Historically most companies use stock standard individual performance plan processes and tools (monthly meetings, Microsoft Word templates, SMART goals). Common issues are difficulty to maintain and version control Microsoft Word template, monthly meetings become upwards reporting meetings to line management, multiple document copies fly around via emails and mostly performance plan gets created at the start of the year and the next time this document is looked it’s at the end of the year.

Performance plans are all about accomplishing inspiring goals. It is time to get creative, innovative, collaborative and introduce agile methodology into individual performance plans. This year I am assisting my team to turn individual performance plans into agile performance plans.

Here are few things you can do to turn individual performance plan into agile performance plan.

  • Performance Stories: Turn goals into performance stories with clear acceptance criteria.
  • Product Owners: Ask your line manager to become a product owner of your agile performance plan.
  • Less Context Switching: Use agile development tools than no-one has to switch a new system to manage goals.
  • Value Steams: Create inspiriting value steams and let your goals flow thought them e.g. (Thinking, Inspiring Goals, Doing, Done)
  • Lean Principles: Use queue limits for goals and concentrate on finishing the highest priority item
  • Performance Plan Sprints: Turn your monthly individual performance meeting into performance sprint planning and retrospectives.

So how your team is creating individual performance plans this year?

Since the start of agile performance plans in my team I’ve noticed increased participation from team members, new value streams are opening up, collaboration has increased, instant feedback on goals is possible by using Agile tool notifications.

Example of Iron Man Performance Board

How to turn your individual performance plan into agile performance plan

The Exercise:

Last year I ran a Marshmallow Challenge with development teams in Cyberjaya at Experian Malaysia. Majority of the team members worked together in an agile environment for a year.

The Idea:

How agile teams respond to a challenge when they have to do a continues collaboration in order to deliver a working product at the end of time-boxed iteration.

The Outcome:

Our game workshop was full of fun and we learned a lot about collaboration and delivery. Here are the few highlights.
  • Not a single team was able build a standing structure at the first attempt
  • Then we paused and identified areas of improvement
    • Importance of  collaboration
    • How to identify and remove hidden assumptions
    • Test early and test often
  • In the second attempt most teams were able to build a successful structure that can hold a marshmallow

The Question?

How are you testing level of collaborate within your team and what you are doing to improve it?

Workshop Time-lapse