A Tangible Mental Model for EPPI – Enterprise Process Performance Improvement

The Model

If your focus is on Performance – the results 1st and the behaviors 2nd – you cannot skip looking at other aspects – 3rd, the environmental  enablers or disablers of performance. My Big Picture of EPPI graphic portrays my model for doing this. It’s in a tangible graphic form online or on paper – and in a mental model form in my head. It’s what I use to capture and sort the Client’s situation and specifics on these variables that I use when first talking about a potential project with clients – before planning a response.

It is scalable – from top to bottom of any Enterprise – just as financial budgets scale up and down the organization – with break-downs and roll-ups possible – depending on one’s needs to review accumulations of items – or specific items. Next: how I view a department (or team/sub-departments) – and the differences in management and individual contributors’ performance within a process-centric view.

Ask yourself for your department…do we do/perform in any of the boxes in the Leadership tier or Support tier – teased out as this is where (in my mind) commonality exists for sharing processes, procedures and training/learning. In the center tier is what makes one department different/ unique from all others – and where they come together supporting processes that they do not “own.”

One you can see the processes more clearly you can assess the adequacy of the provisioning systems elsewhere in the Enterprise and their ability and barriers to getting the “right stuff” to the processes in the right quanitity at the right time.

Earlier version existed in my head on all of this – and the graphic next is what I used to convey my ideas on this to my co-authors of The Quality RoadMap (book from 1994) when we were tooling around Prudhoe Bay in Alaska on a big project to create Qualification/Certification Performance Tests. Performance-based of course.

Here is that book from 1994.

Here, next, is my latest book using the EPPI Process Performance model. It is available as a free PDF here.

Overview of the Management Leadership AoPs

The Leadership Areas of Performance are intended to segment the leadership and managerial work that is focused on relationships with stakeholders, strategic and both long-medium term planning, measurement (balance scorecard type) systems, systems/process improvement, and communications systems.

The five Leadership AoPs are

-L1 – Stakeholder Relationship Management/System Governance

– L2 – Strategic Planning & Management

– L3 – Operations Planning & Management

– L4 – Results Measurement Planning & Management

– L5 – Process Improvement Planning & Management

– L5 – Communications Planning & Management

Stakeholder Relationship Management/System Governance is about the gathering of stakeholder inputs regarding their needs and gathering feedback on how well the manager’s systems/processes are doing in meeting those needs, given the resources provided and all of the other priorities faced by that manager.

Once all of that is better understood, governance can happen, appropriate to the situation.

Strategic Planning & Management is about the setting of strategic goals, and plans to achieve those goals.

Operations Planning & Management is about the development and management of an operations (annual) plan to achieve the assigned years annual goals/objectives and preparation for the achievement of longer term strategic goals and plans.

Results Measurement Planning & Management is about the establishment of meaningful measures and measurement mechanisms for the gathering, manipulation and reporting out of data/information to all stakeholders.

Process Improvement Planning & Management is about the systematic improvement of internal processes for ROI benefit, and to achieve annual and long-term (strategic) goals and plans.

Communications Planning & Management is about the planning and management of communications, both proactive and reactive.

All of these Leadership AoPs are not about leading and managing “in the moment,” but are leadership and management activities for both the long-term and medium-term, as appropriate to the enterprise and its industry and its current situation in its business “cycle.”

Living, leading, and managing “in the moment” comes next.

Overview of the Management Core AoPs

The Core Areas of Performance include management activities, for leaders and managers alike, that are all about the “in the moment” duties, include these 4

– C1- Planning Work

– C2 – Assigning Work

– C3 – Monitoring Work

– C4 – Troubleshooting Work

Planning Work is about the deciding what gets done and by whom and when.

Assigning Work is about the communications of the work assignment.

Monitoring Work is about the follow up monitoring of work process and/or work product to ensure that everything is okay. If not, see the next AoP.

Troubleshooting Work is about the following up on any work product or process discrepancies to resolve them. This is about getting to the “root cause” and not spinning enterprise wheels on addressing symptoms that won’t resolve anything.

Every manager does these, by walking around and observing and talking with staff and customers and suppliers, and by reviewing and interpreting results data.

This is the core of any manager’s job; the planning, assigning, monitoring, and troubleshooting the work of their subordinates and their subordinate organizations.

The next part of the job involves putting “everything in place” so that the leadership goals and plan and budgets achieve the desired end goals, plus anything else put on that manager’s plate.

