The success of any given organization depends on how well the organization looks back on its strategy and where possible make necessary adjustments in response to market dynamics. Looking back on organizational activities involves measuring and evaluation as part of the retrospective efforts. Information collected from measuring and evaluation therefore are a recipe for good decision-making in strategic management (Ristic & Balaban, 2006). Current and previous Motorola Mobility woes perhaps highlight the importance of measurement and evaluation, where the lack of these processes (measurement and evaluation) became a direct cause of its workplace struggles. Noteworthy however is that success case methodology as a method of measurement and evaluation can play an important role in improving organizational success, in addition to transformational performance measurement.
Before the advent and proliferation of smartphones, first generation and second-generation feature phones were the mainstay of mobile communication. Motorola was the top company especially with the Razr flip phones that were an instant heat. However, failure in measurement and evaluation by the company meant that it came late into the party when companies such as Apple innovated, introducing the iPhone and later other smartphone companies, essentially making it irrelevant in the telephone market (Holson, 2008). Failure to measure and evaluate, however, followed Motorola even after the company sold its mobile division to Google and later to Lenovo.
The value of measurement and evaluation is perhaps visible through its contribution to the success of an organization as evidenced by use of the Success Case Method (SCM) as a measure of evaluation. Developed by Robert O. Brinkerhoff, SCM employs a quick and simple process combining analysis of extreme groups with case study and storytelling. Additionally, SCM measures and evaluates the success and effective application of new skill attained through organizational training (Medina et al., 2016). SCM as a method of evaluation goes beyond training and evaluates specifics of organizational programs including “what worked, what did not, what results were achieved, and what can be done to get better results in the future” (Medina et al., 2016).
In fronting SCM, Brinkerhoff lists steps in the planning and carrying out of case study using the method. Focusing and planning the study, developing an impact model defining expected results of intervention and identifying best and worst cases using survey methods are the first three steps (Medina et al., 2016). Documenting success and non-success cases and communicating findings conclusions and recommendations mark the last two steps of the method.
As a comprehensive case study method, SCM plays different roles in improving organizational success. Medina et al. (2016) contend that the comprehensiveness of SCM allows it to help in determining in fast and simple ways, the parts of an organization/initiative that are satisfactorily functional and therefore do not require adjustments, those that need improvement and those that require abandoning. By getting these answers, organizations can therefore adjust their priorities, working towards improving the sections that require adjustment eventually guaranteeing organizational success.
Further, through SCM organizations can increase the effectiveness of training programs by leveraging the evaluation results. It is therefore possible to convince management on the benefits of training using the results from the evaluation (Medina et al., 2016). Often, management requires report on the value of training or any capacity building initiative before committing. SCM offers that opportunity by suggesting the type of training appropriate for an organization, the duration as well as the expected benefits from such initiatives.
Aside from SCM, Spitzer’s transforming performance measurement is another measurement method valuable for organizations. Spitzer argues that when properly comprehended and executed, measurement can help transform organizational performance through the empowerment and motivation of employees (Spitzer, 2007). He further opines that such an understanding of measurement means that it (measurement) transcends quick fixes to sustainable processes founded on measurement infrastructure that connects decisions and actions homogeneously throughout the organization.
Spitzer presents four transformational performance measures that include context, focus, integration and interactivity. According to Spitzer (2007), context establishes the tone of measurement through presentation of purpose of the measurement. In using this measurement therefore, Motorola can use this point to set its measurement to inspect its failures as well as learn and improve its organizational performance. Focus, on the other hand, gives attention to the most important things in the organization including the alignment of measures with organizational mission, strategy and management in relation to opportunities, capacities and skills at hand. Focusing on what is most important for Motorola can help improve the organization’s current woes turning it around to a profitable venture.
Integration and interactivity on the other hand address information flow through the organization and social nature of measurement purposes respectively. This way integration takes care of the covariation between different measures relative to the overall value, while interactivity ensures the embodiment and alignment with business mode, strategy and operational imperatives. The two performance measures if perfectly implemented can help Motorola move beyond its current woes to profitability and better organizational performance. Aligning its strategy to match up the overall value while integrating it with the business model will help catapult the organization into new heights of better organizational performance.
Holson, L., M. (2008). Cellphone pioneer struggles to stay relevant. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/technology/24motorola.html.
Medina, L. et al. (2016). Training and capacity building evaluation: Maximizing resources and results with Success Case Method. Eval Program Plann. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509803/.
Ristic, Z. & Balaban, N. (2006). Performance evaluation and measurement of the organization in strategic analysis and control: Methodological aspects. Management Information Systems, 1, 36-44
Spitzer, D., R. (2007). Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success. New York: AMACOM