The Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) is the chartered professional body with the mission of advancing the practice of quality management in all sectors. The CQI has a Royal Charter, is a registered charity and has about 20,000 members.
With organisational excellence and improvement as a core focus, it is not surprising that the CQI is also committed to continually improving its own performance. Championed by the CEO, the CQI wanted to create a best in class performance management framework and commissioned me to help them.
The process of building the performance framework began with me facilitating aseries of workshopswhichthe CQI executive management teamand employees to identify the key strategic goals and objectives. Based on that input I then drafted a one-page strategy map (see figure below).
The vision sits at the top of the map, followed by the key customer-related objectives, the internal processes the organisation needs to excel and the enablers of success at the base of the map. The financial perspective is positioned vertically - to the left of the map –as itlinks to each of the other perspectives.
The strategy map is seen as a living document and is regularly reviewed and refined to ensure it stays current and fresh.
Defining the strategic objectives
Although on the map the objectives are described through focused one-liners they are more fully fleshed out in a supporting description. As an example, the objective within the process perspective "Increasing influence and making our voice heard," is more fully described as "We aim to develop a PR Profile, identify and influence the right people (key influencers and catalysts) and use them to make our voice heard and create a need for the services we offer."
Key Performance Questions
Once the broader objective descriptions were in place, the next stage in creating the scorecard system was to identify the Key Performance Questions (KPQs). The KPQs themselves serve as a critical bridge between the strategic objectives and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPQs serve as a filter, enabling the organisation to identify the strategic performance questions that the KPIs will answer and therefore help to ensure that the most appropriate KPIs are chosen.
The CQI developed KPIs for each of the goals and questions. Let’s go back to the aforementioned objective objective ‘Increasing influence and making our voice heard’ and look at the KPQ and KPIs
Key Performance Questions:
• How effective is our campaigning in making quality a strategic issue with the business media?
• How effective is our campaigning in making quality a strategic issue with the Government?
• To what extent are we increasing our profile to target markets?
For these KPQs the CQI identified the following KPIs (among others):
• Quality and quantity of coverage in business media - column inches
• Progress against specific campaign plans
• Progress against sector plans.
Aligning Projects and Initiatives
Within the performance management framework the CQI has also identified key projects that support strategy delivery. For each objective on the strategy map it has pinpointed the projects and initiatives that will be required to deliver the objective.
I have also helped the CQI develop a heat map, which basically is a colour-coded strategy map that shows how well the organisation is progressing against its strategic objectives (green = everything good, yellow = some issues, amber = bigger issues, and red = not good at all). This provides the management team with a powerful at-a-glance steer for deciding where to allocate key resources - people and money.
In order to monitor the strategy execution, the strategic business performance has been turned into the ‘agenda’ for the monthly management meeting, where issues flagged up through the Heat Map are discussed and corrective actions identified. The strategy map and in particular the KPQs now drive the discussions within the monthly meetings.
Ideas and insights you can steal
The CQI has successfully translated their strategy into a simple one-page framework that now highlights to everyone what matters the most to deliver successful performance in the future. The organisation then made sure all the activities and projects are aligned to help deliver that strategy and developed meaningful indicators to monitor and track progress. These are all vital components any organisation can copy.
Bernard Marr is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and advisor to companies and governments. He has worked with and advised many of the world's best-known organisations. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 10 Business Influencers in the world (in fact, No 5 - just behind Bill Gates and Richard Branson). He writes on the topics of intelligent business performance for various publications including Forbes, HuffPost, and LinkedIn Pulse. His blogs and SlideShare presentation have millions of readers.