The Monitoring Cycle
As a club manager and leader, an important tool for achieving organisational success and competitive advantage for your club is the monitoring cycle.
Used as part of assessing performance, the cycle moves through the phases of planning, assessing, reviewing, and actioning. It is closely linked to the strategic goals and objectives of the club and can be used at an organisational level or for individual team member performance.
As with all good management systems and techniques, communication and collaboration are key. Continual dialogue between management and team members will ensure vision and mission remain ‘top of mind’ and strategies, tactics and actions are aligned to these overarching goals.
The Four Phases
The first stage, and basis for the monitoring cycle, is planning. Ideally, the planning phase is completed and done in conjunction with the club’s strategic plan. During this time, the club is identifying future goals which then cascade to operational targets and the performance areas for each individual in the club. For team members, this would include the determination of targets, actions, key performance indicators (KPIs) and behaviours, and maybe documented in a development plan.
When setting goals remember the acronym S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Framed). Goals should be challenging for the club or individual but also be achievable.
Importantly, implementation needs to immediately follow the planning phase. The plans need to be acted upon. There can be a level of reticence at this point because plans are new and untested. However, if nothing is done the club can get into a phase one planning loop, sometimes referred to as “paralysis by analysis”. And the other three phases of the cycle will not be done.
The assessing phase should be considered as a regular or even continuous process. If it is done once or twice a year, the cycle will be ineffective and the planning that has been conducted and the goals that have been set will have little chance of being achieved.
Regular assessments are a systematic way to measure the progress of the plans that have been initiated and to consider whether they are working the way they were intended. Club environments are constantly evolving, with economic, industry, competitor, business and personnel changes, ever-present. Adjustments to the club’s plans, strategies and tactics will be required and the assessing phase provides the catalyst for making necessary and calculated revisions.
Scheduling regular assessment meetings and addressing the following areas provides a good approach in ensuring this phase is appropriately covered.
Achievements to date
Performance record to date
Comparison against goals
Issues and concerns encountered
The main purpose of this phase is measurement and comparison against targets. As a simple example, if a club’s S.M.A.R.T goal was to attract 20 new members by the end of the month, the assessment would indicate whether this has been achieved and/or to what degree.
The review phase takes the analysis from the previous assessment phase and develops the specific adjustments to the plan that will get it back on track or enhance the performance to date.
This phase is quite tactical and a collaborative effort will produce the best results. As a club manager by involving your team members and other stakeholders in the process you can benefit from the following: -
A greater pool of ideas to assist with new tactics
Recognition of what has contributed to performance success or failures to date
Buy-in to changes that ensue from the process
Sense of achievement and reward for effort
As a pre-cursor to review meetings and discussions it is sometimes a good idea to get the individuals involved to review things independently. This allows each person to consider things from their perspective and consider their own performance in relation to the achievement of goals or their personal KPIs.
Review meetings can sometimes be hi-jacked by senior personnel or outgoing personality types, limiting the input of other meeting participants. Collating thoughts and opinions prior to the meeting and using considered chairperson techniques can maximise the outcomes of review meeting and discussions.
The purpose of the review phase is to fine-tune the original plan and come up with new ways to get things done.
The final phase is about putting your new ideas, concepts and tactics into play. Plan amendments without implementation achieve nothing and make the previous phases a waste of everyone’s time.
New tasks, activities, development plan areas and the setting of new KPIs will demonstrate that actions are being taken.
Another aspect of the actioning phase is reward and recognition. Congratulating or incentivising team members for their performance and contributions to date is a concrete factor in the cycle and provides motivation and desire to continue to complete tasks and activities as part of the plan.
The four phases cam seamlessly blend into one another and the new planning phase should take a ‘clean sheet’ approach beginning with high-level an-picture strategic goals and objectives. If these have changed new plans will need to be determined, implemented, assessed, reviewed and actioned.
The Club Managers Association of Australia (CMAA) has been supporting and developing club managers to achieve high levels of leadership and management ability for many years. The training and development of knowledgeable and motivated leaders that are capable of achieving greatness on behalf of their clubs is a passion of the CMAA. To this end, they offer the professional certification - the Active Certified Club Managers Award (ACCM).
Individuals who hold the ACCM, have demonstrated that they possess the skills, have the range of knowledge and can model behaviours that drive premium results for their club.
The foundation stone of the ACCM is the Club Managers Leadership and Management program, an online, training course, delivered by elevateB (a specialist training company) and independently endorsed by Australis College (a Registered Training Organisation)
The Club Managers Leadership and Management program has been modelled on the Diploma of Leadership and Management, ensuring it covers a full gambit of management and leadership topics. Importantly, it has been tailored and contextualised for club environments and day to day club management situations. To successfully complete the program, participants are required to demonstrate required knowledge, skills and abilities through application and activity submissions.
For more information on the Club Managers Leadership and Management program, click here.