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What is Performance Management Consulting?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 17, 2024
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Performance management consulting is a professional service provided to businesses and large organizations. The primary purpose of performance management consulting is to provide an impartial, expert opinion on the actual challenges that the organization is facing and to offer potential solutions. Companies that require the expertise provided by performance management consulting could be experiencing performance issues or are looking for information on how to enhance already excellent performance.

There are two primary types of performance management consulting: individual and business. Individual performance management is a human resources issue, where the employee is failing to meet specific performance standards. Business performance management refers to helping the business meet sales or profit targets. In both cases, using an external service is a common way for trying to address the problem with minimal operational interruptions.

Once a performance management consulting company has been selected, a project manager is assigned to the client. He or she is the primary point of contact and is responsible for assigning the appropriate resource, scheduling meetings and resolving any problems. The project manager keeps track of all of the hours assigned to the project and makes sure that the details of the contract are met.

The first step in performance management consulting is to determine the scope of the project or assignment. The project manager reviews the service level agreement or contract for a detailed explanation of the client's issues and what the final work product should be. If the information provided in the contact is not detailed enough to form a project plan, the project manager schedules a meeting with the project sponsors to discuss the requirements.

Once the project scope, time line and expectations are documented and clearly understood, the next step begins. The project manager assigns the appropriate resources to the project, based on skill sets and availability. The consultants are given responsibility for a specific aspect of the assignment and are required to schedule meetings with the client as needed. Upon completion of the assignment, the consultants provide a written report to the project manager, and this report forms part of the project file.

A performance management review typically involves a review of all written, relevant documentation and meeting with the process owners. The consultants are looking to identify process issues that are having a negative effect on performance. The challenges are unique to each process and section of the operation. For example, a review of financial services might identify several paper-based processes that are inefficient and take too long to complete. A review of a manufacturing process might identify bottlenecks that result in delays.

The length of time required for a performance management assignment and the number of consultants involved depends completely upon the scope of the assignment and the client's needs. Regularly scheduled status meetings between the project manager and the client are used to provide updates. Those attending the meetings also can discuss any issues or immediate concerns.

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