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Kanban Boards for Employee Performance Reviews

by Shirly Ronen-Harel

If you ever dreaded completing an annual employee review, knowing that a year is too long a time to keep relevant score of their performance, feeling tired just at the thought of the endless points of a questionnaire – imagine injecting a bit of Agile into the procedure!

Employee evaluation as we know it

Shirley, as do we all, associates performance reviews with piles of paper and tens of tables into which you're meant to put grades. Normally, these tables are exactly the same from one year to another, and more often than not the achievements or behavior that an employee was meant to present are not even relevant to the goals and needs they were working on during that year.

Agile processes requires Agile evaluation

It seems to make a lot of sense, that for a changeable process, you need an adaptable method of evaluating the team's performance. The business needs change a lot, and ideally you'd like your employee to change with them, in other words, it's better for the team to adjust to the process, rather than stay within the guidelines that will earn them good grades at the annual review.

Rearrange the evaluation process

What Shirley is suggesting, is placing the entire process in the employee's hands. It's characteristic for an Agile organization to make the teams self-managed. Workers are used to choosing their own work, submitting at their own time and providing and receiving feedback at their own pace. Why not allow the team to visualize their achievements and milestones together with the feedback as they go through the year.
This way you're not only cutting down waste (of completing meaningless reviews at the end of the year) but you're also saving the feedback while it's fresh and relevant to the work done.

The sticking points

Shirley has developed some crucial points over which it's worth sticking. Meet up with your employee and go over:

  • The things you'd like them to carry on doing, and those want ended, also any new ideas
  • The assigned specific goals and direction on following them
The goals would be easiest to track when visualized on a Kanban board. Once the review approaches, the progress shall be visible in an instant. You can then discuss the ways they took in achieving the goals and any obstacles they did or didn't overcome in the process.

The result

By arranging an evaluation board for each employee, you get a chance to both set their goals more clearly, and to follow through with accurate information, rather than grades that have no relevance to the specific tasks whatsoever.


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