Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Appraisal and Performance Criteria

I must have got at least a few stares and a few comments from friends that the post around How to handle Bad Appraisal was a employer perspective and very little thought was given for how one feels like when the appraisal goes wrong.

I felt it was not a employer perspective, instead it was a perspective on how one should cope up with such situation no matter what you are employee or employer... anyways, since I deal with development Teams more closely .. I also got a question that said that usually the Key Result areas or the performance evaluation critieria's are not made very clear, bench marks are not set , there are no clear definition of success and fail parameters and thus when it comes to appraisal time the developer / engineer thinks that he was the best and did the best and the Manager thinks that there was good work done, but there are a lot of things that did not go well.... So here I thought I would put together a few questions that can be used as indicators to one's performance . These questions would help define cleared goals and/or also in turn help a better appraisal process....

1. Attitude

Q. How does he/she perceive his/her job?
Q. How does he/she perceives he/she role in the Team?
Q. Do he/she stand by the Team, helping them on issues and small troubles?
Q. Do he/she needs to be called for help? or he/she walks by to help others?
Q. How does he/she take change?
Q. How does he/she work in absurd condition? tight deadline and power outages or urgent work needed to be solved but machine is slow, or long hours and so on.
Q. For a failed commitment how does he/she react? Blame on others, things, accepting mistakes, or retrospecting to improve?

2. Understanding

Q. How well does he/she understand the requirement and makes other understand it?
Q. How well does he/she adapt to the project and helps other adapt?
Q. How much of self time is spent on exploring the requirements?
Q. How much of value does he/she add to the Project?
Q. How many challenges or questions are raised by he/she
Q. How much depth is the understanding? like a high level feature understanding or a detailed scope?

3. Communication

Q. How does he/she communicate with the Teams.
Q. How frequently does he/she update about the actual progress to others?
Q. How much time is spent by him/her on the interactions related to project tasks with the Team?
Q. How well the person says YES or NO?
Q. How well does he/she explain the reason to those YES and NO

4. Reaction

Q. How does he/she react to a changed requirement at the last moment?
Q. How does he/she reacts when he/she is not center of attraction?
Q. How does he/she react to immediate and drastic change?
Q. How does he/she react to negative changes?
Q. How much of cribbing, whining, crying does he/she get past a task he/she is not supposed to do?

5. Skills

Q. How fast does he/she do his/her work?
Q. Are the core competencies utilized best?
Q. what are his/her best skills? Does he/she improvise on them?
Q. Does he/she document what and how he/she is going to do the task?
Q. Does he/she demonstrate frequent and consistent improvement?
Q. Does he/she actually do things instead of just talking about them?

6. Quality

Q. Is the quality of work done good?
Q. How many iterations happen when he/she does some work like estimation? Plans etc?
Q. How many bugs are created on the work done by him/her?
Q. How much of re-engineering and rework has been done on the task done by him/her?
Q. How much self initiatives are driven by him/her in improving the quality of the product?
Q. How many bugs are caught during the testing, by the customers, by him/her self?

7. Organization

Q. How does he/she manager his/her time?
Q. is he/she planned and organized?
Q. How is his/her desk kept? clean, dirty?
Q. How well does he/she plan the meetings and other times?
Q. Are the estimates given by him/her met? if not why?

8. Ownership
Q. Does he/she care about the module and takes he/she is doing?
Q. Do he/she take responsibility and show authority on his/her task?
Q. Is he/she passionate about what they are doing?

Well these are just those few questions that you as a Manager needs to ask yourself when you are putting someone on a performance appraisal. Pull these questions, customize it to your Team and let them answer these for themselves.. Your development Team's may get the best answers for themselves... Keep a lot of scope for project or release driven retrospectives as they are the best indicators of how one did...

In the end remember this is just one way to know what improvements you need to pull over for your Team instead of having a discussion "I did everything you asked me for, now why is it a bad appraisal?" or "You did OK , but not great"