Creating a working environment with agility and performance in mind is what every project manager should strive towards. Your team members and coworkers will look to you for guidance and coaching. This means that the bulk of the expectations will rest on your shoulders.
Even if that’s the case, there are certainly some fool-proof tricks that you can implement for kick starting your team’s productivity. How can you create agile performance management in order to boost the productivity and quality of work that your team is conducting?
Understand the expectations
Just like in any corporate enterprise, your executives will have certain expectations from you and your team. You need to make sure that you are personally aware of their goals and expectations. Your team is going to communicate only with you, so what you communicate is going to be the law for them.
With that said, misunderstanding the wishes of your executives can result in devastating consequences down the line, not only for you but for your team and projects you are working on. An agile working environment is based on accurate information and mutual trust – you can’t have that if you don’t understand what’s at stake and what to aim for.
Communicate the bias
Performance management is a tricky subject because of its subjectivity. Your coworkers and team members will always feel like the performance that was presented aren’t the actual data. The bias of the person performing the evaluation should be kept to a minimum.
You should be as objective as possible when evaluating the work of your team, regardless of how close you are. Keeping important hidden from your executives can lead to mistrust and rifts between coworkers – you don’t want to create an environment where everyone feels awkward.
Implement a tracking system
The best way to perform agile performance management is by implementing a tracking system for everyone. Everyone who works with you or your team should have a spot on the tracking sheet and clear tasks assigned to them. This will keep everyone productive and focused during each day; because seeing how other people are achieving their tasks will kick start those who are slacking off.
A tracking system can be anything from a dedicated online platform or a simple Google spreadsheet with clear duties and deadlines. Implement anything that your coworkers will be comfortable with filling out on a daily basis and your performance should go up in no time.
Educate your coworkers
Tracking your coworkers and creating an agile working environment is one thing, but letting your coworkers know its happening is another matter entirely. Talk to your superiors about conducting a mandatory seminar for all the workers affected by this change. Helping people understand why they are being tracked and what it means for the future of your company will make the transition much easier.
You can easily create a few presentations, talk about the past and future ways of tracking performance and then focus on the benefits of the new system and how to use it individually. It’s painless for you and it makes you look good in the executives’ eyes – anyone who goes an extra mile to educate their co-workers clearly cares for the well-being of the company.
Highlight the role models
Once the agile performance system is in place, you should start making examples in your internal structure. Going through the data on a daily and weekly basis can help you determine who did the best job for that week. Highlighting these individuals will help a great deal – while others will be inspired and happy for the person who got applause (and maybe a small reward), they will work harder to have a chance at being the best for the next week.
Role models have always been the center stage of performance development in internal company relations. You can even visit a professional writing platform and prepare small speeches or thank-you notes for your coworkers. Don’t waste an opportunity at a free performance boost and make sure that you congratulate the people who are going through the trouble of providing you with usable data.
Your team shouldn’t be the only one who is going through agile performance management tracking. Involve everyone who has a job description even remotely close to working on projects. Excluding some people and involving others will quickly create rifts in your department.
If some people are being tracked for data and performance, then everyone should be – including you. Talk to your superiors about your jurisdiction and make sure that you are the person in charge of the tracking project (with them overseeing you, of course).
Evaluations and revisions
The purpose of collecting so much data on a daily basis is to conduct evaluations and revise your game plan. Just because one week was productive and you got a lot of work done doesn’t mean that it will happen again soon.
Evaluate your data based on individual performances and how everyone pitched in to help complete the projects you are working on. Agile performance management means that you can easily revise the job descriptions and responsibilities of each member of your team. The personal feeling should be left aside when conducting evaluations, just like with tracking beforehand.
Performance assessment meetings
People will want to know what you have been tracking and concluding on a weekly basis. Dedicating an hour of your time to a performance evaluation meeting is a good way to connect with the department.
Casually talking about how everyone is doing and how they did the week before is a great way to give people some sense of completion. They will feel like they are actually performing and it will help them do even better in the following weeks. While it may not seem as much, letting people know if they did good or not is an essential part of agile performance management and shouldn’t be skipped, regardless of the hectic nature of your work.
In the end
The more care you put into tracking and evaluation, the more people will care. If everyone sees concrete morale and performance boost across the department then no one will tell you to stop. While there will be some growing pains with creating and implementing an agile tracking system, the results will always be worth it. Your executives will also appreciate the dedication and effort you put into implementing a performance data tracking system.