Re: Team Member Performance Reviews under Scrum - any guides?
- The first Scrum at Easel Corporation created a review process which I
have used at many companies since 1993 and find it is the best process
I have ever seen as it helps push teams to transcendent performance.
That means they produce the best product in the industry and get into
Gartner's magic quadrant.
First, ratings are weighted 50% to individual performance, 25% by the
team's opinion of performance, and 25% to company goals met.
The interested part is how the ratings are determined on a scale of 1
The developer gets a 5 automatically unless other forces come into play.
If the ScrumMaster is the manager, things are simple. Often there is
another resource manager. In that case the ScrumMaster and the
resource manager view of individual performance are weighted equally.
If the manager feels expectations are exceeded s/he can raise the
rating to a 6. If s/he feels performance is under expection, s/he can
lower it to a 4. That is all a manager can do. I'm serious about this.
A manager cannot by themselves raise or lower the rating any more. It
is up to other people in the company, the customers, and the industry
trade journals to influence the rating further. This drives a silver
stake into sucking up and special pleading for reviews and/or pay
increases. It levels the playing field.
The team rating is determined by asking each team member how they
would rate performance on the scale of 1 to 10. They are asked for an
immediate gut level response, no thinking. Many developers just can't
help write a rational for what they say so that is fine. However, you
want an immediate response without a lot of rationalization.
The team members ratings are averaged. If it is clear that the
individual exceeded the team's expectation, the manager can raise the
individual performance rating to a 7. Conversely, if the team is
bummed out, the manager can lower it to a 3.
The manager then polls executive management. If the management team
feels the individual exceeded their expectations, the manager can
raise the individual performance rating to an 8. To get an 8, an
individual must be visible to senior management. This challenges the
ScrumMaster and resource manager to help make excellent performance
visibile throughout the company. This motivates developers and helps
them grow. Sometimes you have to get them in front of the management
team to give a presentation so they get the rating they deserve.
To get to a 9, there must be significant documentation in writing from
customers that say the individual clearly exceeded customer
expectations. If customers say the developer is a 9, it overrides all
For a 10, the industry journals must say that the product the team
created is the best in the industry. If they single out an individual
as a 10 it overrides all other ratings.
This focuses the individual and team motivation away from pleasing the
manager and onto performance and visibility outside the team for
productive work within the team. The impact is huge.
The first Scrum team got a 10 on their second release. I had another
Scrum team at IDX get a 10. Obviously, in both cases, the industry
trade journals said their product was the best of its type in the
industry. The added value of each team in the cycle they got a 10 was
measured in the millions of dollars. (No, they did not get a million
After working a similar process in five companies, I'm convinced that
if you want to win, you will move to a performance rating process that
achieves these effects.
Certified ScrumMaster Training
--- In email@example.com, "Adrian Ferrier"
> Hi All,
> Are there any texts out there you can point me to that guide Annual
> Team Member Performance Reviews under Scrum for Agile Managers?
- I like it! Very nice balance.
Larry in Florida
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeff Sutherland
> Jim,you read
> I've done performance reviews in a way that meets your needs (did
> my previous posting on this?). In fact, a variant of what followswas used
> at IDX which has some similarities to Siemans.company
> Prior to IDX, I was VP of Engineering at Individual and guess who was
> ScrumMaster? Ken Schwaber! Together, we completely reengineered that
> around Scrum. We had great fun at Individual. It had just gonepublic and
> had $60M to spend on buying other internet startups in 1996.spreadsheet.
> I just put the performance evaluation process we used on the web at:
> At the end of a document is a link to:
> The review allowed the rating to be autocalculated in an Excel
> It was great for developers because it was so quatitative.most of
> Everyone liked it except Ken who is averse to any paperwork so I did
> them. I thought it worked better than any review process I have everseen at
> any company and I've used a variant of it at several companies.question as
> Jeff Sutherland
> Certified ScrumMaster Training
> On 7/13/05, Jim Schiel <james.schiel@s...> wrote:
> > I'm going back to the original email to take a crack at the
> > asked. As a manager with a strong interest in techniques inperformance
> > management and great respect for Scrum as a way for enabling alevel of
> > collaboration between team members unmatched (and, indeed, nearlywith
> > ignored by previous "non-agile" methods), how to reward my employees
> > and evaluate their performance has been a matter of great concern to
> > me. I may not have found the best solution, but the method I am using
> > is the result of discussions with the team itself to understand what
> > they thought was the fairest way to handle it. Understand also that my
> > company requires performance plans to be written and maintained
> > throughout the year. Performance plans are written as a discussion
> > the employee (not in a vaccuum by just the manager). Annualperformance
> > reviews are the method we use, and annual raises (if any) are a directetc.)
> > result of the rating in the performance review.
> > What I do with my employees now is create multiple objectives. One
> > (possibly two) of these objectives are TEAM objectives -- where the
> > employee receives the same rating as everyone else on the project. If
> > the project is successful, the employee benefits from that success.
> > At the same time, I work on specific, individual objectives with my
> > employees, targeting improvement in skills that will in some way
> > improve the employee's career possibilities (technical skills,
> > professional experience and skills, ability to be a Scrum Master,
> >that a
> > To balance the individual objectives vs. the team objectives, each
> > objective has a weight that is used to determine the final rating. The
> > weight can be used to help me account for the individual's ability to
> > influence the course of the sprint.
> > Now -- before the posts begin with regard to influence...
> > New employees and inexperienced employees don't necessarily have the
> > ability to influence a project or sprint outcome in the same way
> > more experienced employee can. Similarly, some employees are added toemployee
> > the project team late in the project cycle and can have only a limited
> > affect on the course of the project. By using weights on objectives, I
> > can provide some balance between the relative experience of an
> > and their ability to affect a project outcome.
> > This method allows me to encourage positive team behavoirs and project
> > ownership while, at the same time, helping support the growth of an
> > individuals' skills and even how those (hopefully) improved skills
> > provide benefit to the team in general.
> > Jim Schiel
> > Siemens
> > --- In email@example.com, "Adrian Ferrier"
> > <aferrier@a...> wrote:
> > > Hi All,
> > >
> > > Are there any texts out there you can point me to that guide Annual
> > > Team Member Performance Reviews under Scrum for Agile Managers?
> > >
> > > thanks
> > > ajf