Performance Improvement In Development Of Systems Commerce Essay

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In a simple way performance means "doing something successfully" mainly by using the available resources. Performance can be elusive concept. It deals with the outcomes, results, and accomplishments achieved by a person, group or Organisation. (William J. Rothwel, Carolyn K.Hohne & Stephen B. King: 2007).In many cases people do define performance based on financial aspects of the business. Focusing only on financial matters does not tell us what should we do and how to do in order to be successful. "Performance is the definition and progressive achievement of tangible, specific, measurable, worthwhile and personally meaningful goals." (Darryl D. Enos 2007).We get a clear point in this definition that organisation should have well defined, specific and measurable goals. This serves as the first requisite in assessing the organisation's performance. Having vague and general goals without proper measurement, pose a problem in evaluating corporate performance and proposing techniques for improving the performance. Michael Milgate 2004 said that,"by monitoring performance for each measure and taking appropriate remedial action, improve revenues, business growth, reduced expenses and compliance with sector regulations have resulted."

There is a clear relationship between performance improvement and change management (discussed in Section 2.5 of this chapter).Many studies concluded that most organisations either fail or achieve very limited success in their efforts to improve performance. "Success or failure in performance improvement efforts begins with the reasons why organisational decision makers decide to get involved in the first place." Darryl D.Enos 2007).Personally, i feel that there should be a motivation factor to stir up the process of improving performance. In addition to this Darryl Enos 2007 added that commitment and involvement of leadership is the most critical element for the performance efforts to be successful. Rephrasing Enos unless a leader is motivated by authentic interest and be committed in the process then efforts of performance improvement have little chance to work.

Every organisation has problems. A good start is to admit the problem and find what is to be accomplished to solve the problem."Sometimes performance improvement starts with a targeted program for dealing with a problem that is limiting achievement of a worthwhile goal."(Darryl Enos 2007).As a suggestion, before approaching any technique to boost performance or implementing the efforts, management should identify areas which need improvements. The problem of poor performance or constant/stagnant performance may be caused by the top management itself.( Refer Enron's Scandal 2001).Thus, the areas for performance improvement must be clearly identified and evaluated to avoid investing efforts in a areas which are not critical to performance improvement.

In trying to adopt efforts and strategies to achieve corporate performance, Organisations face challenges and end up failing. In one of their research Kaplan and Norton found that 9 out of 10 companies fail to implement their strategies. (Bob Paladino 2007). Paladino explains four barriers that contribute to Organisation's failure to achieve expected results from their efforts and strategies put in process. There barriers are: Vision barrier (where research shows that only 5 % of company's employees fully understand their company's strategy); Management barrier (where 85 % of executive teams spend far less time discussing strategies and strategic issues than traditional operating results); Resource barrier (where most companies do not link their budgets to strategy): and the fourth barrier being People barrier (where research shows that only 25 % of managers have incentives linked to strategy).


Performance management system (PMS) is not an end by itself, but its improvement enables an Organisation to perform better. Improving its efficiency ensures the data generated will tell where the Organisation is, how it is performing and where it is going. "Effective management depends on the effective measurement of performance and results" (Gobal. K. Kanji, 2002). Mohan Nair (2004) argued that Corporations sometimes measure too much of something and too little of others. Contribution to this it is even possible that Organisations unknowingly does not measure some of the business aspects. Moreover many organisations fail to link what they measure with corporate strategy. Nair added that many of these measurements are un-integrated and serve the wrong goals. "Many corporations lack an overarching model for monitoring, measuring and managing the business. Balanced Scorecard offers a broad and overarching skin to the structural architecture of the business." (Nair 2004)

Gobal K. Kanji 2002 explains the role of PMS and how an organisation may achieve business excellence by identifying areas to improve and how it can use its limited resources to reflect the improvement of the system. The design and implementation of a new PMS may in one way or another bring questions and tensions to employees. Kanji (2002) stated that, "It is important to build a measurement system where measures are used as a management and motivational tool". I personally back this idea as will help in gaining management and employees support during designing and implementing the new system. In this regard, the PMS should be clear to employees explaining how each will contribute to the overall strategy. The efficient PMS also serves as the communication and rewarding tool.