Overview of the Management Support AoPs

The Support Areas of Performance are about putting “everything in place” so that the leadership goals and plan and budgets achieve the desired end goals, so that there is something to plan, assign, monitor, and troubleshoot (plus anything else delegated to that managers plate) includes these 4

– S1 – Process Design/re-design

– S2 – Human Assets Management

– S3 – Environmental Assets Management

– S4 – Special Assignments

Process Design/re-design is about making changes to the existing processes in terms of their steps, inputs, individual contributors roles/responsibilities, etc.

Human Assets Management is about the acquisition/development/appraisal and compensation/rewarding of the human performers.

Environmental Assets Management is about the acquisition/development/maintenance of the non-human assets necessary to the process.

Special Assignments is about the “other duties as assigned” responsibilities of management.

What’s in your mental model for analyzing and designing Enterprise Process Performance?

Adopt or Adapt this for your own use.

Early Book Reviews for “Management Areas of Performance” – 2006

John Coné:

One of the great strengths of the book is that it is NOT about competencies. You make an outstanding point that there is more to the job than just possessing (or even exhibiting) competencies.

I really liked the book. Now, I have to be honest with you – it surprised me that I did. I have never been a fan of “workbook” type books that require me to do a lot of introspection and homework. Maybe that’s because I’m lazy, or maybe because they require me to accept the models in the book as I go along rather than deciding after I have read it all how well they will apply to my world. Whatever the case, when I saw how your book was organized, I figured I wouldn’t like the format and then I’d have to figure out how to tell you that.

But it didn’t happen that way.

I think it is because of the way the book is organized, and perhaps also because you keep things relatively simple. You don’t ask me to buy into a complicated and unusual model; but one that is pretty straightforward and logical. I also think that using the technique of directing people to the chapters that apply to them the most (as you do in Chapters 4 and 18, for example) prevents us from having to slog through work that we are not sure goes to the heart of our concerns. That is a brilliant move, and I wish more authors used the approach.

Thanks for the chapter summaries. They keep the reader on track and tell us what you as the author think are the key points of each chapter. The intros also do a great job of keeping us oriented.

The book reads easily and is very clear and concise.

Darlene Van Tiem:

Tremendous performance management tool! Competence is key to inspiring, challenging, and coaching employees. Every leader should require Management Areas of Performance as part of a performance assessment empowering their managers to develop competencies, thus improving competitiveness and organizational effectiveness.

Comprehensive, well organized, and motivational.

Actually, I think that it is a terrific succession planning, career development, and employee development piece. You have presented, in detail fashion, the full set of competencies. You have not glossed over issues and made it a simple book.


Mark Graham Brown:

Large government and corporate organizations continue to spend money on canned or custom-developed leadership programs that fail to produce effective managers. This book presents a proven methodology for determining the specific management competencies needed for success in your own organization. By using this approach, based on studies of your most effective managers, you will build the foundation of a program that will allow you to select and train a large cadre of effective managers and leaders.


Judy Hale:

I do like the way you have grouped the areas of performance. You have developed a useful tool and process to help identify, define, and evaluate managerial competencies.


Margo Murray:

How I spent my holiday weekend ….Actually several enjoyable hours of it were spent reading your new book! Congratulations on completing this comprehensive treatment of an essential subject. Here are some general impressions:

►   It will be very useful as a handbook and desk reference for managers, especially newer ones

►   I like the flexibility to access and use the sections most relevant to a current role or responsibility

►   Some chapters will serve as excellent checklists, for example the troubleshooting ones

I found myself many times thinking, “I wish I had written this book when my management experiences were being tested and improved.”


Joe Sener:

I like the model. It will help organizations on several levels:

►   Clarity of what should be the responsibility of each level of management

   in the organization.

►   The recognition that different individuals will be better at some of

   these AoP’s than at others — and that is not only OK but that diversity

   adds strength to the organization.

►   A detailed description of the skills required of each role at the

   individual contributor line as well as an assay of those skills at the

   organizational level.

►   A recognition of the time required at the Management Support level which

   is seldom, if ever budgeted for by the organization but is just assumed

   that we will find the time for it. I believe that upwards of 40% of my

   time is spent just managing Human Assets.

Frank Wydra:

I like where you are going with Management Areas of Performance and I believe it will prove a useful workbook for many who are trying to move beyond training and development and into the bright, glowing work of human performance technology. You can quote me on that, if you so choose

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