Judgment, Evaluation, Feedback, etc. LO9894

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 08:29:51 -0500

Replying to LO9868

Donald.Kerr@alliedsignal.com wrote
>Many are trying desperately to come up with alternatives to the
>prevailing performance appraisal systems and exclusive
>hierarchies...most are not very successful. Dr. Deming has shown us
>that, no matter how you slice them individual performance cannot be
>separated from the performance of the system and for this reason
>Performance Appraisal cannot be done. From this can we go on to say
>that any form of judgment cannot be done.

I've just finished reading Deming's -Out of the Crisis-, and the
interpretation quoted above differs from mine. Indeed, it raises a
question that bothered me as I read the book. At one point, Deming does
seem to say that "individual performance cannot be separated from the
performance of the system" -- with the critical caveat that -the system
is in statistical control-. That is, if the system's performance shows no
variation beyond what an enlightened observer would expect, then the
variation -within- that range of performance cannot legitimately be
ascribed to an individual.

OTOH, in his list of management's Five Deadly Diseases, his specifically
mentions annual performance ratings as one of those deadly diseases.
Elsewhere in the book, however, he mentions talking to the people whose
performance does fall outside that anticipated range -- so that
under-performers can receive training or transfer, and so that
over-performers can can help improve the system to bring everyone up to
their levels.

I'm confused. Does the problem lie with the 'annual-ness' because it is
not timely? Because it forms one of those 'delays' we hope to address in
systems models which appear to disconnect cause and effect? The problem
does -not- seem to lie with monitoring people's performance vis-a-vis the
system. Any ideas?

(Yes, I know this is not the Deming list. But one of the hoped-for
results of looking at the over-performers is organizational learning,

Michael A


Michael Ayers IT Educ & Perf Svcs\3M Center 224-2NE-02\PO Box 33224\St Paul MN 55133-3224 mbayers@mmm.com Voice (612) 733-5690 FAX (612) 737-7718 - Ideas in this note represent the author's opinions and do not - intentionally represent the positions of anyone else in this galaxy.

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>