Furthermore, Kanji 2002 explains the past and present performance measurements and their implication on today's business era. "Traditionally, performance measurement focuses on financial measures ................. that do not match entirely with competencies & skills companies require to face today's business environment." In insisting that financial measures of performance are under criticism in todays world, Paul Niven 2003 said that "they lack predictive power, reinforce functional silos, may sacrifices long term thinking and are not relevant to many levels of the Organisation." Here is an interesting quote from Kanji 2002, "Financial measures do not improve customer satisfaction, quality, and cycle time and employee motivation". Kanji then supports the significant contribution by Kaplan & Norton (1992) to overcome the shortcomings of traditional PMS that employs only financial measures.


Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton (2005) invented BSC in 1992 due to the fact that traditional accounting measures like Return on Investment and Earning per Share thought to give misleading signals for continuous improvement and innovation in today's competitive environment. The authors observed that senior executives do not rely on one set of measures to exclusion of the other. "They realised that no single measure can provide a clear performance target or focus attention on the critical areas of the business." This implied the need of balanced presentation of both financial and non financial measure. Kaplan & Norton complemented financial measures by operational measures calling it Balanced Scorecard (BSC).

Kaplan and Norton define BSC as, "a set of measures that gives top management a fast but comprehensive view of the business. The BSC includes financial measures that tell the results of actions already taken. And it complements the financial measures on customer satisfaction, internal processes, and Organisation innovation and improvement." These (including financial measures) are the four perspectives of BSC as mentioned by the authors. They suggested that for each of the perspective, managers should translate their visions and missions to strategic goals and objectives and then translate these goals into specific measures. The authors simplify the perspective into questions that can easily be understood as follows:

Customer perspective- How do customers see us?

Internal business perspective-what must we excel?

Innovation and learning perspective- Can we continue to improve and create value?

Financial perspective- How do we look shareholders?

The word 'Balance' in the Balanced Scorecard represents the balance between financial and non financial indicators; internal and external constituents of the Organisation; and lag & lead indicators. (Paul Niven 2003). Michael Milgate 2004 defines scorecard as a "balanced management system in which shared vision and strategy are reference points for the management process; achieving this balance enables synergy and a practical fit with other frameworks". One of the reasons the BSC is such a powerful tool is that it stresses the linkages for achieving outstanding performance in related measures rather that concentrating on isolated measures. (Kanji 2002).Since its creation in 1992 by Drs. Norton & Kaplan of Harvard Business School the Balanced Scorecard has been implemented at corporate ,strategic business units, shared service functions, and cascaded to team and individual levels at thousands of Organisations-in the Public and Private sectors-worldwide.( Michael E. Nagel- Vice President, BSC Collaborative)

Henri .JF (2006) applied the BSC framework in his survey on how top management in a manufacturing company could use PMS to improve the strategic management and Organisational performance. "Given its depth as a strategic management system, the BSC principle will continue to be widely adopted and further refined in user Organisation as experiences in its implementation emerge" ( Michael A.Milgate 2004). This shows how widely BSC is used to improve the PMS if the Organisation chooses to adopt and implement it. Henri .JF 2006 poses a question that top managers should ask themselves; How can we improve our system? .However, the author suggested that the improvement of the PMS is a continuous process that involves changing measures to reflect the new ideas and insights brought to the Organisation through creativity and other development activities.

BSC can be successfully implemented in any organisation where the management is committed and devote time to formulate strategy and ready to accept changes. According to Wikipedia, "BSC has been implemented by government agencies, military units, business units & corporation as a whole, non-profit organisations and schools". An important point to note here is that an organisation should design its own BSC as management is knowledgeable of its responsibilities & organisations operations rather than adapting another Organisation's BSC.

David P. Tarantino (2003) complements the work of Kaplan and Norton. He defined BSC, "as a performance management tool that is used to provide an integrate perspective of an organisation."He also pointed out the four perspectives of the BSc as, external (how customers views the Organisation; Internal (Look at where the organisation must succeed and improve); Growth & learning (examine how organisation grows and learns) and Financial (study financial performance of the organisation).The author also emphasised that each of these perspectives influences the other. He said, "To concentrate on only one, such as financial performance fails to recognise the contribution and balance of the other three perspectives." Of interest from the author is the explanation on how to develop the BSC. The first step he suggested is for the organisation to decide what it is going to measure in each of the four perspectives, i.e. the goals. Then the organisation should figure out the measures for each of the four BSC perspectives and determine the weight of each for ultimate evaluation of overall performance.

Harvard Management-Update (2000), "No need to wait for a companywide initiative-the key principles of this strategic-management system can be put to work in your unit right away."The author of the article tries to convince management to apply BSC reporting system. He is of the views that even if companies take years and spend millions to implement the scorecard across their operations the effects can be dramatic when the system takes root. He said that managers today don't have to wait for a scorecard- inspired corporate transformation before learning- and implementing some of the methods centred ideas. He explained the four lessons from BSC that can be applied right away in virtually any business unit or department.

