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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Time to Performance

There have already been some great contributions to this month’s big question – Predictions and Plans for 2010.  I was reading Jay Cross’ response and one of his predictions:

Faster, faster, faster, real time. Time-to-performance becomes the new metric.

It’s funny to see that term again.  I thought that Time-to-performance was going to be the key metric back in 2002.  When I was working with various high tech, insurance and financial services companies – a key ingredient was how quickly people could effectively roll-out new products, policies, respond to competitive threats, etc.  It really was about how quickly you can become proficient on all the new stuff.  It was about Time to Performance.

Granted there are still core skills that will need to be developed in other ways (see Does Deliberative Practice Lead to Quick Proficiency for a bit of discussion around that).  Still a lot of what we talk about with informal learning, performance support, etc. is how we can make people perform quickly.  Or at least have the appearance of expertise (see  Expert Level Answers via Social Networks as one way to appear to be expert).

Still since the last time this term and related metrics never really took off, I’m curious what people think.

Is Time to Performance really going to get traction in 2010?


Lars Hyland said...

Tony - Happy New Year.

Time to Performance and Time to Full Competence have always been key metrics even if they have been largely ignored/misunderstood by training departments in the past.

I'm seeing growing interest in onboarding solutions that provide a seamless and integrated experience for new starters so that even before their first day they already feel part of the organisation and have the sufficient knowledge and skills to feel confident and competent. This naturally leads to lower induction costs, and shorter timeframes to full productivity. Have a look at this case study.

Separately, having mobile access to answers and expertise at the point of need changes the nature of the knowledge and skills that an individual actually needs to retain in their heads. It's not what you know but how to find it and who can help. It's KnowNow not KnowHow that matters more in 2010.

Tony Karrer said...

Lars - thanks for the pointers. Both are quite good. And I like the turn of phrase Know Now not Know How.

Marcelo said...

I hope perfomance measures in general grab more attention of managers.

Having worked for 11 years on the field - developing, marketing and continuous improving one of the first performance management software - I think that performance measurement and management still have a long way to go in becoming a daily management practice.

jay said...

Time-to-performance is more important now because time itself has sped up: more happens in one of today's minutes than happened in one of yesteryear's minutes. Getting to competence faster is worth more today. Furthermore, measuring the value of time savings is concrete and easily understood, unlike traditional fuzzy measures of learning.

Dan Peay said...

Great discussion Tony! Time to Performance is such a descriptive term with more significance today than at any other time. Several years ago, I managed several sales "Readiness" programs aimed to reduce the time it took for a sales person to feel "ready" to engage with customers, ready to perform, ready to represent the company. We spent a great amount of effort to measure Time to Performance. Those sales individuals who participated in our readiness training reached "readiness" more quickly than the individuals who did not.

The goal of organizations and people are aligned. Organizations want results and individuals want results. Anything to get better results, more quickly is a good thing for everyone.

I represent a company with performance support software. Customers want to become productive with this solution as quickly as possible which drives us to constantly improve the learning and readiness experience. We want the same thing. We want our customers to realize the value as quickly as possible in order to be willing to tell their story to others.

I love the term "Time to Performance!" I strongly believe it should be a, if not THE, mantra of the year. "Time to Value" is a message I have been advocating, but "performance" is a powerful word.

Tony Karrer said...

Thanks for the comments. Good point that performance and value are closely tied.