Performance Improvement: Reference Models—The Long, Long Shortcut

Performance Improvement: Reference Models—The Long, Long Shortcut
Drawing on their extensive experience as consultants at the Performance Design Lab, Alan Ramias and Cherie Wilkins describe the many difficulties their clients have encountered when attempting to use reference models. They identify five “traps” they have repeatedly observed and illustrate them with actual examples from their work within organizations. Not wishing to completely discourage you, the authors also offer three sound principles to consider when using reference models and end their discussion with an example of a company where reference models were effectively used as a result of applying these principles.

Alan Ramias & Cherie Wilkins

Alan Ramias & Cherie Wilkins

Alan Ramias is a Partner of the Performance Design Lab (PDL). He has had twenty-five years of experience in performance improvement and organization effectiveness. Alan was employed by Motorola for ten years as an internal consultant on organizational performance. As a member of the team that founded Motorola University, he was the first person to introduce Geary Rummler's pioneering concepts in process improvement and management to business units within Motorola. Alan advocated and led several of the first groundbreaking projects in process improvement that evolved to the invention of six sigma and Motorola's winning of the first Malcolm Baldrige Award in 1988. Alan was also involved in major restructuring projects at Motorola, and in job design work, compensation planning, workplace literacy, and educational program development. After joining The Rummler-Brache Group in 1991, Alan led major successful performance improvement engagements within Fortune 500 companies. His experience spanned several industries and the full spectrum of corporate functions and processes, such as strategic planning, manufacturing, product development, financial management, and supply chain. Major clients included Shell, Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Citibank, Motorola, Steelcase, Citgo, Hermann Miller, Louisiana-Pacific, and Bank One. After leading many high-profile projects, he became a partner and Managing Director of Consulting Services at RBG. He led development of much of RBG's products and services, and was responsible for selecting, training and mentoring RBG's consultant teams. Upon leaving RBG, Alan founded his own consulting company, where he continued to practice in the field of performance consulting. He was also involved in several organizational restructuring initiatives in the U.S. and in Asia. Alan can be reached at aramias@ThePDLab.com. Ms. Wilkins is a Partner of the Performance Design Lab, where she specializes in the design of Measurement and Management Systems and the application of the Performance Logic methodology to strategy formulation and performance improvement. She has extensive consulting experience in implementing measurement and management systems in the financial services, retail, chemical, petroleum and manufacturing industries. Cherie also has extensive experience in leading Business Process Architecture Definition efforts as the foundation for making the transformation to a process focused/process managed organization. Prior to joining PDL, Cherie was involved in Technology Development and process improvement consulting with the Rummler-Brache Group. Before joining RBG, she consulted in the area of communications, specializing in internal communications for organizations undergoing large scale change efforts. Prior to that, Cherie worked eight years in the television industry, five of those with the McNeil/Lehrer Newshour.
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