Watch a variety of metrics

Connect your metrics to strategy

Develop a strategic budget

Get everyone involved in tracking metrics

The author still insist that BSC is a method that helps managers to develop a well -rounded strategy and then get everyone in the company involved in implementing it. The balanced scorecard enables an Organisation to maintain the perspective of various stakeholders while providing a complete assessment of Organisational progress. (Henry Killackey)

Mohan Nair 2004, arguing in favour of BSC, the changes in the character of business assets has exaggerated the challenges faced by business. "In the past company assets would be reflected in the balance Sheet but now 85% of the assets are intangibles."Having the same arguments as previous authors about the inefficiencies of the financial measures, Nair also added that those financial measures are applied only to tangibles, when the intangibles are what fuels the future.

According to online source, the benefits of BSC are: improve organisation alignment, improve communication both internally and externally, more emphasis on strategy and organisational results, linked strategy and operations, and integrated strategic planning and management.

2.3.1 BSC development

Kaplan and Norton defined a four-step process many organisations have used to develop their balanced scorecard. The process includes:

Define the measurement architecture - To a beginner, it is recommended to start with a business unit applying the metrics as designed in the BSC rather that to the corporate level. "However, interactions must be considered in order to avoid optimizing the results of one business unit at the expense of others."

Specify strategic objectives - The top three or four objectives for each perspective are agreed upon. Potential measures are identified for each objective.

Choose strategic measures - Measures that are closely related to the actual performance drivers are selected for evaluating the progress made toward achieving the objectives.

Develop the implementation plan - After selecting measures for each of the perspective, remains implementation process."Target values are assigned to the measures". A link is then established from various metrics from the top to bottom of the BSC. The scorecard is integrated into the management system.

The online source also recommended nine steps to success develop and deploy BSC framework- In a sequential order these are; Organisation assessment, strategy development, strategic objectives, strategic mapping, performance measures and targets, strategic initiatives, automation, cascading the BSC throughout the organisation and last evaluation. Overall the BSC involves the following steps:

Clarify the vision

Communicate to middle manager and develop business unit scorecards

Eliminate Non-strategic investments and launch corporate change programs

Review business unit scorecard

Refine the vision

Communicate the BSC to the entire company and establish individual performance objectives

Update long-range plan and budget

Conduct monthly and quarterly reviews

Conduct annual strategy review

Link everyone 's performance to the BSC

2.3.2 BSC criticisms

The use of the balanced scorecard system may not result to what managers expect. Some professionals spoke some problems that make the BSC under criticisms. "The main problem is that it does not provide practical guidance for deployment and some executives view it as a 'quick fix' that can easily be installed in their Organisations."(Stephen Smith 2006).From his article 'problem with a balanced scorecard', Smith pointed out some of the key issues that can cause BSC initiatives to fail. These are:

Poorly defined metrics-These should be relevant ,clear and easily understood

Lack of efficient data collection and reporting-Smith is concerned with the investments made in collecting metrics data, whether consuming too much time and energy. He then suggests the importance of prioritising key performance indicators to get most relevant information.

Lack of formal review structure- This is necessary to accommodate any change in metric value. Reviewing is a cross functional activity.

No press improvement methodology- "If the organisation does not have standard methodologies and toolkits for addressing process problems, the amount of efforts required to derive a problem solving approach for each new performance gap could eventually damage the performance improvement program as it will be seen as taking too many resources away from daily operation."

Too much internal focus- Smith ranks this as one of the major criticism of BSC. He suggests that Organisation should always start with an external focus through analysing organisation's markets, shareholders, competitors, employees and other stakeholders.

However Smith assured that "there is really nothing wrong with the concept of balanced scorecard. This means that the BSC approach is a useful tool and can bring desired results if management know how to structure it and take the above points in considerations to avoid its initiatives from failing.

It has also been learnt that some of BSC criticisms come from academic community who dislike the empirical nature of the framework. (Wikipedia).They also noted that some of the criticisms focus on technical flaws in the method and design of the original BSC proposed by Kaplan & Norton. Supporting the main problem as seen by Smith 2006 other academicians have focused on the lack of citation support. "Another criticism, usually from pundits and consultants is that the BSC does not provide a bottom line score or a unified view with clear recommendations; it is simply a list of metrics." (Wikipedia).Regardless of these criticisms the studies done so far indicated that BSC is a useful tool in strategic performance management in an Organisation. An online source added to the BSC pitfalls that during implementation managers should avoid the use of generic measures, which are being adopted by successful firms.

