Companies that operate on project schedules often struggle with traditional performance management. Because project timelines rarely align with performance review cycles, it can be difficult to engage supervisors, project managers and employees in the performance feedback and coaching they need to succeed during and after key projects. Trying to keep up with project-based performance reviews and other off-cycle employee assessments is also a nightmare for managers and human resources.
Why is project-based performance management important?
Communication and Timing Are Critical
According to a PMI Institute article “wasted money and resources can be prevented with effective project management, as 57% of unsuccessful projects fail due to communication breakdown.”
This means that performance expectations should be clearly established when planning projects, and feedback and learning should be taking place when the project activities are still fresh in everyone’s minds. Traditional once-a-year performance reviews are simply not setup to incorporate tasks and feedback from projects, meaning employees are missing out on critical direction and feedback. Also, the project management cycle itself calls for a ‘project close’ step where employees are given feedback and input on their performance during the project. This step is often being skipped as is it seen as an administrative burden for project managers or simply not enforced by the company.
There Are a Lot Of Voices Not Being Heard
We live in an exciting time where traditional company hierarchies and reporting structures are giving way to more flexible and fluid cross-functional teams. These dynamic project teams don’t fit into HR’s traditional structure and so it can be challenging to ensure employees are getting fair and complete input from the people working with them. Having a direct supervisor be the one and only source of feedback for an employee who might work with other project managers and projects teams means there is a lot of missed opportunity for feedback and input on the employee’s behaviors and performance.
Project managers and team should have an active role in performance management, by not only giving ongoing feedback to their peers, but also contributing to the employee’s overall performance assessment.
- Project managers
- Indirect supervisors
- Other managers and leaders
- Coaches/mentors (that aren’t the direct manager)
Put the Power of Project-Based Performance Reviews in the Hands of Your Workforce
In order for employees to be engaged and developed on a continuous basis, during key projects and in their primary job functions, project-based companies need to re-think how they approach performance reviews. By giving employees and managers the power to initiate performance discussions in real-time with project members and peers, organizations are drastically increasing the volume and quality of feedback, performance management is being re-branded as a valuable and relevant process, and organizations have visibility and assurance that the company is moving in the right direction.
CRG emPerform customers are taking advantage of technology to enable ongoing project reviews and performance management by:
- Allowing staff to launch their own project reviews at any time – before, during or after key projects.
- Setting and track project goals, expectations and milestones to ensure employees are aligned and on-track.
- Documenting feedback and observations from multiple sources for a 360° view of performance.
- Giving employees the timely feedback and frequent check-ins needed to deliver on project goals.
- Centralizing all project performance records for helpful insight and to help managers to assess overall performance.
We invite you to see how project-based companies are automating performance reviews with CRG emPerform
Get started with emPerform – Easy, Affordable & All Inclusive Employee Performance Management Software
Automated Performance Reviews & Project Evaluations • Ongoing Feedback • Succession Planning • Compensation Management + More!
Sources: Seven causes of project failure: how to recognize them and how to initiate project recovery, Discenza, Richard & Forman, James B.