Performance Review Meetings – Common Ground for Constructive Feedback System


Performance is focused behavior or purposeful work (Rudman, 1998, p. 205)

Generally performance review meetings are depicted as fighting stage for manager and team member. In my experience, I found few thing which I like to share here. I am here to tell you how to make performance reviews more useful to the life and not how to conduct/attend a performance review activity. To me, argument on a disputed item is not wrong. But suddenly dispute arises at the end of year while discussing the performance. How come that could be possible? Main reason for these are:

* Manager and team member are not communicating well about the work performed regularly.

* Expectations set by manager are not clear or misunderstood.

* Wrong goal settings for the respective team member’s role.

* Not much work to perform. Keeping a person in bench for long time and telling he has not performed the activity for most of the review period.

* Both manager and team member doesn’t understand they are working for the project/organization and taking things personal.

* Manager lists only mistakes whereas team member points only work performed.

* Comparing team members – this is done by both manager and team member. Ex. Manager says ‘That guy is also same experience of yours but delivering more output’. Team member says – ‘That guy is also same grade as mine but you are giving more benefits to him but not to me’

* Politics between team member and manager – Ex. May be team member is an eligible candidate for Manager promotion but manager doesn’t want to promote him.

* At the extreme level, considering both of them are enemies in the battle ground. In this team member & manager never accepts each others’ comments and even throwing papers/slamming doors at the end/shouting in the loud voice happens.

Everyone, from top management till the lowest level employees, experience above mentioned point in their life every year or half yearly or quarterly based on their feedback review period. To be practical (I don’t want to use ‘Ideal’ which means ‘impossible’ in all our dictionaries!), performance review meetings are common ground for constructive feedback system. During these meetings manager and team member

* understands about each others expectations

* sets common goal to achieve to make the project successful in turn making each one involved in the project successful

* draws road map for the career goals and aspirations

* takes closer look at issues in hand and develop solutions to overcome

I practiced above four points early on in my project management career and it is absolutely possible to do it. Try and tell me is it making any change in your teams growth.

Find how sensitive is your project against variables – Tornado Diagram


While analyzing project stability, it is important to come up with impact of a risk event quantitatively and determine which risk causes more damage (or benefit) to the project. Sensitivity charts are used to visualize impacts (best and worst outcome values) of different uncertain variables over their individual ranges. The sensitive variable is modeled as uncertain value while all other variables are held at baseline values (stable). Tornado diagram is a variance of the sensitivity charts where the variable with highest impact kept at the top of the chart followed by other variables in descending impact order which represents a Tornado.

Tornado_Diagram

Tornado diagram is applicable to wide range of project domains – Financial, Constructions, Software, Sales, Services, etc. Tornado diagram can be used for analyzing sensitivity in other project constraint (cost, time, quality and risk) objectives also.

Tornado Diagram’s Benefits & Characteristics in a nutshell:

Characteristics:

  • The longer the bar the greater the sensitivity of the project objective to the factor
  • The factor that have the greatest impact is located at the top
  • The bar ends indicate the low and high value of the factor

Benefits

  • Assist the project manager in focusing on the most critical variable of the project
  • Sort and prioritize the variable according to their impact on the project objective
  • Realize how much the value of the project is impacted by the uncertainties of the project
  • Decide where you need to invest any additional efforts

References:

1. Constructing Tornado Diagram using spreadsheet – http://www.oup.com/us/pdf/engineeringecon/scan.pdf