Management should not take BSC as a guarantee of success in company's operations. It should think clearly the company's strategy and try to convert the improved operational performance (as measured in the scorecard) into improved financial performance. Kaplan and Norton said, "Even an excellent set of BSC measures does not guarantee a winning strategy. The BSC can only translate a company strategy into specific measurable objectives." They also advised that by combining the four perspectives, the BSC helps managers understand implicitly many interrelationships.

The four perspectives relate to each other and the effect on either of the perspective will impact the other. "A well designed BSC should describe your strategy through objectives and measures you have chosen. These measures should link together in a chain of cause and effect relationships" (Paul Niven 2003). Thus, it is suggested that all have equal importance and neither should be taken in isolation of others.


When we talk of performance improvement in an organisation apart from BSC, Six sigma and Total Quality Management (TQM) come under discussion. Both tools when applied properly work to achieve what management really expects. These tools are contrasted with BSC in the subsequent sections.

2.4.1 Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Vs Six Sigma

It has been learnt that BSC and Six Sigma work independently from each other. BSC translates corporate strategy into actions that help to achieve the strategy. Six Sigma aims to solve the problem of poor performance by closely looking at the root cause of performance problem. In this case Six Sigma tries to minimise the errors and reduce other causes of defects in business processes. However, "these frameworks are complementary and if used together they offer huge potential value." (Michael E. Nagel).Having the same idea, Alastair Horn 2006 said that, "combining BSC with Six Sigma can deliver breakthrough business performance." Nagel justifies his idea by clarifying that "BSC and Six Sigma are complementary because the former provides the strategic context for targeted improvement initiatives and the latter is a business improvement approach that solve a myriad of performance issues." To make the difference more clearly, Nagel stated that, unlike Six Sigma, BSC is not a solution for closing specific strategic performance shortfalls. He then concluded that BSC describes the strategy for creating value and aligns resources to ensure the strategy is successfully executed. Six Sigma executes the strategy by using data and process improvement tools.

An interesting quote Alastair Horn 2006 got from one senior executive. "Together BSC and Six Sigma guide our approach to striving for 'greens' and fixing 'reds'". In a clear manner a corporation may choose to implement any of the frameworks but the use of both the approaches would result to high performance according to the way each of them works. Rephrasing Horn, Six Sigma focuses on process excellence to continually improve the performance of products and processes while BSC focuses on performance management that translates strategy into executions.

In explaining how both BSC and Six Sigma can work together, (Henry Killackey 2008) speaks his idea that it is a very common practice to label organisation performance matrix in the BSC with red ( poor performance), yellow ( mixed results),and green ( excellent). If the organisation implements Six Sigma approach then the red ratings alert Six Sigma practitioners the areas which need immediate attention so that they can figure out ways of reversing the poor situation. In simple words, we may say that BSC serves as a communication tool for Six Sigma professionals. Through BSC, Six Sigma professionals can easily point out poor performing areas, employees who have a direct impact on day to day operations and can drive Organisational transformation. (Henry Killackey 2008)

As previously explained, the ultimate aim of both BSC and Six Sigma is to improve the performance of the organisation. In this regard the organisation can simultaneously implement both the approaches. The following statements show how Six Sigma and BSC fit together as explained by Henry Killackey 2008:

Both methodologies require the organisation to rely on input from customers and other external stakeholders

Both methodologies rely on metrics to communicate organisational progress and objectives.

Both methodologies rely on accurate data

Six Sigma Y's or output indicators can be used as measures within the BSC which can help Six Sigma professionals and other employees focus on the same goals.

However Paul Grizzell 2004 in his article admitted that many articles and books tout Six Sigma as the most effective management system ever. But he cautioned readers that it is important to first understand the assumptions upon which those opinions were based. Grizzell put forward his opinion that all performance management tools (in his case, Six Sigma, lean, BSC, Baldrige) when used as an integrated approach to maximise performance will lead to breakthrough and not just incremental improvement.

