Serious Performance Consulting According to Rummler

Paperback – 2004

In order for performance consultants to make a significant difference in organization results, they need to advance beyond their current focus on improving the individual performer. Dr. Rummler, a leader in performance consulting for 35 years, calls this next level of the performance consulting endeavor “Serious Performance Consulting” or SPC.

In this book, Rummler illustrates what he means by SPC through an extensive case study which illustrates both what a serious performance consulting engagement looks like and what a serious performance consultant does, including:

  • Going beyond the initial request for help to find a viable critical business issue and a gap in results and to establishing how success of the project will be evaluated.
  • Using a conceptual performance analysis framework to generate hypotheses for possible causes of the gaps in results.
  • Following an effective, systematic process for conducting the analysis (i.e., test the initial hypotheses).
  • Identifying exemplary performance to establish the difference between “is” and “should” performance and the cause behind such differences.
  • Specifying a solution set that addresses all significant factors that affect the gap in results.

The case is structured so the reader can drill down for more details on any of the project findings and recommendations in the appendices. It also contains a running commentary (“According to Rummler”) on the project, where Dr. Rummler points out what he thinks are particularly relevant points for the performance consultant.

Who should read this book:
If you are interested in improving individual performance and organization results, this book is for you.

Improving Performance, How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart

Rummler/ Brache
Hardback, 2nd Edition – 1995

With over 100,000 copies sold worldwide, Improving Performance is recognized as the book that launched the Process Improvement revolution – establishing a practical foundation for process improvement and management. It was the first such approach to bridge the gap between organization strategy and the individual. Rummler and Brache reflect on the key needs of organizations faced with today’s challenge of managing change. With multiple charts, checklists, hands-on tools and case studies, the authors show how they implemented their Performance Improvement methodology in over 250 successful projects with clients such as Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Shell Oil, and Citibank.

A 3rd edition was later published, but the 2nd edition is our preferred version because it’s the last version in which Rummler and Brache had control over the content.

Who should read this book:
This important resource is written for managers and practitioners who want to achieve greater and lasting results.


White Space Revisited: Creating Value through Process

Hardback – 2009

When Improving Performance: Managing the White Space on the Organization Chart was published in 1990, it was lauded as the book that launched the Process Improvement revolution. This was the book that first detailed an approach that bridged the gaps between organization strategy, work processes and individual performance. Two decades later, White Space Revisited goes beyond a mere revision of that groundbreaking book and refocuses on the ultimate purpose of organizations, which is to create and sustain value. This book picks up where Improving Performance left off and shares what we have learned about process in the past 15 years since it was published and how the reader (primarily practitioners) can capitalize on these notions in their own pursuit of process excellence.

White Space Revisited is a comprehensive resource that offers process and performance professionals a conceptual foundation, a thorough and proven methodology, a set of remarkable working tools for doing process work in a more significant way, and a series of candid observations about the practice of Business Process Management (BPM). The book’s time-tested methods, models, tools, and guidelines serve to align people, process, and technology

White Space Revisited includes information on a wealth of vital topics and

  • Describes the difference in impact of focusing on single processes vs. large scale improvements
  • Provides an integrated step-by-step blueprint for designing, implementing, and sustaining process management
  • Offers a detailed methodology for strategic and tactical process definition and improvement
  • Spells out how to leverage the power of IT to optimize organizational performance
  • Shows how to integrate the energy and value of Six Sigma, Process Improvement and Process Management into an effective Process Excellence Group

Who should read this book:
This important resource is written for practitioners, managers, and leaders who want to achieve greater and lasting results.

Rediscovering Value: Leading the 3-D Enterprise to Sustainable Success


Hardback – 2011

When Improving Performance was published in 1990, it was acclaimed as the book that launched the process improvement revolution -establishing a practical foundation for process improvement and management. In Rediscovering Value, Geary Rummler, Alan Ramias, and Cherie Wilkins establish a foundation for identifying and managing the oft obscured value in organizations. The predominant focus in  most organizations is on resources –the resource dimension. What often suffers or is virtually invisible is the complex system of work that delivers value to customers and thereby shareholders. The key to sustainable success is keeping these two dimension in balance – being able make effective tradeoffs between efficient use of resources and sufficient delivery of value.

Most managers equate the management of resources to effective management – believing value will result by default. It turns out that keeping the resource and value dimensions in balance and making the associated tradeoffs requires more than a subtle enhancement to the role of management in organizations – it requires a  fundamental rethink of the act of management. Thus management itself becomes the third dimension of a sustainably successful enterprise – the 3-D enterprise.

Rediscovering Value presents the executive agenda for making the transition from a typical unbalanced approach to managing organization performance to a true 3-D Enterprise. Readers will appreciate the wealth of practical advice and useful tools found in this book. In addition, the concepts and approach in this book are further supported by a companion book for performance improvement practitioners, White Space Revisited: Creating Value through Process.

The imbalance in the dimensions of organization performance as illuminated in Rediscovering Value, is at the core of many of the “hot button” issues for executive and managers today including failed strategy execution; costly white space between functions, processes, continents, and partner companies; and the inability to improve top line performance. Organizations who can rediscover their value have an effective weapon with which to fight back.