Book Reviews

Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart

By: Geary A. Rummler and Alan P. Brache

Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart

Each department, division or team leader works diligently to optimize the performance of their group.

Although this is desirable, Rummler and Brache argue that the greatest opportunity for organizational improvement lies in the “white space” between these groups. This classic, investigates business process design and supplies the reader with a road map to redesigning and managing organizational, process and job performance.

We already know this, but as a reminder, a significant majority of disconnects in our product or service delivery systems, stem from bad process design or management, not people issues. You can attract and train the best and the brightest, but if you put them in a poorly designed system, they will struggle.

An important framework of their work is the management of the Nine Performance Variables, depicted in the Nine Boxes Model below.

If performance improvement is an important goal for your organization, this text will end your search for guidance. Improving Performance will serve you and your team, chapter by chapter on your journey to a successful business process improvement effort.

The Nine Boxes Model

Goals Design Management
Organization Strategy, operating plans, and metrics Organization structure and overall business model. Performance review practices and management culture.
Process Customer and business requirements Process design, systems design, and workspace design. Process ownership, process management, and continuous improvement.
Performer Job specifications, performance metrics, and individual development plans. Job roles and responsibilities, skill requirements, procedures, tools, and training. Performance feedback, consequences, coaching, and support.

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