The Schroder Series; Measuring and Monitoring Performance
Next up in our Schroder series of blogs we’ll be looking at Measuring and Monitoring Performance, or MMP as its more commonly referred to. MMP is part of the Achieves cluster of behaviours and is all about driving continuous improvement through the setting of targets and the monitoring of data.
One of the best examples where we can see the direct results of a high level of MMP is Dave Brailsford’s appointment as the performance director for the British cycling team and their subsequent run of incredible success through the well-publicised pursuit of marginal gains.
Prior to Brailsford’s appointment British cycling had endured a rather mediocre level of success, with just a single gold medal at the Olympics since 1908, and no British cyclist ever winning the Tour de France since its inception.
When Brailsford joined be brought with him a new vision and strategy for improving the performance and success of the team in what came to be known as “the aggregation of marginal gains”. With this strategy Brailsford pushed his athletes and his team to look for tiny improvements everyday in everything that they were doing.
“The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improve it by 1 percent, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.”
Brailsford and his team set to work measuring and monitoring every aspect of their riders, from the clothes they wore while riding, to the mattresses and pillows they slept on and recorded the effect of every change to see how this would impact performance. By looking for just small increases in performance across a wide area, the team were able to keep the goals realistic, achievable, and measurable. As these small improvements accumulated, they added up rapidly to huge success on the road/track for the athletes.
In just 5 years the British cycling team went from mediocrity to dominating the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and at the London Olympics in 2012 set 9 Olympic and 7 world records in the velodrome. Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour de France, swiftly followed by a hattrick of wins by Chris Froome immediately after.
Just like the marginal gains process employed by Brailsford and the British cycling team, those operating at a high level of MMP are focused on the process and work of an organisation and how it adds value. They consistently measure and monitor processes and seek continuous improvement. They work directly with those performing the tasks to ensure that the results are constantly fed back into the process to drive performance and instil a wider culture of performance within the team.
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