Doing Your Own Performance Appraisal

As you enter higher visibility positions such as project manager, performance appraisal comes differently. Less formal and more subtle, feedback from executives and high-ranking customers tends to be less clear than traditional performance feedback.

While most discussions of performance appraisal proceed from the manager's viewpoint, this discussion proceeds from the individual's viewpoint. How do you use the appraisal system to continuously improve? The assumption behind project quality management is that one seeks every possible avenue for feedback, even the often "dreaded" performance appraisal system, but often the more visible indicators are not there. For instance, as you assume more responsible project roles, the organization expects you to work individually, but think collectively. This means that in project reviews, you see the big picture and are able to think of the company and the market as a whole without getting buried in details, but that you are also able to represent the progress of a project in meaningful detail as well.

Customer-driven project management requires a high degree of alignment between individual members' goals, team goals, and organizational goals for meeting customer requirements. That alignment can be ensured through self-assessment, as described earlier in this chapter, but there is another important step in the customer-driven project management process. That is the process for gaining feedback on your individual and team performance.

Performance appraisals give everyone in an organization a unique chance to improve personally and professionally. But there is an important practical reason for focusing on improvement in the appraisal process. It is because many organizations consider a "meets standards" rating to equate with "job proficiency," the competent, high-quality performance they expect from all staff. In other words, you are expected to master your job requirements and be able to accomplish them simply to meet the standard. And while there are some exceptions to the rule, simply doing a good job does not equate with excellence and a high rating. What is increasingly valued in this process is the willingness to improve the job and the way things are done, and to improve personally and professionally at the same time. In general, this means that to achieve high performance ratings, one is expected to continuously improve the way things are done. Thus it pays to focus on improvement.

The following are seven steps that might help you use performance appraisal to achieve personal continuous improvement. These seven steps come from a model developed by the Logistics Management Institute.

The process first involves establishing a vision for your own improvement effort; then enabling that effort; then focusing your behavior and your expectations to achieve leadership skills and continuous improvement in your job and in the processes that you touch in your job; then helping others to improve; and, finally, evaluating your efforts to improve.

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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