Performance Improvement: Stages, Steps and Tools
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Performance Improvement Toolkit
When Presented with Organizational Problems

Step 1: Understand the problem

Step 2: Understand the organization

Step 3: What should the situation look Like?

Step 4: Identify the gaps and the performers on which to focus the PI process

All performance gaps can eventually be traced to performers or the absence of performers. During this stage, the objective is to identify who those performer(s) are when an organizational problem is broad and does not readily implicate particular performers. For example, "Infection rates are skyrocketing" or "Postnatal maternal deaths are on the rise." The key to successfully addressing such problems is to understand the situation thoroughly enough to identify all of the performer(s) related to the gaps. As these problems are often complex, solving them may require additional investigation upfront before the traditional PI process can begin.

When presented with a broad organizational problem, four basic steps need to be followed: 1) understand the problem; 2) understand the organization well enough to isolate the locations or causes of the problem; 3) determine what the situation should look like without the problem; and 4) identify the gaps and the performers on which to focus a PI process.

Like other stages in the PI process, this involves interviewing stakeholders, analyzing the situation and identifying gaps to address. The process becomes more complex, however, when examining the layers of an organization reveals multiple reasons that the problem may exist. How do you begin to tackle a complex organizational problem? The tools and guidelines in this section will steer you through the process.