Effective performance management practices drive superior performance
June 2, 2009

June 4, 2009

"Knee jerk" reactions in the face of an economic crisis do not work

Do effective performance management practices drive superior performance? Absolutely yes, shows the results of a new survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in collaboration with the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa and the Canadian Advance Technology Alliance (CATA), titled, "Performance management matters: Sustaining superior results in a global economy". According to the survey, those who achieved high financial performance were 26% more effective on average across 46 different performance management practices.

"The importance of taking a disciplined approach to managing organizational performance has been heightened by recent economic events," says Gregory Richards, Cognos Professor of Performance Management with the Telfer School of Management. "The results of this study indicate that well thought-out performance management practices can help organizations weather the many storms they will likely face in an increasingly uncertain operating environment."

The survey of over 400 senior leaders in both the public and private sector around the world showed that not only are high performers executing more effectively on their performance management practices, but they are also achieving much greater benefit from these efforts. High performers rated the contribution of these practices 31% higher on average across 11 different strategic, competitive, operational, and financial outcomes.

Furthermore, according to the study, those who had higher financial performance versus the competition outperformed lower financial performers by 54% on average across seven different key objectives. For example, the high performers were:
  • 67% more successful in entering new markets;
  • 61% more successful in generating growth through innovation; and
  • 51% more successful in introducing new products.
"Organizations with weaker performance management programs are more inwardly focused, and more concerned about yesterday’s results than on the future direction of the organization," says Philip Townsend, PwC Partner, National Performance Management Services Leader. "As a result, they are less likely to identify emerging opportunities or threats and less able to react in a sound fact-based manner. In addition, they are more likely to react to situations, such as the current downturn, with a "knee-jerk" approach to slashing costs, which may compromise future success in better times. In contrast, organizations with strong performance management programs are better equipped to forecast emerging risks and manage more proactively to mitigate the impact."

The comprehensive 60-page report identifies, among other findings, the seven key performance management practices that drives high performance, as well as provides detailed comparisons between private and public sector firms, Canada versus the rest of the world, and the difference in practices among small and large size firms.

"This study will prove to be critical reading for any organization seeking to get a better handle on how to maximize productivity, efficiency, and profitability as a result of their performance management regimens," say Kevin Wennekes, CATA’s VP Research and one of the co-authors of the report. "This study not only identifies which best practices high performing companies use, but provides interesting insight that can be translated into key competitive and market intelligence, such as the results around the trends in performance management technology adoption and use."

To order the full report or to receive your complimentary Executive Summary

Contact Kevin Wennekes at kwennekes@cata.ca

Costs of full-report:
CATA Members: $195
CATAResearch Subscribers: $195
Non-Members: $995
New members and subscribers can receive this report for free upon enrolment in either program.

Interested in other CATAResearch initiatives? Participate in our current Canadian IT Workplace Assessment today!


Additional detail on this project is provided in a recent interview conducted on CATA Net TV with Gregory Richards, MBA, Ph.D, FCMC of the University of Ottawa (Telfer School of Management) and Philip Townsend, Partner, PwC.

Click here to view this segment.