2.4.2 Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Vs. Total Quality Management (TQM)

It is argued that the best approach for an organisation between BSC and TQM depends on the organisation itself. "The main difference between TQM and Six Sigma (a newer concept) is the approach. TQM tries to improve quality by ensuring conformance to internal requirements, while Six Sigma focuses on improving quality by reducing the number of defects."(Wikipedia). When developing a business strategy an organisation must consider multiple factors including leadership, customers ,business processes, financial goals and the structure, culture and the size of the corporation.( Schwartz Jay 2005). Jay continues that TQM and BSC share a common theme of improving communication in an organisation. He also added another shared goal of the BSC and TQM as the reduction of costs and improvement of services of an organisation. Moreover both TQM and BSC need management support to ensure that all employees support the new initiatives.

However BSC and TQM differ in other aspects. "The difference between TQM and BSC is in the number of people involved in the process; TQM requires full participation, compared with limited involvement for the BSC".(Schwartz Jay 2005).With my little knowledge of the BSC, I think it also requires full participation. This is very important to prevent any possible resistance. Another difference named it "major difference" by Schwartz is that BSC places more emphasis on finance i.e. using traditional financial objects; TQM while not diminishing the importance of financial solvency, it focuses more on the systems of the organisation, the concept of empowering people and employees involvement. I also raise my concern to Schwartz's views on where the focus is in BSC .i.e. finance!!.Looking at the four perspectives of the BSC ( financial, customer, internal process and learning & growth) it is clear that BSC involves both financial and non financial aspects. BSC was established to compliment the financial measures, so it does not put much emphasis on financial matters only but includes also non financial measures. The BNET business dictionary defines BSC as " a system that measures and manages an organisation's progress towards strategic objectives. Introduced by Kaplan & Norton in 1992,the BSC incorporates not only financial indicators but also other perspectives......" .

To conclude this Schwartz 2005 suggests that before managers decide whether TQM or BSC which fits the organisation they must ask themselves the following questions: What is the organisation structure?, What is the corporate structure? What is the size of the organisation?.he then recommends that for a large and bureaucratic organisation BSC fits best and TQM fits best with small & service related organisation. However Schwartz didn't make it clear how to define a "large organisation" either in terms of capital, employees ,etc. I would rather say that whether using BSC or TQM the most important aspect to consider is whether the organisation is real committed and has a leader to initiate the change including involving all the employees. I would personally recommends the use of BSC as its structure is clear and helps the organisation to put the strategy into measurable goals.


2.5.1 Introduction

Management change involves the process of reducing the chances for resistance done by top management personnel and executives. In many organisations the tendency of management to resist changes, especially in adopting a new system keeps on growing day by day. Thus for the organisation to manage the changes there should be a systematic process, planned properly and which involves the shareholders and other key stakeholders. In this respect a change may be defined as any addition to an existing or modification to an old system or any deletion of an aspect of an old system. Some of the reasons for making changes could be solving problems, growth motives/purposes, improving performance, accommodating technology change, etc.

In any organisation for a change to be successful, management should commit itself to make the change operational within a reasonable time. In many organisations this has not been the case as it has been relative difficult to implement changes especially adding a new thing to an existing system. It may be said that the systematic approach to implement changes reduces the negative impact of changes and the possible failure.

The researcher will evaluate the performance of the Local Authorities Pensions Fund ( LAPF) using the metrics as structured in the proposed Balances Scorecard (Table 1) which is relevant to the Fund's operations. Some metrics may be in use while others may not. In this case LAPF may wish to fully adopt the performance metrics as shown in the proposed BSC. Thus all issues relating to change management should be considered before trying to implement BSC approach to measure and improve the overall performance. This is the essence of analysing how change process may be done, possible challenges and change failure together with suggesting how to maximise chances for successful change process. Improving the performance is a continuous process, that necessitates new measures and approaches to be adopted. This also justifies why changes cannot be avoided by an organisation if it wants to occupy large market share, beat competition and improve the overall performance.( Henry J.F, 2006).

2.5.2 Authors' review

"Change management means to plan, initiate, realise, control and finally stabilise change process on both corporate and personnel level. Change may cover such diverse problems as for example strategic direction or personal development programs for staff" (Oliver Recklies 2001).The author raised concern on how people have negative attitude and perceptions towards change. Management always fears to be questionable for failure while employees have fears of losing their jobs. He said," Many employees tend to react with resistance to change rather that seeing change as a chance to initiate improvements". The effects of change may be unclear to employees and thus fear something bad may happen that affects their tasks, responsibilities and worse enough even their lives. "Managers need to keep in mind those negative side effects of change initiatives in order to achieve the expected positive results. The success of change projects depends on the Organisation's ability to make all their employees participate in the change process in one way or the other." ( Oliver Recklies 2001).

