A2.3.1.2 Developing a Plan


There is no one size fits all answer! Each organisation is different (in the way it is run and managed) with different values and different goals. Even the same organisation would most likely need two slightly different implementation strategies for two different goals. To improve performance (whether that is an activity, a process or procedure), you will usually need to do the following:


Obtain Management Commitment

If a performance management initiative is to succeed it is essential to obtain commitment from the top managers. This commitment needs to be translated into genuine, visible, energetic and sustained support!

The managers need to create and communicate a vision of how performance measures will be used and how managers, employees and stakeholders will benefit. In successful implementations, leaders motivate departments to use performance measures and to sustain these efforts over time.

To obtain commitment from the top management you may need to prepare a Business Case. We discuss the elements of an Environmental Business Case and offer key tips for the preparation of a successful Environmental Business Case later in this unit.


Secure the Required Resources

Performance management systems can result in more effective use of resources in the long term. However, it can often require an initial investment of resources for implementation and for on-going administration.

Resources may include:

  • People
  • Expertise
  • Technology
  • Materials
  • Time
  • Finances


Developing a successful performance improvement system requires much more than creating new forms and developing new measures. Performance management systems represent a fundamental change in organizational culture that may take years to fully realize. Accessing externals expertise from people who have successfully navigated this path to help design a system and plan for its implementation allows organisations to take advantage of the lessons others have learned and avoid many of the common and not-so-common problems.

You must also not forget that there may well be a wealth of resources internally within your own organisation. Identifying and enlisting the support of individuals internally that are knowledgeable about performance management, preferably those who have relevant experience, is an excellent success strategy.

Planning for these systems and allocating adequate resources, either by shifting resources from lower value activities or providing additional resources, are critical to successful performance management initiatives.


Publicise the Change

Publicise what you are doing and why you are doing it (or aiming for it). If someone is asked to do something, you stand a better chance of success if they know why they are being asked to do it.

Simply telling people to put wood waste in a wood skip will work with some employees. However, some additional information such as “We are working towards zero waste to landfill” with a bit of information about why the organisation wants to achieve that, will probably have a more positive effect.

As well as perhaps displaying awareness posters, don’t forget to update people with progress. After 6 months of dutifully segregating their waste (when possibly they can see not everyone else does) an employee who was onboard may lose confidence, whereas if they are told “In the last 6 months we reduced our waste to landfill by 20%. Well dome and thank you”, they may stay on the right track.



This is closely linked to the point above, but in a more formal way.

You will need to ensure that everyone is fully aware of:

  • The level of effort involved in the project.
  • The timeline involved in the project.
  • Potential benefits they should expect to see as a result of their work.


Implementation of a performance management system may also require skills that current employees may not have or may not have used in a long time. For example, you may need to provide general environmental awareness training.


Perform a Gap Analysis

You may already have some things in place that will help you achieve your goal. It can be useful to complete a gap analysis so that you know where you are now and can plan how to get to your desired destination.

This can also be useful in identifying some “quick wins” (or “low hanging fruit”). Many results may be a long-way down the implementation timeline, which can do little to maintain management commitment. Identifying a few easy actions that can demonstrate at least some achievement early on can help maintain management interest, employee involvement and momentum.


Set Objectives & Targets

It can be useful to set Objectives & Targets so that you have an aim to work to and have something to formally review to demonstrate progress.

Objectives & Targets are discussed in Unit C2: Environmental Management Systems (EMS).


Create Actions

Once you have your Objectives & Targets you can create an action plan to ensure that they are met. When developing an action plan, try to follow a logical order. Break each issue down into manageable chunks and allocate responsibility for these.

When setting actions, remember to develop corrective actions (to rectify and problems there might have been) and to develop actions to prevent recurrence (to prevent any problems from happening again).