Performance Improvement: Stages, Steps and Tools
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Performance Improvement Toolkit
Describe Performance Gaps

Step 1: Describe the performance gaps

Step 2: Decide whether to work on each gap

If the previous two stages are completed thoroughly, and performance statements are given observable and measurable indicators, describing performance gaps becomes a simple arithmetic exercise.

For example, consider a case where desired performance states that providers should offer HIV/AIDS counseling to 100% of eligible clients who appear at the clinic, and baseline data show that providers currently counsel only 25% of eligible clients. The statement of the performance gap is that providers do not counsel 75% of eligible clients who appear at the clinic.

Remember that these gaps always refer to the difference between desired and actual performance for the performance in question. A common mistake for new practitioners is to describe gaps between what the performer needs and actually has. These gaps are addressed in Find Root Causes, the next stage.

A review of the performance gaps will take place with the same stakeholder group that helped to define desired performance. Typically, this review happens in a stakeholder meeting, immediately preceding a root cause analysis of each gap.