This is a follow-up to my earlier post on performance evaluation in agile teams
Traditionally our organization followed a balanced scorecard approach where organizational priorities get cascaded down to each individual in the form of performance goals for each evaluation period. Usually the Goals of the Appraisee is tied to the goals of appraiser. Performance evaluation happens in a bottoms-up manner where performance of each individual is aggregated to the next level (i,e, individual -> project team -> account team -> solution unit etc)
Tailoring done for Self Organizing Agile Teams
While we retained the basic philosophy of Balanced Scorecard, we did a number of tailoring specific to a self organizing agile teams. Following are the salient points:
1. Introduce certain degree of flexibility in selecting your individual goals: While we retained the alignment of individual goals to organizational priorities, we allowed some flexibility for individuals to pick their own goals. We defined a framework around Impact on end customers, Impact on organization and effort towards self development and allowed individuals to pick their own goals and targets around these.
2. Peer Evaluations: While we retained the best practices of bottom up evaluations, we added an additional step of "Peer Evaluation" specific to the agile teams
Peer Evaluation process
As the name suggests, Peer Evaluation process focuses on sharing your own assessment of your performance with your Peers (i.e Project teams) and getting their feedback. While we encouraged team to give constructive feedback on areas of improvement, we deliberately avoided any criticism of performance in this forum (Other mature teams may choose to disagree). At the end of the session, each individual provides a performance ranking of rest of the team and hands it over to the 'Appraiser' or 'functional Manager' as appropriate. Looking at the sensitivity around performance evaluations, we chose to keep this part confidential (again - other team may chose to share these rankings with the team too). The Appraise/Functional manager aggregates these rankings from all member of the team and prepares the performance ranking of the entire team.
This process work in conjunction with the one-to-one performance evaluation discussion where the appraiser provides subjective feedback. At the end of the evaluation cycle, the performance ranking of the team gets rolled-up to the next level.
In the next post, I will share our experience and learning from applying the above approach within our team.