services. Companies with strong performance management systems outperform companies that have weak programs. There are some components that a performance management program has that can help an organization to grow. Having on-going communication, setting direct and clear goals and supporting employees will aid in making these goals a reality. Also, the ongoing development of employees by having training programs that will cross-train them, enabling them to have training for possible future jobs. Performance management gives nonprofits a competitive edge in dealing with customers and services.
Grove, Wayne. "Process Management Helps Nonprofits Work Smarter." (2000) http://www.cen.ofg/success.htm
Organizations usually have a process they use to determine an outcome. Often an organization will attempt to fix a problem with an outcome by adding a resource. Bad systems may lack a procedure for catching errors or improving quality. Grove suggests that in these instances it is more effective to fix the process and not the problems. It is the difference between working harder and working smarter. Grove recommends using a process management cycle that continues indefinitely. The steps include 1) identifying the key person in charge of the process, 2) map out the process, 3) define outcome goals, 4) track and analyze data, 5) continuously look for ways to change the process for the better, 6) test the changes and 7) put them into action.
Ramanathan, Kavasseri V. Management control in nonprofit organizations, John Wiley & Sons, 1982
Evaluating performance and managing a non-profit organization requires programs. These programs evaluate the past performance and natural potential of all the existing programs in place. There must be a comprehensive appraisal first, which you can conduct for your new set of programs that will make an organization function better. Quality is what will be evaluated, and performance will be the outcome. This book emphasizes program structure. 1.) Long-range plan. A long-range plan swill focus on bringing together through out the organization over a longer period of time. This type of performance plan can range from 1 to 10 years and is usually a more difficult way to evaluate the organization because of the constant changing and adapting to the current market environment. 2.) Specific objectives. Specific objectives are set and looked at through evaluation and performance management. These objectives are what issues need to be addressed to streamline the organization towards its mission. What is your benefit and is it cost effective? Are the benefits and costs of the current programs consistent with the objectives for the program? This will be looked at through performance management.
Smith, Douglas K. (2000). "Better than Plan: Managing Beyond the Budget." http://www.pfdf.org/leaderbooks/L2L/winter2000/smith.html
Smith argues that managing by the numbers alone is ineffective. He gives an example of a small department given the directive from the top to "be aggressive with headcounts and expenses." The department spends seven months painfully coming up with an annual plan and budget. Based on last years figures they believe they have found magic numbers, only to be told last year's budget was too high and cuts in operations are required.
Number crunching based planning is lacking in three ways according to Smith: 1) it fails to specify outcomes instead of activities, 2) it fails to measure success directly against key performance challenges, and 3) it fails to inspire people to excel. Instead of plowing through the anxiety of budget discussion, managers and staff focus their time and effort on discussing the important performance challenges and outcome goals as well as activities needed to achieve those goals. Spending more time working on outcomes that mattered to the donors, clients and staff provides better and more sustainable value to all the stakeholders in the agency.
Wills, Linda. "Documenting performance now may help in the future." Houston Business Journal, Houston: November 27, 1998.
This article discusses the need for documentation when fairly terminating an employee or accurately assessing an employee for a promotion. Also discussed are the legal reasons for having such documentation in cases involving discriminatory or non-discriminatory termination in the work place. Since the burden of truth is on the employers to prove or disprove the chain of events that result in the termination, proper documentation of employment performance is an important tool for employers in both effectively managing employees and preventing claims.