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What is a Performance Management Model?

M. McGee
M. McGee

A performance management model is a method of simulating the way people will interact and how their activity will generate output. While this is generally applied in a business situation to maximize worker productivity, it doesn’t need to be. A performance management model may apply to any circumstance where people interact with each other and their environment to produce a result. There are many theories on how to maximize efficiency, and each of them works in certain situations.

The cornerstone of a performance management model is efficiency. Finding efficiency in circumstances that only involve mechanical devices is relativity simple, but when the model involves humans, it is a lot more complicated. Humans need rest periods, time to eat, and sick days. They also have variable periods of involvement, times when their minds wander and other points where their individual efficiency waxes and wanes.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

A performance management model attempts to take these variables into account. By created an aggregate of the people involved in a situation, it is possible to minimize the effects of these variables on the model. The aggregate worker is harder-working than the lower-productivity workers are, but not as driven as the top workers. They work an amount of time that is averaged over the entire work force.

Once the company has an aggregate worker, it is possible to use the worker to generate a simulation of the workforce as a whole. In a performance management model, the worker would have a task. Since the worker works as hard and as long as an average worker, the time it takes the worker to complete the task would be recorded as an average time to complete said task. The company can use multiple workers to generate times for multi-person projects, still giving an average time frame.

There are several reasons why a company would want to use a performance management model. The most obvious reason is to forecast average product times and cost, but there are several others. By having a baseline for worker productivity, it becomes easier to determine who is over- and who is under-producing. The average eliminates workers that are very high or low and may be casting other workers in the wrong light. This will help eliminate poor employees and, in turn, strengthen the company.

Using the average as a baseline will affect employees. When people have a clear goal, they will often work to meet or beat it. This will get projects done earlier and keep the employees focused. The downside of this is when the goals are set too high. This will generally cause frustration and resentment among the workforce, lowering productivity.

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