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Discussing Performance Measurement with Jacob Eskildsen, Professor in Business & Quantitative Methods at the AU-Herning, Aarhus University, Denmark


Given The KPI Institute’s presence at the 2014 PMA Conference, in Aarhus, Denmark, the PERFORMANCE Magazine team had the opportunity to interview highly skilled and experienced academics and practitioners in the field of Performance Management and gain some valuable insights.

Jacob Eskildsen, Professor in Business & Quantitative Methods at the AU-Herning, Aarhus University, in Denmark, spoke about performance measurement, some future directions to be looked at, as well as about his scientific work.

Discussing the challenges organizations face in implementing a Performance Management system, Professor Eskildsen highlights the following:

  • Developing an agile system, as data gathering today comes with a delay that hinders prompt action from the organization;
  • The downfall of the above point is not being able to change direction, to adjust quickly.

Isolating some key trends in Performance Management in 2014, Professor Eskildsen foresees the need for developing simpler yet faster systems – where simpler does not mean uncomplicated but condensed and effective.

Asked to provide some advice on how to manage performance successfully, he shared the following:

  • Not to focus solely on financial indicators;
  • Chosen indicators must be a reflection of the organizational strategy;
  • Chosen indicators must be from an area that allows rapid data gathering.

Suggesting some companies to be looked at for their particular approach to performance and their results, Professor Eskildsen indicates 2 organizations:

  • SAP, which he believes are very good at developing innovative approaches to the market;
  • British Airways, which in his opinion is not perfect, but probably one of the leaders in their industry.

Inquired about personal performance measurement tools and practices, Jacob Eskildsen stated:”I do believe we are going to see more of it!” and spoke about the implications this can have for telemedicine, in providing physicians with accurate and timely data. However, in his opinion, not all personal metrics are needed, some being simply a reflection of curiosity.

He explains the benefit of measurement being a thing of choice and not imposed.

Professor Eskildsen also suggested a new direction for research, namely looking at the relationships between performance indicators and the overall financial performance of an organization.

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