Using performance evaluations to raise individual accountability on project teams

Abstract

Projects create an environment where resources are loaned to a project manager to complete certain responsibilities of a project. Many times these resources do not report directly to the project manager, and attempts to get team members to be accountable for their work on the project can become problematic. Many articles and books have been written on the topic of how to lead and get results when one does not have the formal authority to do so. One area that seems to have been overlooked on this subject is utilizing individual performance evaluations to increase accountability on project teams. This paper delves into the subject of performance evaluations and ties their usage into something tangible that the project manager can use as a management tool on the project. It provides a review of the literature pertaining to performance evaluations and analyzes their effectiveness. After a thorough review of the subject, a proposed six-step individual performance evaluation process is defined to aid the project manager in obtaining the best performance from project team members.

Introduction

My department is organized as a weak matrix where the project team members report to functional managers of multiple disciplines (e.g., engineering, quality assurance, regulatory affairs) and are assigned to projects. The project managers have no control over the assignment of resources nor do they have any input into the individuals' performance evaluations. Therefore, there are times when an underperforming individual is assigned to a project team and continues the poor performance throughout the assignment, even though the project manager makes every attempt to correct the problem. Without a proper performance appraisal process in place, this individual can carry on in this manner from project to project as long as the functional manager is content with the performance. One of the key problems in my department is getting project team members to hold themselves accountable for completing their activities correctly and on time. How could using performance evaluations help to increase individual accountability on project teams? This is the question that started as the basis of this research. In order to develop a solution to these concerns, I have reviewed the research and practitioner literature on performance appraisals, matrix organizations, and project management. Following that summary, I will propose a new approach to performance evaluation in matrix organizations.

Background

The lack of accountability problem with team members seems to plague matrix organizations due to the inherent disadvantages resulting from dual leadership and lack of authority of the project manager.

Dual Leadership in Matrix Environments

One of the major drawbacks to working in a matrix environment is the conflict created when individuals report to two managers. Members of the project team report directly to their functional manager and are loaned out to the project manager for the duration of a project. This can cause stress for the individual team members when the dual reporting relations lead to ambiguity and role conflict (El-Najdawi and Liberatore, 1997. The personnel in a matrix structure may consider the functional manager as their boss because he represents a “home base” to which they would normally return after the project is completed. Also, performance evaluations and promotions may be determined by functional managers (Verma, 1995).

This dual leadership also causes conflicting motivators. Should the team member focus on enhancing his department's expertise or on fulfilling his obligations to complete his project activities on time, on budget, and within quality? Depending on who has the main influence on his or her performance evaluation and resulting reward/punishment, the individual will focus his or her efforts accordingly. Thus, it is not a surprise if project activities take a back seat to functional duties when the project manager and functional manager disagree on priorities, since the functional manager usually has the most influence over the resource. The same holds true when trying to complete a task under the direction of multiple management sources. What happens when a resource is given instructions by his or her functional manager that conflict with those furnished by the project manager? According to Hamburger (1985), “the desired results will be delayed, partially and/or inaccurately completed, or not achieved at all” (p. 82).

Edwards and Sproull (1985) refers to performance evaluations as the “Achilles heel of matrix management.” He further states that “since project team members work for more than one boss, a fair and equitable means must be developed to assure effective determination of performance merit and promotion fitness” (p. 154).

Lack of Authority for the Project Manager in Matrix Environments

Another major drawback in matrix organizations is the lack of authority given to the project manager. For reasons already mentioned, the functional manager is considered the true “boss” of the resources, while the project manager has full responsibility for the success of the project. Verma (1995) explains that “project managers face a traditional dilemma of working effectively within a project organization where they have total responsibility and total accountability but limited authority. They must rely upon the accuracy and quality of work produced by other project personnel” (p. 117). Therefore, project managers must require accountability in their team members who have been assigned responsibility for completing project tasks.

Project authority is defined by Stickney and Johnston (1983) “as the right of the project manager to act or to direct the action of others in the attainment of proper objectives” (p. 47). This can be difficult for project managers, since they are often directing the activities of others who do not report to them. Many matrix organizations will try to define the role of the project manager by using the dotted-line technique in depicting authority and responsibility (Cleland, 2002). Using a dotted line usually means the organization recognizes that the project manager needs to have some official authority but does not define the details. This leaves the project manager's authority vague and open to interpretation. Without a clear understanding and acceptance of the authority and role of the project manager, the price is confusion and conflict within the project team.

