Chapter 8. Question #3
What are some of the differences between governments and businesses? How would those differences affect performance measurement?
The differences between governments and businesses can be clearly identified. Due to the consideration of businesses, government is incompetent, conservative and corrupt structure. On the other hand, according to governments, most of the businessmen are selfish, unpatriotic and anti-social. These two groups are also much more interdependent than they think. But the differences between governments and businesses are well – defined, including the following:
The existence of boundaries and divisions of the possibilities. Government, comprising politicians and officials, works within national borders. Its areas of activity and interests are clearly marked within these boundaries. However, businesses also have to recognize some borders, and ignore national borders they cannot, but the scope of their activities extends to industry concerned (or the number of branches), their market is a global market, capital flows to them from foreign countries.
Finance field. Any business can be judged, knowing what are the gains and losses. The failure of government becomes evident only in the case of the revolution. The success of any business may be defined, looking at the balance sheet. But the success or failure of the government should not be judged on the basis of mathematical calculations. Actually, any judge is very difficult to examine.
Different scope of goals. The main purpose of any businessman is to earn money, using all available methods. Regarding the government, their targets are larger in the scope and in spreading. Among the goal of government there are security, law and order, health, education, social security, and improvement of the trade balance.
As it was mentioned above, because of differences in finance field, it is rather difficult to determine the performance measures for both groups, using the same method. For businesses the main criteria would be net income at the end of production year, and for governments the level of people’s life and indicate of the gross domestic product would have the prior case.
Chapter 10. Question #2
Performance measurement systems
In the dynamic world of business, we are faced with the fact that the efforts, made by each member of the organization, directly depends on the success of the company. No gain can be achieved without the productivity. Regarding the productivity throughout the company, the measure of it depends on the productivity of company’s employees. The fact that the main component of measurement is people, with whom you have to deal every day, makes it hard to evaluate the performance of employees.
However, there is one thing to facilitate solutions. This is done by a system of indicators of productivity. Nobody can deny the fact that the longer a worker remains in the company, the more he finds boring everyday tasks and the more it is becoming commonplace for the employee. When this happens, the level of productivity can be significantly reduced. This can be very important to measure the key indicator of productivity, so just to decide how to protect employees by offering them relevant work to improve the environmental situation, and note how these facts affect productivity.
Job satisfaction is not the only thing, which is the key for measurement of productivity. Other aspects shall include the quality, creativity and time. If the employees are still showing good results on these aspects, they probably still get satisfaction from their work. When there is satisfaction, of course, there will be productivity. Measuring productivity will then be much easier with the help of indicators and a key indicator of productivity.
Therefore, building a system of indicators of productivity yourself, you should consider several factors. First of all, determine what you want to measure, the method you will use and the plan of action that you take after the measurement. If the method of measuring productivity is closely held, your efforts will be aimed at obtaining common benefits.
Chapter 11. Question #3
What is a learning organization, and how is the culture of a learning organization supportive of evaluation?
A learning organization is a form of organization that focuses on managing the exchange of knowledge at all - hierarchical and functional levels of the company. This type of business organization assumes that the employees’ accumulated knowledge has value only if it flows from individual to individual; from group to group; from organization to organization. The basic definition of the learning organization is one that facilitates the learning of all its members by means of globally sharing information and through experiencing the continuous and planned processes of transformation.
The company may change its culture, activities or structure. It is possible to implement different aspects under personal capabilities or geographic distribution of each company. Nevertheless, every member of learning organization use the same goal and the same philosophy as a tool. The main premise for governing this culture is the necessity of continually and permanent learning of all members. This is advantage but also a disadvantage because every strategy when having one main aspect of successful exercising will fail if the way of developing of this aspect is chosen wrong. In this case, in some time, when waiting for particular results, administrators will face the fact that something went wrong and the system requires full replacement or even canceling.
That is why all components involved in a company shall develop a learning organization model, share the view of the future to be built day by day, through continuous learning. Only in this case, these global processes enrich everyone absolutely and the task would be accomplished.
It is also important to create the sense of innovation and lifelong learning and a sense of unity with the company for motivating its personnel on every level. More internal principles shall be also mentioned. There are appropriate use of time and resources and communicating new work procedures based on teamwork, cooperation, discussion and analysis.
Finally, the importance of the customer shall be highlighted as a result, evaluating all the previous learning organizational activity. Knowing customers’ needs of all kinds, not only purely commercial, but also their demands and their views regarding the relationship with the company, makes them acquainted with the process of knowledge, as it will be a source of their further learning and research.
Chapter 12. Question 2
What do evaluators and program managers have in common? What differences can you think of as well?
The answer to this question is in definition of the profession itself and field of activity of both evaluator and program manager. Thus, Evaluator is someone whose job is to judge the quality, importance, amount, or value of something. Evaluator’s activity is usually referred to professionalism providing reliance on the evaluations made. Another important aspect of this job is facilitating, which means establishing of evaluation ability between the participants (i.e., their role as collaborators, critical friends, counselors and educators).
As for program managers, they mainly coordinate groups of related projects rather than manage individual evaluation of some of them. The program manager ensures that cross-project work effort remains feasible from a business standpoint and realizes benefits. They require advanced skills in financial management and budgeting, as well as procurement and contract negotiations across the program. In addition, ability to creatively define the project pacing and obtain incremental benefits before the program shall be noted here.
This is common also for the evaluator to realize benefits of something, including project’s ones. But the difference is in subject and purpose of evaluation. Evaluator evaluates particular things, necessary for the customer. Besides, he provides professional assessment, value of which may be counted according to evaluators reputation and level. As for the program manager, his task is wider. He is responsible for every aspect forming the program, which he is to exercise successively with good results on the finish. Thus, program manager’s profession is wider, and somehow contains evaluations, but despite this fact, excellent program manager shall employ excellent evaluator for professional consultations concerning his narrow proficiency.