Chapter

Evaluate Team : Gather Results

1.4 Chart the ratings:

Once I have the ratings I will take those ratings and put them on the graph. This is very crucial point in the evaluation and I will caution to make sure that you prepare this graph with some care. I will plot the technical skills and soft skills on the x and y axis respectively. You can pick either axis for the skill category as it will not make any difference in the results. My graph for the team “Looney Tunes” show up like following:

Once I reach this point, things starts to take shape. Now I have put all my resources that I want evaluate on the graph. I would like to caution that this is an exercise that is needed to evaluate people in the team and put them in a role that helps them achieve their next level. It should not be used to evaluate the performance of the resources. It can be a powerful aid in devising a performance improvement plan for any resource though but that is a subject for another book.

My goal is to separate all my team members in four groups. For the sake of analogy I am using the mountain climbing terms. After all every technology project is like “an uphill battle”. So here are the four groups laid out on a grid.

  1. Climbers: These are the members in the team who are performing at a very high level. These people are always thinking about the next peak and next challenge. They need to be well fed and well challenged. Needless to say that your project can use some leadership from these people.
      1. Champions: These are very tiny minority within the climbers group and every organization needs to understand that this is where the future is. These are the people who need to be very carefully managed. If you do not keep them they will quickly fly away. These are not the people who are your typical developers.
  2. Campers: These are the people who are happy where they have reached. They are enjoying the view from where they are and not much affected by surroundings. They need to be motivated enough to get the work done.
  3. Anchors: These are the resources are either in the wrong seat in the bus or wrong bus. They need to be seriously evaluated and given new roles. These are the people who may have some good skills but for the scope of this exercise they need to be given less critical items and marked for future performance improvement plan.
      1. Wrong Seat or Wrong Bus: There is a possibility that after a very careful evaluation of the team members you will find few resources that drop in this corner. It is very unfair thing to do is to continue dragging these people in the team. They need to be re-evaluated promptly and there should be a transition plan for them in role outside of the team or other exit strategy.
  4. Wanderers: This is the group that I call the tough cookies. It is very hard to understand and in my leadership experience they are very hard to deal with. Surprisingly once you get to know them, you can get amazing results from them. These are sometimes diamonds in the rough or sometimes people who are confused about their own skills. They can belong to either of the above three groups and that is why they are the toughest to deal with.

These groups are shown in the grid that I will be overlaying on to the earlier graph. I would like to take a moment and say that there are lots of versions of such grids found on internet and used very widely in performance evaluation and such. I have used similar with my dear mentor Michael Schenk in pervious life. I have tried to find the origin of this in few hours of “Googling” but all I found out is that there is no specific origin of this theory. I was really inspired by the simplicity of this theory and used as a starting point of my suggested process here. The mere goal of this first section is to identify and classify your team members. Every team lead has some kind of idea about their team mates but I wanted to quantify this and put it on the paper. As I have heard many times what gets measured, gets managed.

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