Cleland (2002) defines responsibility as “a corollary of authority, as a state, quality, or fact of being responsible” (p. 267). Verma (1995) applies responsibility to the project environment by stating “a responsible person must be legally and/or ethically answerable (accountable) for meeting project objectives consistent with organizational policies and procedures, and for the welfare of project participants, the project and the whole organization” (p. 109). Ultimately, the project manager is responsible for the entire project, even for the tasks that are delegated to the project team. Project managers would prefer to delegate responsibility only to those who are reliable and accountable but, as stated in the preceding section, resource assignation is not usually within his or her control. Therefore, finding a means to help motivate accountability in project team members would be a benefit to the project manager.

Implications for Project Management

The implication of this research for project management is that it provides project managers with an understanding of the different processes currently used for conducting performance appraisals and its correlation with motivating individual team members to better perform on the project team. Klein (2000) states, “performance feedback is invaluable as a tool to identify and resolve performance problems, substituting a constructive focus for mystery and threat, and in some cases providing reassurance. Furthermore, the employee performing at a high or improving level receives information that motivates even better performance” (p. 81). Understanding the performance evaluation process allows project managers to have a greater understanding over the resources of the project team even when the resources don't directly report to them.

Performance Evaluations – General Perspective

Performance Management Process

According to Latham and Wexley (1994), “a performance appraisal is any personnel decision that affects an employee's retention, termination, promotion, demotion, transfer, salary increase or decrease, or admission into a training program” (p. 4). The primary reason for a performance appraisal system is to provide a means to measure job performance against established criteria (goals and objectives) and to enhance employee development. Latham and Wexley (1994) state that if done effectively, performance appraisals can “increase employee productivity and decrease an organization's cost” (p. 9). In order to make the performance appraisal effective, the performance management process must start prior to the appraisal itself and continue after it is over. Global Health designed its performance management process successfully by “identifying what counts, measuring it, holding people accountable for it, coaching them to get better at it, and rewarding it” (Shaw, Schneirer, Beatty, & Baird, 1995, p. 17).

Job Analysis and Goal Setting

The first step in the performance management process is to conduct a job analysis to identify the behaviors and activities required for performing optimally at a specific job (Latham & Wexley, 1994). This should be done by those familiar with the specific job who can identify both effective and ineffective behaviors and activities associated with this job. Doing a job analysis also substantiates the legal requirement for performance appraisals. Once specific behaviors and activities required to do the job well are identified, specific goals should be set against which to measure performance. Research has shown that setting difficult specific goals yields better performance than vague unambitious goals (Gibson, Ivancevich, Donelly & Konopaske, 2006). This value in goal setting is reflected in the following statement issued by Latham and Baldes, which was quoted by Gibson et al. (2006):

“The setting of a goal that is both specific and challenging leads to an increase in performance because it makes clearer to the individual what he is supposed to do. This in turn may provide the worker with a sense of achievement, recognition, and commitment, in that he can compare how well he is doing now versus how well he has done in the past and, in some instances, how well he is doing in comparison to others.” (p. 172)

The specific goals must be difficult yet attainable. They also must be set on measures of performance, not based on factors beyond the individual's control, otherwise motivation diminishes and effectiveness is lost (Shaw et al., 1995).

Goal Commitment and Rewards

A common problem with establishing difficult goals is keeping the individual committed to them. In performance management processes, this is usually accomplished through positive (rewards) and negative (punishment) reinforcement. One of the largest hurdles in getting individuals committed to, and thus accountable for, the set goals is to find what truly motivates them. In the workforce, a manager may have many diverse reports with different needs. What works to motivate one individual may mean absolutely nothing to another. Latham and Wexley (1994) break the principle of reinforcement into four basic subprinciples when applied to performance appraisal:

First, the reinforcement must occur as the result of the desired behavior.

Second, the employee must understand the correlation of the reinforcement with the desired behavior.

Third, the reinforcement must occur soon after the desired behavior.

Fourth, the reinforcement must be something meaningful to the employee.

The best way to make sure that reinforcement is successful is continuous communication between the supervisor and the employee throughout the entire performance appraisal process. This includes establishing the goals together and providing periodic feedback as the individual progresses through goal attainment.

Appraisal Types

Once goals are established, there are many different ways for employers to measure employee performance.

Trait scales

A common scale that can be used to measure all employees from upper management to hourly employees is the trait scale. This can be developed quickly by using trait buzzwords such as “hardworking,” “self-motivated,” “knowledgeable,” etc. The difficulty lies with turning the “traits” into specific job-related goals. Just because someone is “hard-working” does not necessarily mean he will succeed at all tasks at hand. Trait scales seem to deal more with an individual's potential to perform rather than performance outcome. Since trait scales aren't specific to job performance, they tend to have difficulty holding up in court.

