Architectural Renderings of Performance – Using a Framework of Shared and Unique Processes

Today I am doing a 60 minute webinar for ISPI’s Armed Forces Chapter (AFC). Details about that are here.

The topic is the EPPA – Enterprise Process Performance Architecture – a model which reflects another model: the Management Areas of Performance (AoPs). Here is that Management AoPs model.

In our 1994 book, The Quality RoadMap, my business partners and I presented the frame for a business architecture on the book’s cover. The EPPA is a component within that model – itself a frame for other sets of models

Also in the 1994 my firm’s brochure we laid out our architectural view of business – including a model and some language that I later changed to Enterprise Process Performance Architecture – to reflect my process-oriented views.

We were big into that “architecture ” label as our first published article (as business partners) was in September 1984 in Training Magazine that addressed “Curriculum Architecture.”

It was also part of our branding back then.

Back to the model. There are four levels of an EPPA – Enterprise Process Performance Architecture: Management Leadership, Management Core, Individual/Team Core, and Management Support.

The goal with this segmentation scheme – this architecture – is to identify where there are common “processes” and therefore common “performance requirements” – and where they are different. This leads to shared Instruction – and common models and language, hopefully greater shared understanding, etc. All sorts of “good stuff.”

Let’s overview each of the levels or tiers of the models. 

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.

Stakeholder Relationship Management/System Governance is about the data gathering regarding all stakeholders’ needs, and gathering feedback on how well the enterprise, or individual manager’s systems/processes are doing in meeting those needs.

Once all of that is better understood, governance goals can be established, appropriate to the balancing of any stakeholder requirement conflicts that may exist within the situational context of the enterprise.

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

Operations Planning & Management is about the development and management of an operational (annual) plan to achieve the assigned year’s annual goals/objectives consistent with the longer-term strategic goals and plans.

Results Measurement Planning & Management is about the establishment of a meaningful scorecard set of measures and the measurement mechanisms for the gathering and reporting out of data/information to all stakeholders related to the desired enterprise results.

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.

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

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 insure 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.

Individual Contributors and Teams AoPs

These include both the AoPs that the organizational (department, etc.) own – AND – support. Organizations often, but not always, have some of their staff working/performing in Processes owned outside their organization. This is what makes each organizational entity unique. This is what makes the Payroll Department unique from Sales. Although both organizations share Leadership AoPs and Support AoPs (to a greater extent than not) – this is where their rubber meets the road.

Back to the managers’ AoPs.

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. These AoPs include:

Process Design/re-design is about making changes to the existing processes in terms of their steps, inputs, individual contributors roles/responsibilities, etc. Approaches including Lean and Six Sigma, among others, are used to address process improvement and streamlining via design or redesign of the process.

Human Assets Management is about the acquisition, development, appraisal and compensation/rewarding of the human performers. These are typically HR systems that require alignment to the enterprise’s process needs.

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

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

Leaders and managers are responsible for putting “processes in place” and “people assets in place” and “non-people assets in place” to get the job done with the assets provided. It’s almost that simple.

A Blank Template

The following template can be used to quickly identify and name the AoP’s Processes (or whatever your organizations calls them) – organizational entity by organization.

This is all covered rather extensively in my 2007 book, Management Areas of Performance – available here as a free PDF.

Early Reviewers of the 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.

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. 


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.

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.

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.

# # #

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.