Lawler (1986), viewed from Rob Paton & James Mc Calman 2008,said that overall change is not impossible but it is often difficult. "The difficult is that most organisations view the concept of change as a highly programmed process which takes as its starting point the problem that needs to be rectified, breaks it down to constituent parts, analyses possible alternatives, select the preferred solution and applies this relentlessly- problem recognition, diagnosis and resolution"

Recklies 2001 made a significant contribution on how to minimise the negative effects of change to arrive at successful change process. He therefore divided the change process into seven stages where management needs to know in which phase they have to expect what type of situations and problems. The stages are : shock and surprise, denial and refusal, rational understanding, emotional acceptance, exercising and learning, realisation and last being integration.( diagrammatically presented in figure 4)

Shock & surprise- This involves confrontation with unexpected situations

Denial & refusal-No need for change, i.e. Change is not necessary

Rational understanding- people realised the need for change but unwilling to change own pattern of behaviour

Emotional acceptance-This is the most important stage characterised by slow pace. Management should succeed in creating willingness for change for the organisation to exploit its real potentials that lie in different aspects.

Exercising & learning-This is the learning stage that will be influenced by people's willingness. It is a trial for a new system and process. The stage is characterised by failure and success. This leads to the increased perceiveness of people own competence.

Realisation-This stage highly depends on stage 5 above, as people get more information through learning and allows mind to receive new challenges and experiences, The stage is characterised by flexibility and thus perceived competency increased.

Integration-At this stage people have acquired new skills and patterns of thinking The introduced change becomes familiar and a routing process.

Figure 4.Change process ( adapted from Oliver Recklies 2001)

Only if change managers understand these phases of change and only if they act accordingly, they will be able to successfully manage changes process without destroying people motivation and commitment. ( Oliver Recklies 2001)

The seven stages simplify the implementation of the new process or change. Those who are responsible to accommodate the changes into the business should understand these stages so as to apply them systematically.

John .P Kotter (1996) in his book 'Leading change' explained clearly the most common mistakes done by organisations when adopting change and also he came up with their solutions. As Recklies 2001 (above) Kotter 1996 also explained eight stages for change process. Let's now examine the change mistakes done by management ( by Kotter ) and later we will explain the change stages and contrast them with Recklies' change stages.

Allowing too much complacency-This is one of the biggest mistake as ranked by Kotter. The over confidence attitude of an executive wishing to process change may cause change failure. Having been successful in the past drives the executive to proceed with change plan without establishing and understanding the urgency of change as perceived by management and employees. Kotter said, "If complacency were low in most organisations today, this problem would have limited importance." To successful accommodate changes people need to devote their time and efforts to make it done. The author made it clear that, " Without a sense of urgency people won't give that extra effort that is often essential; they won't make needed sacrifices."

Failing to create a sufficiently powerful guiding coalition- Organisations need to have powerful guiding coalition. An active Chief executive is not sufficient to process the change. The head need a committed team that is expected to be powerful ,experienced, competent and leadership talented. Failure here is usually associated with underestimating the difficulties in producing change and thus the importance of a strong guiding coalition. In other words the head of the organisation should not undervalue the need for such a team. As said before the team should have leadership traits so as to overcome possible sources of resistances.

Underestimating the power of vision- Power of vision complements the urgency and strong team. " Without an appropriate vision, a transformation effort can easily dissolve into a list of confusion, incompatible and time consuming projects that go in the wrong direction or nowhere at all." We have seen many plans fail because they lack clear vision.

Under-communicating the vision- Communication serves a lot in letting people/employees understand the vision ( change idea). Employees need to know how the change will affect their working either in a positive or negative side. They will not be willing to make sacrifices and give support to change unless they believe that the changes are the betterment for their welfare and the organisation as well. All these should be facilitated by proper communication. Kotter put it clear that, " Without credible communication and a lot of it, employees' heart and minds are never captured."

Permitting obstacles to block the new vision-In implementing changes, an organisation may face several obstacles. These may be within the organisation the organisation itself or from an external sources. In many cases people do think in their minds of the obstacles and other roadblocks. Kotter poses a challenge on convincing them that no external barrier exist. He said " One well placed blocker can stop an entire change efforts." V. Nilakant & S.Ramnarayan,2006 said that " Change can be brought about most effectively by weakening an organisation's forces of stability." They argued that to weaken these forces of stability, the organisation needs to first understand the dynamics of these forces of stability. These forces of stability are counted as obstacles that block the way to changes. Having the same idea with Kotter 1996; Nilakant & Ramnarayan 2006 believe that the forces of stability are within the organisation and the solutions to pave way for changes are also within the organisation, cannot be found outside the organisation.

