Performance Management System Term Paper

Pages: 12 (4451 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 17  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

¶ … Performance Management System within Sun Microsystems Limited Ensure High Organisational Performance?

Whenever we try to understand the possible responses of an organisation to the application of a management system to the organisation, one has to first study the organisation and its historic culture. In the case of Sun Microsystems the first step that we will take is the study of its top manager currently. The new head of UL operation is Trudy Norris-Grey and in the earlier assignment, was a Vice-President at Oracle UK. This is due to Leslie Stretch being promoted to handle an international role at the head office. It is well-known that UK has been one of the most successful regions for Sun Microsystems at the time when the company was suffering due to the difficult years. Previously the organisation was best known for Sparc servers and Solaris operating system, and Sparc had been developed by the company. Now it is promoting x86-based systems and also a stress on the development of the Java development environment. It is also trying to become important in grid computing and open source software. The company had not been viewed as a strong company as it had earlier grown in the dot com age and lost money later. When the dot com period ended, the company had a lot of expensive equipment lying around. The new manager has been an accountant and according to her the company has performed well after the dot com years. (Trudy Norris-Grey, Sun Microsystems UK managing director)Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Performance Management System Assignment

The achievement of the company can be seen from what they have done together with some volunteer programmers. They have come out with a Free Office suite programme. The word processing in this program is called Writer and that is able to read documents which have been written in Word or WordPerfect. There is also a programme called Calc which is able to open Excel spreadsheet files. The database programme is called Draw and that is able to perform almost as well as Access and can open those files. Similar to PowerPoint there is a programme called Impress. While the programme is not perfect, yet this is available free and in the beta version. This programme can even write into a PDF. The major item lacking is for something similar to Outlook for email. The group of programmers first created OpenOffice but soon found out that they could not compete with Microsoft which had an almost monopoly over the office management software. The MS Office is rather expensive and costs around $400 and that is difficult for a home user or small office to shell out. This gave the developers the idea of not trying to sell this programme, but give it for free. (Open Office Is Open Season on MSOffice)

This is some news which has come out recently and it makes it clear that the company certainly has software development capabilities. The aim of the top management regarding the company is also clear. The company has historically been an innovative company, and the continuation of innovation should not be a difficult task for the company. Earlier the major innovations were from the development of products, but the marketing angle was not so good, and now the company feels that it should think more of customer requirements before undertaking development. The problem is not only with Sun, but with the total industry that it does not give value for money to the customer. Even taking the simple example of a PC, it is known that it has more power than was available for landing Apollo on the moon, yet is it being used enough, and available statistics say that only about 10% of the power of a PC is used, and the PC lies idle for 90% of the time. (Trudy Norris-Grey, Sun Microsystems UK managing director)

In the U.S. The investment every year currently on PCs is about $100 billion a year, and this money is not giving returns to the extent of $90 billion. Sun also has to decide on the requirement of its customers. One of their major customers is the government for whom they have produced the identity details and this is stored in the computers as also on the identity cards. This cannot be shared with any others, naturally. The identity is used for the control of borders and felons and it has full details of individuals on them. Another area of their interest is grid computing, and this is a subject many people do not understand. This helps Sun to get a window of opportunity to help people shift into grid computing. The European Particle Physics Laboratory, CERN is a big user of grid computing. They understand the facilities and are not bothered about where the job is processed, but are only interested in getting the answer back fast. (Trudy Norris-Grey, Sun Microsystems UK managing director) Thus it is clear that the organisation is trying to develop fast and one of their main requirements is in the area of marketing.

Now let us get into the area of first defining clearly what constitutes a Performance Management system, so that a decision on this can be taken. This means different things to different people. Some people feel that it is like a Balanced Scorecard while others feel that it is a total method of looking after an organisation from service planning to even individual appraisals of staff working in the organisation. Other organisations know as an it system to help in the collection of performance data, and that is what most of the performance appraisal systems being sold by consultants and it companies are. Performance management frameworks, performance measurement and reporting systems are really the basic structures that can help in the management of the organisation. Thus it should be seen clearly that performance measurement is a part of performance management. (Foundations of performance management)

Where the organisations are well managed, and with effective frameworks there are proper balances between tight controls at the senior management level, a clear requirement for required reports and their formats as also a scope for flexibility in service. This is at the team and individual level so that the performance becomes meaningful to the customers. We should also remember the old saying that 'What gets measured, gets done' and this leads to effective use of robust and relevant performance management. This information should be used as the basis of decision making, and that step is required for performance management to be effective and performance to be up to the required standards. This is the difficulty of using performance management as most organisations are not able to identify and use the required measures of performance. At many instances, the managers and others will require information about the same activity, and then what should be reflected in the measures is difficult to decide. (Foundations of performance management)

The need for measuring performance is essential so that the performance can be evaluated and then take the needed actions for rectification. In other words, if results are not measured, success cannot be distinguished from failure and if success cannot be seen it cannot be rewarded. The problem with not being able to reward success is that it is probably leading to the rewarding of failures, and also not getting the required lesson from success. The difficulty with not seeing failure is that one is not able to get the lessons, and if the results are not achieved, then the corporate goals cannot be met. Finally, what gets measured gets done. The management problem here is that emphasis on measurement and collection of indicators of performance is often viewed as an end in itself. The fundamental objective of performance management should not be forgotten and that in this case should be improved customer satisfaction. The other problem is in getting to the correct measurement tools required. The monitoring of performance should be in all levels of the organisation. This means that it should be at the corporate, department, service unit, team and individual levels. (Performance measurement: A measure of success)

The key aspect of performance monitoring at the corporate level is the receipt by managing director the receipt of quarterly reports which monitor progress on the priorities for the company. This will be on different indicators as desired, or required. The second set of reports should reach the department management or the service area managers, and this should come every month. This should cover the priorities in service and also monitor the statutory requirements which have been met. The third level of reports should be at the level of unit or team managers and this should be done regularly. The frequency here should be as high as possible and has to always look at the progress on objectives, and target and action plans for the future. (Performance monitoring)

It is important that a suitable set of performance measures be decided to see the performances of all groups against the corporate… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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