Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Clap hands! It's performance review time

Ah, yes, Spring is in the air. That means it's time for Performance Evaluation (cue theme music):

This is time when we, the employees, begin to prepare our Self Appraisal of our own performance. A bit like asking a convict when he thinks he should be paroled, ya know?

Then we submit our Appraisals to our direct manager, who will (undoubtedly) disregard most anything we wrote (perhaps with the exception of our name) and substitute his/her own imagined idea of what we, the employee, has done in the last year.

Then upper management will assign some arbitrary weight to our various review line items, in order to justify the salary increase that fits within their already predetermined budget allotment.

Can you tell I can wait?

I'm pretty easy going, review-wise. My first review here was after about 7 months. So the Project Leader had a comparatively narrow scope to base his review of me. Of course, in those days I was the darling SME (Subject Matter Expert) of the project. My review was good... not terribly terrific, but nothing I would argue with.

A year later, the Project Leader completed my second review. It was up in a few areas; again, nothing amazingly fantastic, but nothing I would consider worth debating. A few tenths of a point here or there wouldn't have put me into a different adjustment bracket, so let them lie.

In the last year, I was put in charge of a major project, then moved to lead an even larger project. The second project came in on time and with no dings of any sort (the second project came off well, also, but my contributions were too early in the planning and execution stages to make that much of an impact). Along the way, I also did work on an entirely different project for a few weeks (a fine display of versatility).

I also encountered a change of Project Leadership, as the PL for the first 2 reviews was promoted, and in his place was named 2 men who share the responsibilities. It is here that I am concerned about my review. Ideally, with the examples of added responsibility, and the successful deployments under my belt, there's no place for my review to go but up. However, having been in the position of administering Performance Reviews, myself (some 20 years ago to a bunch of Bank Tellers), I know well the struggles involved in handling reviews for groups of people.

With that noted, I am hopeful I can dissuade any attempt to flatten the curve on my review; that would likely be a first-choice of my Project Leads, since it assumes a status quo as a good thing, for everyone. I look good, they think, and so do they.

Well, I intend to look even better. Nothing more than I deserve, mind you, but certainly better than status quo.

Stay tuned...

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