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FAQs:  IT Performance Management

FAQs & Glossaries

Q. We have been asked to prepare an outline of a "performance plan" and an annual "performance report" to senior management for our technology organization. Can you tell us what these are and what might be included?

A. It sounds like your senior management wants the IT organization to tell them, in business terms: (a) what the IT organization intends to accomplish during the next year (the performance plan), and (b) what was actually accomplished in the past year(s) (the performance report).

The form, content, and schedule of performance plans and reports for many state and local jurisdictions, and the US government, are prescribed by statute. Private organizations, like yours, (absent specific guidance from senior management) can define them as appropriate for the organization’s needs, management culture, and style. Following are some of the most common elements:

Performance plans often include:

  1. performance goals and objectives for the major business responsibility areas,
  2. an explanation of the linkage between the responsibility areas and the budget (this is applicable to organizations with rather advanced budgeting capabilities),
  3. a summary of the resources required to meet the goals and objectives,
  4. the performance indicators that will be used to measure performance,
  5. how the organization will report upon actual performance, and
  6. a discussion of how the performance information will be verified.

Performance reports typically include:

  1. a review and discussion of actual performance compared with the performance goals and objectives established in the prior year’s annual performance plan,
  2. an explanation of the reasons any goals or objectives were not met,
  3. plans and schedules for meeting unmet goals and objectives, and
  4. if goals or objectives were deemed impractical or not feasible, the reasons and recommended actions.

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