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ManagePro Newsletter December 2000

TThis month we are diving even further into reviewing performance and explaining what makes some people perform better with ManagePro and others have no benefit at all. Through it all we suggest you read this newsletter from the perspective that ManagePro is a "high performance" software for managers and their teams, presenting some of the same utilization and maintenance issues that anything (cars, airplanes, manufacturing equipment) high performance requires.

DECEMBER TOPIC HEADINGS:

  1. Creating an easy, powerful review for each of your direct reports
  2. ManagePro as a work management system
  3. ManagePro as a knowledge management system
  4. Two Tips for the end of the year and next

1. CREATING AN EASY, POWERFUL REVIEW FOR EACH OF YOUR DIRECT REPORTS.

Last month I discussed this in a conceptual manner. This month let's go over step by step how to create a basic review screen.

1. First I use the wrench to add a new screen in the individual goal planner and give it the title of Review. I make sure it has the fields of Title, Who, Due Date and Status, and then add the fields Summary Comment, Final Review and Weight. I click save the view and click on the details button, then the wrench and add the last three fields to the Detail view as well.

2. Are you with me? I then filter it with the following 2 filters, 1. Due date less than or equal to 12/31/00 and 2. Due date greater than or equal to 1/1/00.

3. I now have a very powerful screen to work through the individual's goals for the year, review progress notes and complete summary comments, final review and weight for each goal. I also like to sort them based upon status first and Due date second. This allows me to see all the goals that got completed, and then all the goals that are outstanding and behind. The only feature that I don't have accessible (which is found under the formal review button) is the feedback comments throughout the year. If you would like access to those, split your screen so you can see them at the bottom, and your individual goal screen at the top.

One note of caution - be careful that you are working in a database that only you the administrator can configure, otherwise your comments, ratings and weights can be viewed and altered by anyone who decides to configure a screen to show those fields. That would be a whoops! You are doing reviews aren't you?

2. MANAGEPRO AS A WORK MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

Our own annual review of consulting with clients using ManagePro this year has revealed two powerful dynamics that we would like to share with you for your benefit this month and in the coming year.

The first dynamic looks like this. Using ManagePro effectively embodies a certain "style" or pattern of working. That style is based upon:

* setting goals,

* working a plan to reach those goals, and

* regularly gathering and giving feedback.

On any one day your work life can include more than one style, but most of us have one preferred or predominant style, Customers who apply ManagePro to a work environment having a style differing from the ManagePro basics, typically encounter high levels of frustration unless they commit to changing their work group's style. Let's go over a couple of common styles to help illustrate. Common work styles:

1. Function based; I do what my job requires, completing the tasks presented to me, day after day.

2. Tyranny of the Urgent; I pretty much move from one fire or critical issue to another all day long.

3. Rooted in History; I do what I've been doing for years, it worked then, it is good enough now.

4. Sales and Deals; I move optimistically through the day by selling, selling people on products, services, and my ideas.

Get the picture. Imagine introducing ManagePro, as a goal - plan - feedback work system, into a group that operates on selling. It is immediately an alternative mode of working. If you don't create a paradigm or mind shift to get them to a position of committing to the value of working a plan and course correcting based upon feedback. If you don't create a compelling case for why the change.... well you can imagine it, it won't work.

The push back you will receive in each case of not leading your work group into a plan based work style, will inevitably be focused on the software... which is actually a misleading diagnostic indicator of people not being sold on changing their work style. So after you have uncovered and responded to people's concerns (ex. "It's going to be too much work.), focus on speaking to the issue of "why make a change... this change."

3. MANAGEPRO AS A KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. .

The second dynamic involves a hierarchy of people's positions relative to skills, attitudes and tools used to manage knowledge. Imagine a four-rung ladder and let's briefly describe what people look like as they operate on each rung.

First Rung - Tools used for self; using tools to manage knowledge, information and tasks for the purpose of keeping one's self-organized, and the perspective of "If I don't need it why should I do it?"

Second Rung - Tools used for report compliance; using tools to manage knowledge to the extent that it takes care of completing reports, transactions, and other work processes, especially if it means getting paid.

Third Rung - Tools used for managing; using tools to manage and track all the details because the complexity and risk of the projects to be completed is more than one can handle with the tools of paper and pencil, email and memory.

Fourth Rung - Tools used for learning/growing; using tools to extract from the information sources at work what I need to learn to grow the business, not repeat past errors and be more successful next time.

If you have been using ManagePro with a work group this year you will immediately recognize the rungs that some of your team members are on. Our findings suggest that people at levels one and two are only marginally effective using ManagePro. Some are much more verbal about it than others. In fact at their most adamant, people push back at using a tool such as ManagePro when it is at a level above the one they are operating at.

* I've personally seen people at the first rung that state that they aren't going to use any @#!%# tool, and you can fire them before they will change (and you may have to).

* I've seen people at the second rung who do the minimal basics of using the tool, often passive-aggressively, so that it always feels like a push to get them to comply.

* I've seen people at the third rung use the program very successfully to manage projects, but only minimally use the performance tools or set personal goals and give feedback to their staff.

* I've seen people at the fourth rung accomplish amazing things. The funny thing about use of ManagePro from a knowledge management perspective is that it's not ignorance that holds people on lower rungs. It usually is people's perception, even certainty, that they don't need to manage knowledge more actively, and at its worst its arrogance - "I don't need to, shouldn't have to"... hear the push back.

4. TWO TIPS FOR THE END OF THIS YEAR AND NEXT.

95% of the people who buy ManagePro are intending to raise their own or other's knowledge management level, and make a shift towards operating more frequently in a goal - plan - feedback work system. But buying the software doesn't guarantee your success in making the change. So here are a couple of tips that come out of our consulting with ManagePro, and as you've probably figured out by now, the most frequent focus of our consulting is on coaching to manage change, not screen configuration.

Tip 1. - Changing yourself - Only undertake with lots of commitment and resources. Commitment to regularly practice your new behaviors is essential, as is consistent review from others in the form of mentoring/coaching and holding you accountable to the goals you've set. To undertake the self-change journey by buying software and planning on that and your aspirations to do the rest... is to be like the majority of people who sign up for health club memberships in January and drop out by Valentine's day in February... the results are nothing to write home about.

Tip 2. - Changing others - You can't... but you can do something very powerful. Lead. Lead by uncovering and listening to people's resistance and push back, and then creating a powerful case for the need for change. Lead by setting goals and a plan, and holding people accountable to the plan, and a new "style" of working. Lead by giving lots of feedback and recognition. Lead by learning from your knowledge management. Lead by modeling and exercising commitment to your goals.

Have a great holiday season and hope this month closes out a very successful year in achieving your goals, working your plan and learning from feedback.

To your success.

Rodney Brim

Performance Solutions Technology, LLC

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Performance Solutions Technology, LLC



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