Failing to create short term wins- Referring to this mistake, organisation should divide the long term vision into short term goals ( say 6 to 18 months) whose results may be seen and encourage management and employees to be more productive. Kotter then said, " without short term wins ,too many employees give up or actively join the resistance". He added that, " complex efforts to change strategies or restructure businesses risk losing momentum if there are no short term goals to meet and celebrate."

Management declaring victory too soon-" While celebrating a win is fine ,any suggestion that the job is mostly done is generally a terrible mistake" .Kotter suggested that the new approach adopted is still subjected to regression and possible failures unless the changes are takes as part of the organisation culture which may take 3 to 10 years. A interesting example he cited in his book is of a company which completed a first major part of change and declared victory, paying expensive consultants, with much 'thank you' without considering whether employees accepted the changes or the evidence that the original goals were accomplished. By doing this within few years all the changes introduced slowly disappeared and the subsequent it became even hard to trace any change element. A warning and learning quote from Kotter 1996, " Declaring victory too soon is like stumbling into a sinkhole on the road to meaningful change .And for a variety of reasons even smart people don't just stumble into hole. Sometimes they jump in with both feet".

Neglect to anchor changes firmly in the corporate culture- I personally understand it as accepting what has been changed taking it as part of your life and stick to it, i.e. make it a culture that you are used to. The author said, " Change sticks only when it becomes the way we do things around here; when it seeps into the very blood stream to work until '0' corporate body."Moreover the author made it clear that until new behaviours are rooted in social norms and shared values they are always subject to degradation as soon as the pressure associated with a change efforts are removed. In anchoring change ,Kotter suggested that there should be a conscious attempt to show that the new approach have helped improve performance; and should not be left to employees as there exist a danger that they may create an inaccurate links-that show no improvement after the change. In addition to this anchoring change also requires that the next generation of management really does personify the new approach.

Any of the above explained errors/mistakes may cause serious problems. It is not necessary that all errors be committed for a change or transformation to fail. Kotter said, " In slowing down the new initiatives, creating unnecessary resistance, frustrating employees endlessly, and sometimes completely stifling needed change , and of these errors could cause an organisation to fail to offer the products or services people want at prices they can afford." These errors may also associate with budgets reduction, laying off employees, and eventually put great pressure those who remain in the organisation.

Most of organisations want to change mainly to improve performance and to grab opportunities so as to increase their competitive advantage. Moreover technological change, globalisation and international integration necessitate changes and major transformation in the organisation. " Managers face three challenges, One being increased competition for an organisation's resources, organisations competing in a world that is constantly changing, globalisation, technological change ......"( Nilakant & Ramnarayan,2006). The occurrence of these events ,to managers signals the need for change. Through assessing the internal context of change, they get more clear clues whether it is worth to introduce the change. Government legislation and changes in society value system are added as the causes of change ( Rephrased- Robert Paton & James Mc Calman 2008)

It is not unusual to hear a CEO addressing that they want to increase productivity by 20 to 30 percent or improving the quality by 30 to 50 percent. These pose challenges to managers who start thinking how successful they can change or introduce a new approach that can help to realise the targets. Let's now look at the stages for change process as explained by Kotter 1996.

Kotter 1996 came up with eight stages for changing process. Unlike Recklies 2001 whose change process is associated with what situation and problems managers should expect in the process ,Kotter's change process is associated with the previously explained mistakes. These stages serve as the solutions for the mistakes advocated by Kotter. The following are the process of creating major change (quoted from page 21 -'Leading Change').

Stage 1: Establishing a sense of urgency.

Examining the market and competitive realities

Identifying the discussing crises ,potential crises, or major opportunities.

Stage 2: Creating the guiding coalition

Putting together a group with enough power to lead the change

Getting the group to work together like a team

Stage 3: Developing a vision and strategy

Creating a vision to help direct the change effort

Developing strategies for achieving that vision.

Stage 4: Communicating the change vision.

Using every vehicle possible to constantly communicate the new vision and strategies

Having the guiding coalition role model the behaviour expected of employees

Stage 5: Empowering broad-based action

Getting rid of obstacles

Changing systems or structure that undermine the change vision

Encouraging risk taking and non traditionalised ideas, activities and actions.

Stage 6: Generating short time wins.

Planning for visible improvements in performance or 'wins'.

Creating those wins.

Visibly recognising and rewarding people who made the wins possible.

Stage 7: Consolidating gains and producing more changes.

