I am currently reading a terrific book by Harvard Business School Press called "Managing Performance to Maximize Results". It is a compilation of articles, all based around Human Resources Performance Management.
What drew me to read it was to investigate parallels between HR Performance Management and Strategic Supplier Relationship Management.
A great deal of theoretical research and practical study has gone into the manager/employee performance management process and I believe we can leverage this body of work to apply to the domain of supplier relationship management.
The first page of the book reveals the fundamentals of how performance management can generate better business results. (I have taken the liberty to insert the appropriate 'supplier relationship' text)
Further, their research identifies the characteristics of 'best practice' performance management systems (and again, I hope the parallels with supplier management systems are clear):
The authors raise a point about how performance management systems are viewed - and named accordingly.
For example, does the term "Performance Evaluation" lead to the perception that the process is complete once a final score or rating has been determined? Or should we communicate via "Performance Management" that data will be used to build development plans for the upcoming year?
Should we follow the lead of the Human Resources sector and move on from the term"Performance Appraisal" to adopt more contemporary descriptors like "Performance Management" or "Professional Development"?
The fact is, the evaluation data is historical and viewing it as the goal could lead to a 'rear view mirror' approach to relationship management. Surely we want to shift our focus to the present and then to the future, leveraging off the information that the evaluation scorecard has provided us - guiding us to where we need to go - rather than where we have been!