What Is Performance Improvement?

Performance improvement refers to the improvement of a business process, function, or procedure with the intention of improving overall outcomes.

Performance improvement is distinct from a performance improvement plan (PIP), which denotes a plan to help a specific employee improve his or her job performance.

Instead, performance improvement focuses on business processes. Part of performance management, performance improvement seeks out ways that a process itself can be improved.

Performance improvement can occur at any level within a business, in any department. 

Keys to successful improvement include:

  • Creating a plan with a before and an after state
  • Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) that are measurable, relevant, and achievable
  • Implementing solutions that will move the process closer to a specific end-goal

Successfully implementing an improvement strategy will bring with it a number of benefits, such as:

  • Better output from the process in question
  • Increased efficiency
  • Decreased process costs

The exact nature of the improvement strategy will depend greatly upon the process in question. 

Human-focused improvement plans, for example, would aim to increase the output of workers. Tactics could include reward systems, improved training, implementation of new technology, or automation.

Regardless of the business process being targeted, every process improved helps to make an organization leaner, more efficient, and more profitable.