I am a fan of good receipes and checklists and just discovered the podcast “The Managing Software Development (MSD) Show” by James Edgell, which I highly recommend for all folks being responsible for IT-people and in the end for what they produce.
The value of your software development resources (people) consists of two things: their technical knowledge and their behaviour. The first can be developed by training and gained experience, the second is harder to change. And since everything is about bahaviour in people management, we also focus on it in terms of performance measurement.
James recommends the following:
- Identify important abstract behaviours (see following list).
- Measure the performance of every desired behaviour for each of your directs at regularly scheduled checkpoints. Scoring is from 1-5, where 1 is least demonstrated and 5 is most demonstrated. Add score corrections for plusses and minusses that are not covered by the behaviours in the list, e.g. for a rare talent or special industry knowledge no one else has.
- Set annual goals to improve on some of them. Goals should be ‘smart’ (s=specific, m=measurable, a=attainable, t=timebound).
- Sum up the scores and order them by score. You now have a handy helper to make decisions regarding: bonus payment, promotion, layoffs.
Divide the list in 4 sections from top to bottom:
- 10% – your excellent people.
- 20% – exceed expectations.
- 60% – meet expectations.
- 10% – need to improve.
Here are the behaviours:
- Strategic planning: Consideration of future needs, vision of the future.
- Maintained industry awareness: Latest trends, not only technical, understands customer business, evolution and lifecycles.
- Innovation: Brings in new ideas, continuous brainstorming, brings vitality to the organization.
- Builds and sustains relationships: Inside the team, the department, also builds those relationships actively outside the department and organization.
- Communicates effectively: Oral, written documentation and email, accurate to-the-point information or distraction.
- Leads and develops a team: Gets things done and drives the team, also motivates to do unpopular tasks.
- Enthusiasm: Does his things with high energy and enthusiasm.
- Assertiveness: Challenges the organization and the team to get the best possible outcome, does not settle with what is already there.
- Decisiveness: Stands by team decisions, solves conflicts quickly, does not undermine made decisions once they have been made.
- Clear and focussed thinking: Concentrates on what is relevant to make progress working on issues, is result oriented.
- Planning and organizing: How efective they organize their tasks and the team’s tasks.
- Productivity: Are they always on time, do they produce work of good quality, are they busy to get things done effectively.
- Customer focus: Mentality towards the customer.
- Integrity: Honesty, ethical thinking, are they trying to do the right things.
Thanks James, please give us more of that!