BARS/BES

Behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS), also known as behavioral expectation scales (BES) take trait scales to the next level. Shaw et al. (1995) define a scale as “a continuum of performance, ranging from the lowest to the highest level of performance” (p. 153). With BARS, an “anchor” is attached to specific descriptors of behavior at each level of performance (Shaw et al., 1995). A vertical scale using a predefined range, such as 1 through 7, is developed for each performance expectation. Anchors are attached to each value with the expected level of performance for that number. For example, if the performance criterion was expected behavior for writing technical reports, a (1) could depict “expected 2-3 errors and insufficient data in written technical reports.” A (7) could depict “expected zero errors and complete data in written technical reports.” The numbers in the middle would depict increasing levels of performance from 1 to 7. When the appraiser gives a rating, it is expected that specific examples are listed to support the value chosen. Therefore, the appraiser not only must be fully aware of the individual's activities and behavior but also must periodically document these in a diary or file. If an appraiser has many reports, this may be very difficult to do. Other disadvantages to BARS is the difficulty in assigning observed behaviors to specific anchors and then interpreting observed behaviors against the examples listed in the scale (Latham & Wexley, 1994). It is conceivable that an observed behavior does not match anything listed on the scale.

BOS and MSS

Behavioral observation scales (BOS) list expected behaviors according to categories pertinent to the specific job function. Each behavior is given a value from 1 to 5 to rate the employee's performance based on frequency of engaging in the expected behavior. The range goes from a value of (1) corresponding to “almost never” engaging in the behavior to a value of (5) which corresponds to “almost always.” All of the values for each item are added together to provide a total behavioral score. A predefined total score range usually set by management will determine if the employee's performance is below adequate, adequate, average, excellent, or superior. According to Latham and Wexley (1994), research has shown that “explicit performance feedback using BOS combined with the setting of specific goals has been shown repeatedly to be an effective means for bringing about or maintaining a positive behavior change” (p. 93).

Mixed standard scales (MSS) are simply based on a three-point scale of “better than,” “equal to,” or “worse than” the behavioral expectation. Research conducted by Prien and Hughs as reported by Latham and Wexley (1994) concluded that MSS can be used to reduce rating errors. This is due to no significant variance differences when three scoring methods for MSS were evaluated in a study of government employees.

Rating Error

A performance appraisal is only as good as the appraiser who completes it. This means that if the appraiser doesn't have an understanding of the job being performed and doesn't observe the employee who is being appraised, then the resulting appraisal isn't worth anything. Also, the appraiser needs to be free of bias, prejudice, first impressions, halo, similar-to-me and contrast judgments, central-tendencies, and positive and negative leniencies (Latham & Wexley, 1994). These are all considered rating errors. Judging an employee based on age, sex, race, religious affiliation, and so on are considered errors based on bias or prejudice. First-impression errors occur when the appraiser only views the employee in a manner consistent with his or her first impression, despite the fact the employee's performance may have improved or declined since then. “Halo” error can give undeserved credit to individuals who are exceptional in some aspects of their job by carrying over this exceptional rating to aspects of their jobs in which they may not perform as well. The same could be said for someone who is deficient in many aspects and gets poor ratings even on the things he or she does very well. Similar-to-me and dissimilar-to-me errors occur when the appraiser gives unwarranted favorable ratings to someone who is “like himself or herself” and whom he or she can identify with, and likewise, gives unfavorable ratings to someone quite different from himself or herself. When an appraiser compares the employee to other employees and bases the rating from that judgment, then the appraiser is guilty of contrast-effect error. Central tendency error occurs when the appraiser gives only mid-range ratings regardless of the employee's performance. Similarly, negative and positive leniency errors occur when the appraiser constantly leans to one side of the center, being either too harsh or too easy on his employees.

The best way to reduce rating errors is to train the appraisers in the entire performance appraisal process regardless of the type of appraisal system used. If the appraiser is cognizant of the different biases and errors that are common, he or she can make a conscience effort not to succumb to them. Also, if the appraiser is aware of the specific behaviors and goals that the employee is expected to meet, then he or she is more apt to observe the employee tackling these endeavors, thus resulting in a more accurate assessment of the employee's performance.

Feedback

Depending on the organization's appraisal process, employees can receive feedback from just one person, a few people, or many. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Single-source feedback

In single-source feedback, only the direct supervisor is included in the employee's appraisal process. This is the simplest way to conduct performance evaluations and is used by many organizations. A major disadvantage to this is that only one viewpoint is utilized in evaluating the employee's performance. If that viewpoint cannot accurately assess the employee, then the appraisal is worthless. Research done by Ilgen and Knowlton (1980) showed that supervisors are inclined to inflate their appraisals of low performers due to their aversion of relaying the negative feedback to the employee. Therefore, even if the supervisor is able to accurately assess the employee's performance, the appraisal is worthless if the feedback given to the employee does not match the assessment.

