Performance Measurement

A good project manager will make it immediately clear to all new functional employees that if they perform well in the project, then he (the project manager) will inform the functional manager of their progress and achievements. This assumes that the functional manager is not providing close supervision over the functional employees and is, instead, passing on some of the responsibility to the project manager—a common situation in project management organization structures.

Many good projects as well as project management structures have failed because of the inability of the system to evaluate properly the functional employee's performance. In a project management structure, there are basically six ways that a functional employee can be evaluated on a project:

• The project manager prepares a written, confidential evaluation and gives it to the functional manager. The functional manager will evaluate the validity of the project manager's comments and prepare his own evaluation. Only the line manager's evaluation is shown to the employee. The use of confidential forms is not preferred because it may be contrary to government regulations and it does not provide the necessary feedback for an employee to improve.

• The project manager prepares a nonconfidential evaluation and gives it to the functional manager. The functional manager prepares his own evaluation form and shows both evaluations to the functional employee. This is the technique preferred by most project and functional managers. However, there are several major difficulties with this technique. If the functional employee is an average or below-average worker, and if this employee is still to be assigned to this project after his evaluation, then the project manager might rate the employee as above average simply to prevent any sabotage or bad feelings downstream. In this situation, the functional manager might want a confidential evaluation instead, knowing that the functional employee will see both evaluation forms. Functional employees tend to blame the project manager if they receive a below-average merit pay increase, but give credit to the functional manager if the increase is above average. The best bet here is for the project manager periodically to tell the functional employees how well they are doing, and to give them an honest appraisal. Several companies that use this technique allow the project manager to show the form to the line manager first (to avoid conflict later) and then show it to the employee.

• The project manager provides the functional manager with an oral evaluation of the employee's performance. Although this technique is commonly used, most functional managers prefer documentation on employee progress. Again, lack of feedback may prevent the employee from improving.

• The functional manager makes the entire evaluation without any input from the project manager. In order for this technique to be effective, the functional manager must have sufficient time to supervise each subordinate's performance on a continual basis. Unfortunately, most functional managers do not have this luxury because of their broad span of control and must therefore rely heavily on the project manager's input.

• The project manager makes the entire evaluation for the functional manager. This technique can work if the functional employee spends 100 percent of his time on one project, or if he is physically located at a remote site where he cannot be observed by his functional manager.

• All project and functional managers jointly evaluate all project functional employees at the same time. This technique should be limited to small companies with fewer than fifty or so employees; otherwise the evaluation process might be time-consuming for key personnel. A bad evaluation will be known by everyone.

Evaluation forms can be filled out either when the employee is up for evaluation or after the project is completed. If it is to be filled out when the employee is eligible for promotion or a merit increase, then the project manager should be willing to give an honest

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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