April 6, 2009

The Current Evaluation System

Four times a year, we do evaluations of our teammates, ourselves, and the team in general. This involves filling out multiple categories as strengths or weaknesses and elaborating on three sections for each: Current Progress, Improvement Suggestions, and Other Comments. Categories can be added or removed from the top, and you can add your own category (even "Beard"). A suggested grade is also required. It is a lot better than the previous system. It has improved since the beginning of the year; the second round of evaluations brought the addition of some good looking web 2.0 features (click the image for a better view).

There has been an added emphasis on goals this year, which is an improvement from last year. Goals are not built into the system that handles the rest of the evaluations; they are tracked separately in SharePoint.

  • Comprehensive - They cover all aspects of Design Studio.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure (or categories) - Evaluate what you think is important for them or your team.
  • Goal based - Meet with your PM after evals to review grades/goals.
  • 4 due dates per year - there is no week to week requirement for maintaining evaluations.
  • Not Responsive - Feedback goes to your PM four times a year, hardly often enough to take corrective action in a timely manner.
  • Requires People To Remember Situations - If a teammate does something negative or outstanding, you need to remember it untileval time.
  • They Take Forever - Any week can be ruined by 6-10 hours of evals.
  • Goals are tracked in a separate system, so there is little feedback on goals from teammates.

The length of evaluations are always up to the discretion of the evaluator. There is no set requirement on the length of each evaluation. It is suggested by faculty that each team member evaluate themselves, team members and their PM in at least 5categories. However, this guideline is rarely followed.

The current system has served Design Studio well for the past X number of years (at least two). The following 4 posts in this series will explore new ways of handling feedback to improve performance and make Design Studio a more enjoyable experience.

Please post comments related to the existing system - What you like? What you dislike? What is confusing about it? Also, share an idea if you would like us to include it as a part of this series.


  1. You need a better theme that displays the date on which your posts were published. With this one, I have to hover over the time and it takes me too long. Or show the date in the permalinks.

  2. Date fixed - It is now displayed at the top, before the title.