Getting organizational performance (the beginning)

Most organizations want superior performance. This will, quite properly, mean different things to different organizaions so start with goals. What are you trying to accomplish? How will you recognize success when you see it.

At a very high level, common (non-orthogonal) measureable goals might include

  • Product delivered (in some units)
  • Responsiveness to demand
  • Quality of the product
  • Customer Satsfaction
  • Worker Satisfaction

These aren’t exclusive and it may not be wise to optimize one or the other, but to strike a balance. If one is more important, just how much more important? The best is enemy of the good enough. Balancing needs and constraints, is more or less what engineering is about. You need an engineering process.

Once you have the goals a drill down process can begin. Determine what must you do to support those goals? This leads to other goals, eventually getting down to tactical goals, project team objectives, and personal performance goals.

A strength of TSP is that the coherent measurement framework scales up and down. We can connect the dots between individuals and projects, between projects and the organization, and begin to understand how to strengthen the organization from the bottom up AND the top down.

This discussion is still somewhat abstract. In between some other process posts, I’d like to look at some more concrete examples in upcoming posts.


About Bill Nichols

PhD in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University I'm a software team coach and instructor with the TSP Team at the Software Engineering Institute
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