[b]BLUF:[/b] How does one [u]not[/u] worry about “[u]A[/u]ttainable” goals when management evaluates performance based on attaining or not attaining goals?
First of all, I’m a High D/C. I often struggle with the High C part of myself against “analysis paralysis,” and I’m better now than I used to be. That said, working in information systems, I work with and for other High C types. When setting goals, especially based on the information in the podcast, I have concerns about how high to set the bar.
[b]Current Example:[/b] I was recently assigned a project that is part of a highly-visible enterprise-wide (not just IS) cost-saving initiative. Here are some quick facts on this project:
[list]- CIO hired a technical consultant (usually done every few years) to look at all operations for opportunities for improvement. One area identified was a potential for annual savings of $x million through re-bidding and possibly changing the model of one of our expiring support agreements.
- I have not seen any detail around the savings (still waiting on blessings from higher-up for access to sensitive information).
- Those on my project team who have seen some of the detail and are familiar with the environment and current support agreement think the savings estimates are too high.
- My boss is new to this role. He has seen some of the savings detail yet is not familiar with the specific support agreement; although, he is familiar with the general environment.
- We have been asked by the cost-saving initiative leaders to provide high-level savings estimates. My boss told me that the plan is to re-forecast budgets [u]now[/u] based on estimated savings. So, if we say we expect to save $x million/year starting 4Q08, my boss’s budget will be reduced accordingly.
- My boss has said specifically that he does not want to communicate any projected savings until we get some more specific pricing information through the bidding process. Our current agreement expires ~mid-year. The current supplier has seemed amenable to extension. We also have other significant relationships with this supplier.[/list:u]
[b]Current (non-“MT”) project objective:[/b] Reduce costs through re-bid/negotiation of a new service agreement and, as appropriate, change to an alternate service model for delivering [i]xyz[/i] service by August 31, 2008.
[b]Measurable change:[/b] Reduce annual costs by $y million through re-bid…
Our performance measurement is based on a competitive ranking. Because the success or failure in achieving our goals is often “easier” to compare than the value delivered to the company, a lot of emphasis is placed on [u]not[/u] failing to meet goals. While I clearly do not expect or want to change my boss’s opinion on publishing a savings target now, I do want to try and set good “MT” goals within my project team. [b]How can I set a [u]measurable[/u] goal without getting caught in the concerns about performance measurement?[/b]