Two weeks ago I visited Wycliffe US's headquarters in Orlando. No I didn't get chance to see any tourist sights, apart from a couple of restaurants. It was for meetings with some of our personnel people worldwide, working on future parts of our internal personnel system. I came representing Wycliffe UK personnel people. Because it's internal there's nothing to show for it, although while I was there the new Wycliffe US website was launched, in which I had a small part.
One of the things they've done is allow online donations and purchasing with a single transactions. It sounds straightforward, though if you know the way that those things are handled, each of which is completely different, with different internal systems, you'll know what an achievement that is. Near Christmas I was asked if we could handle the purchase of one item along with a donation. I said it could be done, but not without a lot of work, which probably wasn't worth it given that we were only selling one item.
While I was there I met someone, who used to work for IBM and is now working for Wycliffe, who was in on the meeting where it was decided that the internet would run on TCP/IP, not SNA. Quite a good geek credential.
One of the tools we used was "Results-based Management" (RBM). When I first heard of this I went to wikipedia, but I couldn't find it there, so I added an entry of to the list of entries that needs creating. One of the reasons I didn't create an entry is I didn't think I could do very well from my brief bit of research. However as this blog is more informal than the wikipedia I feel I can get away with this. RBM is
"a life-cycle approach to management that integrates strategy, people, resources, processes and measurements to improve decision-making, transparency, and accountability. The approach focuses on achieving outcomes, implementing performance measurement, learning and changing, and reporting performance."
It's used by the Canadian Government and the UN, so it has some pedigree. As you might expect it focuses on defining the results you want to achieve, and then working out how you are going to measure if you've done them or not. The latter part was the exercise we went through last week. That much was pretty straightforward, given the difficulty of measuring some less tangible things.
results based management