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Showing posts from June, 2017

Getting Performance from Performance Managment

The title is not mine. I have to confess that I attended a Webinar of the same title presented by the Brandon-Hall Group. But it is such an adequate title that I must re-produce it here.

It seems there is a new wave out there. Managers in world class organisations are realising that keeping staff engaged is more important than incentivising them with promises of bonuses. If staff members are engaged all things follow. Perhaps it is a consequence of Daniel Pink and his talk on the difference between people doing one dimensional and two or more dimensional jobs. In the 21st century jobs have dramatically changed from the one dimensional to the two or more.

There were 200 + people attending the Webinar and I learned that 70% or more of them are doing away with allocating numericals to performance management targets. Instead they are using the system to encourage learning and development. To help people learn, to coach and mentor them. To lead them rather than to manage them.

How the whee…

More on the Productivity of Software Developers

It was my former boss who introduced me to the principles of Performance Management and he gave me a job to do which enforced learning.
“Get out there, learn about Performance Management and implement a system here that will get our people to work harder and smarter. Incentivise people and they will be motivated to improved productivity.”
So I did. I learned from asking people questions and I learned from the Internet. I learned about ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ and I learned as much as I could find about Key Result Areas (KRAs), Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and ‘Agreed Targets’ – measurable performance targets agreed between managers and employees.
And in time we introduced it at the workplace. And my word, did it work. In our payroll bureau our monthly error rate on payrolls was reduced from a monthly average of 5 to 0.5. It worked so well that our administrative staff – the tea maker, the cleaner, the drivers and the gardeners – asked why they could not be brought onto the scheme. …

Managing the Performance of Software Developers

In my previous blog I wrote about why software developers can't write bug-free code. But I am still faced with the problem of developing performance targets for Software Developers. Against all global advice of course. That has been said already. On the subject I have been meaning to ask Angie Culverwell, Product Development Manager, how she knows who is a good product developer in her team and who is not. 
So today I asked.
"I know that A is a good developer because he ‘cares’ about his work. I know when he finds a development problem, he will find a way round it, because he cares. I know also he produces code with bugs but that is inevitable. When I give A a job to do it will be done, usually on time. 
But the problem of creating timelines is that they are either based on thumb-suck or based on the need as defined by the Customer Service Manager and/or the User. So measuring a Product Developer on the basis of meeting timelines is not always a good idea. In fact it is never a g…

Learning to Chunk and Why Software Developers cannot write bug free code

I have been in the firing line recently for failing to develop acceptable performance management targets for software developers. I consult for a business that believes, strongly, in performance management – setting Key Result Areas, Key Performance Indicators and performance targets for all staff. We measure performance monthly. When staff members over-achieve they are rewarded with a bonus. When they under-achieve we investigate to determine why. Sometimes it is because they had inadequate resources, sometimes it is because they didn’t have the skill and sometimes it is because they didn’t have the will.
Top management expects software developers to write bug-free code. Nevertheless we employ a tester to check. Testing is what is done in the software development field – it is essential to product quality.
So the question I am being asked by management is why? Why can’t developers be like everybody else in the organisation, excel at their work and develop bug-free code?
So I did some re…