Questions and Answers

1. Give us 1 or 2 examples of metrics from a people/ org perspective:

  • Answer by Mike Friedman: People/Org metrics should be linked back to the business metrics with some sort of causality (recognizing that is won’t be 100% connected, but we should have a rational reason as to how they are connected).  One organization metric we used at P&G was role continuity of 2 years pre-launch and 1-year post for General Manager, Marketing Director, Product Development Leader, and Initiative Team leader) on the 30 largest innovations in P&G’s portfolio.  The President of the business Unit was accountable for the metric.  We gave a green/red value for each of the four roles being in or out of the continuity time frame.   3 green out of four or better was considered good.  2 out of 4 was considered ok but concerning and 1 green out of 4 was a red flag for corrective action.  These results were shared across the entire management team around the world, as part of the six-month Innovation Portfolio Results analysis and action plan progress summary that was sponsored by the CEO and CFO.  It really drove behavior change by the Business Unit Presidents and on down through their organization, because none of them wanted to be called by the CEO if they had red flag performance.

  • A second example is Organization Assessments. At P&G, we used this for a number of initiatives, including Plant Manufacturing Process Reliability improvement to 85% minimum to drive a Total Delivered Cost objective of $2/stat case.  This consisted of a number of elements, but one was around how many of the Process Reliability best practices had been implemented by the plant organization.  Similar applications for MRPII (Manufacturing Resource Planning assessment) and an Innovation assessment.  The MRPII assessment included a metric on specific roles that were in place staffed by people with more than 1 year of experience.  Innovation assessment included a number of decisions made during a portfolio meeting that was recorded in the minutes and followed through by the next meeting.

2. I would love to hear more about creating a culture of accountability when current performance metrics are focused on the short term. In some cases, senior leadership cannot share long term business goals due to confidentiality so, we are left with generic goals to connect our project objectives to. 

  • Answer by Mike Friedman: A culture of accountability is critical.  It can include accountability for short terms (1-year goals) such as delivering the annual business or functional goals; having a formal review process of results, analyzing the root cause of success or failure, developing action plans for improvement and tied to the person’s reward system/performance review process.  The challenge is having too many goals (I have seen the list grow to over 20) because not all 20 are created equal.  Have to find the right balance. 

  • Another one is for the long term performance of a process or information system.  For instance, in the Lead organization in Europe, they have member company CEOs signing a Pledge to increase the percentage of women at the executive level over three years and then to maintain it forward into the future.  Again, public recognition of the pledge (within and external to their companies) and the performance review, analysis and action process all fit together to become a powerful enabler for change. Happy to talk through these examples with anyone who has a deeper interest, as there is no one size fits all and you often need to get creative on how to do this.  I always look for examples of success in Companies that can be reapplied to the project that I have been working on or supporting.


3. What steps do you suggest instilling that thinking of accountability long term in leaders?

  • Answer by Ed Tyson: For too long, we have confused leaders with double-talk regarding their accountabilities and their work. We say we want them to lead but don’t tell them what the work looks like (we just focus on their interpersonal skills). Companies interested in having leaders who lead and who understand accountability must clarify what leading really is. What is the work of the leader? What are the daily, weekly, and monthly processes they must engage in? 

  • Then, they must translate that vision into their messages, metrics, and motivators. For instance, if the chief responsibility of a leader is to create the capacity for goal attainment (which I believe it is), we need to tell them that, make sure they know how to do it, measure whether or not they do it, and incentivize the journey and the destination. Once leaders themselves finally have a clear job for which they themselves are held accountable, they will stop doing the team’s work and better understand the path to creating a culture of accountability themselves. 


4. How to build Synergies between project/program management and Organizational Change Management (OCM)? 

  • Answer by Ed Tyson: The classic (and somewhat problematic) swim lane for project managers includes scope, schedule, and budget (but suspiciously avoids adoption and value creation metrics). Since we frequently find the project plan has been drafted prior to the engagement of OCM resources, our first interactions with the team often jeopardize all three of the project managers' key performance indicators (KPIs), immediately putting us at odds. 

  • Instead of resenting out late entry into the game, we need to have empathy for how we are impacting the team. Additionally, we must grain traction with the business leader(s) responsible for creating value within the organization. As change experts, we know the biggest barrier to realizing the value a project is initially predicated on is failing to recognize the importance of change management in creating a willing, capable, and sustainable community of effort. Therefore we need to promote holistic team measures of success for the project team which includes scope, schedule, budget, adoption rate, and value generation. If this doesn’t happen, individual players can win while the team itself fails (which is the very opposite of synergy).

Thank you and we hope to see you at the next event!