Re: MBO, Perf Reviews, Incent Pay in a L-O

Johanna Rothman (
Sun, 11 Dec 1994 15:45:57 +0001 (EST)

On Sat, 10 Dec 1994, Richard Karash wrote:

> What would performance reviews, MBO's, merit pay increases, and incentive
> compensation look like in an organization that was truly a learning
> organization?
> OK, so we want to eliminate the fragmentation, sub-optimization, and
> competition encouraged by the old performance systems. But, what would a
> more effective performance system look like?

I was at a recent NESQAF (New England Software Quality Assurance
Forum) and the speaker was Jerry Beauchamp of John Hancock/The Berkley
Financial Group. He never said his company was a learning
organization, but the way he (and the employees) described it, it seems
to be. He described the performance reviews as "360" reviews.

Everyone there gets reviewed by their peers, by their functional and
matrixed managers, and in the case of managers, by the people who
report to them. This includes teh President of the company. From his
report, it seems to be working there.

As a manager, I used to have the people who reported to me fill out an
evaluation form. (They developed the form, with some coaching from me,
but not much.) A volunteer from the group collated the forms, and gave
me the results. I then reviewed the results at a group meeting, and
talked about what I wasn't providing. We certainly learned about what
I thought I was supposed to provide and what they thought I was
supposed to provide! It also gave me another perspective to use on
their evaluations. We all thought this was a positive thing.

The one piece I didn't do here was discuss these issues with my
management. At one company I worked, my process was so intimidating to
my management I was fired! They were astonished and perturbed that
someone would actually ask "their employees" how they were doing.

The Rothman Consulting Group
Specializing in solving Software Engineering Management problems