Using increased credibility to change all systems, structures and policies that don't fit together and don't fit with the transformation vision.

Hiring, promoting and developing people who can implement the change vision.

Reinvigorating the process with new projects ,themes, and change agents.

Stage 8: Anchoring new approaches in the culture.

Creating better performance through customer-and productivity- oriented behaviour, more and better leadership, and more effective management.

Articulating the connections between new behaviours and organisational success

Developing means to ensure leadership development and succession.

Kotter 1996 stresses the sequential use of the stages in the change process without skipping and stage to avoid problems. He said, " Although one normally operates in multiple phases at one, skipping even a single step or getting too far ahead without a solid base almost always creates problems." Organisations should also remember the effect of culture and managers who lack leadership traits to change process. " the combination of cultures that resist changes is lethal errors described are almost inevitable under these conditions.".

It should be noted that to take change process, leadership skills are very important as compared with managerial skills. We need a manager who can lead people to change. "Managing change is important. Without competent management the transformation process can get out of control. But for most organisation the much bigger challenge is leading change. Only leadership can blast through the many sources of corporate inertial." Kotter 1996. To get the best results and change process be successful Oliver Recklies stages are also very important. A manager knows in advance what resistance is expected, so preparing to tackle the problem. Both Recklie's and Kotter's stages may be linked together for a successful change process.


What is performance measurement?:It is a process which an organisation defines criteria for determining how effectively and efficiently its operations are. The aim of measuring performance is to determine whether the organisation meets its pre-defined objectives. Performance measurement can also be applied to individuals or particular business unit/department. ( Section 2.1)

How can it be improved?: performance measurement can be improved by establishing and maintaining an effective performance measurement system ( PMS).This system should link the organisation's operations to corporate strategy. The PMS identifies areas to be improved, figures out different ways of improving those area and assign resources for the process. ( Section 2.2)

What is Balanced Scorecard ( BSC)?: Balanced Scorecard is a performance measuring and reporting system that translates the organisation's strategy and vision into specific measurable and actionable goals.BSC provides a link between organisation long term strategy with short term actions whereby different relevant metrics are applied to measure the organisation's performance. The measurement includes both financial and non financial measures. BSC serves as the effective means of improving both external and internal communication. ( Section 2.3)

How widely is BSC used?:BSC can be used in business, industry, government and non profit organisation regardless of the size. According to Bain & Company survey 62% of the 708 surveyed companies had adopted the BSC. Most of those adopted have reported a high level of satisfaction of 3.86 against a maximum of 4. (Section 2.3)

What are the benefits of using the BSC?: The benefits depend on how the BSC is implemented. A well defined ,developed and applied BSC brings benefits to the company user.BSC provides a more effective way of monitoring the organisation performance and stir up its improvement initiatives. Moreover BSC serves as a management report whereby it provides operational performance across the perspectives. One of the main strategic benefit of the BSC is the process of articulating the pre-set objectives aligned to the corporate vision ( Section 2.3)

What are the problems or challenges in implementing the BSC?: Implementing a BSC is a long term process. Developing and sustaining the BSC needs management commitment. One of the biggest challenge is having a leader who can lead the BSC development throughout its implementation. Another challenge related to defining the measurable goals with their metrics which link with the corporate strategy and vision. Other challenges are:

-Underestimating time for BSC implementation

- Maintaining momentum

-Leader not involving all organisation staff; Poor communication may result to resistance.( Section 2.3.2)

How to reduce chances for BSC failure?: All in all management should be ready and committed to change. Communication serves as an effective tool to gain support and reduce resistance that in most cases cause failure. Managers should feel an ownership for BSC. The organisation should also have a strong team working together; this determines people's behaviour and conducts. The objectives and expectations should be clearly and concise communicated to all within the organisation. Another approach is to link the performance of the objectives contained in the BSC to rewards. Management should also align the existing processes within the organisation with the BSC goals.

What are the metrics for measuring performance? :Every organisation has metrics which are relevant to its operating environment. Management should not just adopt the metrics established and implemented in another organisation as may be irrelevant to what they intend to measure. Depending on the corporate vision, strategy, objectives and goals, management has to establish own measures of performance.

Are there any other tools for improving performance measurement besides the BSC?:Apart from Kaplan and Norton, other professional have also developed some measures which are used to improve performance measuring. Some of these are six Sigma, Total Quality Management ( TQM ), Baldrige, APIC etc. Six Sigma and TQM are explained in sections 2.4.1 and 2.4.2 of this chapter.