In order for this method to be successful, the supervisor must have first-hand knowledge of the employee's activities and performance. Consistent face-to-face contact between the supervisor and employee should be conducted throughout the appraisal process. This contact should include an open, honest dialogue between both. It could be detrimental to the employee's personal growth if everything is just dictated to him without providing him with a chance to participate in his own professional development. This interactive communication should be initiated at the start with input from both individuals for the establishment of the employee's goals and objectives, then continued as the employee strives to reach those goals with the supervisor providing feedback on his progression. Now if the supervisor doesn't actually observe any of the employee's behavior and relies solely on hearsay and his or her own biases towards the employee, then there is no value in conducting an appraisal. In this instance, multisource feedback would be required.

Multisource feedback

Research has shown that the use of multisource feedback during the performance appraisal process leads to more accurate and valid assessments than does supervisor judgments (Edwards, 1990). Having more than one observer allows for corroboration of ratings, which could help to reveal any bias from one appraiser. If there is only single-source feedback, bias by the appraiser may not be so apparent. According to Valle and Davis (1999), when there are many different appraisers, it is unlikely that all of them would come to agreement concerning the employee's level of performance. This could be attributed to differences in the appraisers' levels of position within the company, time spent working with or observing the employee, knowledge of job expectations for the employee, accountability, motivation, and bias. In research reported by Roch and McNall (2007), when people know the views of someone they feel accountable to, they will change their views to please that individual. Motivation drives accountability. If you have a motivated appraiser who feels high accountability towards the appraisee, then it is likely that the appraiser would provide an evaluation that he or she believes the employee would want versus what he may truly deserve. Therefore, unless all appraisers are in general agreement, the more appraisers there are, the more rating errors can occur. To try to alleviate this problem, thorough performance evaluation training should be provided to each appraiser.

Research conducted by Smither, London, and Reilly (2005) suggested that multisource feedback works best when used to enhance the employee's development as opposed to only using it for administrative purposes such as increasing pay and granting promotions. It is highly encouraged for the employee to have face-to-face discussions with all appraisers to clarify feedback and mutually suggest ways for improvement.

Performance Evaluations – Project Management Perspective

Project Managers' Feedback to Team Members

As a project gets underway, it is the project manager's responsibility to make sure that the project goals and the roles and responsibilities of the project team members are clearly identified and understood. These team members should be included in the establishment of the project activities and development of the project schedule so that there is ownership and buy-in from all involved, which helps to motivate the project team (Kendrick, 2006). The project manager provides feedback to the team on progress of the project through means established in the project communications plan. This may be done in a group setting such as a project meeting to monitor the status of the project or on an individual basis such as a one-on-one meeting to discuss issues of a team member not meeting a deliverable. In the event of poor performance by a team member, the project manager should address the problem with the individual. In a matrix organization, if the individual's performance does not improve, the project manager needs to make the functional manager aware of the issue and then it is the functional manager's responsibility to fix the resource problem. This is more easily said than done since dual reporting is one of the main disadvantages to matrix organizations, as explained previously.

A study conducted on matrix organizations by Dunn (2001) provides empirical evidence that “functional managers have control or influence for the hygiene factors while project managers have significant control or influence for the motivator factors” (p. 1). Dunn is referring to factors developed by Frederick Herzberg who distinguishes between hygiene and motivational factors. Gibson et al. (2006) describes hygiene factors as extrinsic factors that relate to pay, status, and working conditions, whereas motivators are described as intrinsic factors that include feelings of achievement, recognition, increased responsibility, and meaningful work. Project managers have a great deal of influence on the motivational factors. According to Kendrick (2006), hygiene factors do little to increase motivation but act as high demotivators if they are lacking. These are controlled by the functional manager outside of the project realm. Thus, it can be established that in a matrix organization both the functional manager and project manager are responsible for overall job satisfaction of each project team member.

Experts' Opinions of Performance Evaluations From Project Managers

Very little has been written specifically about project managers and their involvement in performance evaluations of individuals on the project team, although, in accordance with the previous statement, experts (Turner, Huemann, & Keegan, 2008; Cleland, 2002; Pitagorsky, 1998; Verma, 1995) agree that performance evaluations of individual project team members should be conducted by both the functional manager and the project manager. Furthermore, Verma (1995) believes that the assessment given by the project manager should weigh more heavily than the functional manager's assessment during the time when the individual was loaned to the project. This could be due to the close association that the project manager has with his or her team members and to the more intimate knowledge he or she has of their performance on the project. Turner et al. (2008) “believe that for the sake of motivation of project team members and cohesiveness of the project team, the project manager should be formally involved in appraisal, reward, and development” (p. xiv). The reason that this is done is to ensure that the team members know that their performance on the project is being assessed by the person who is in the best position (project manager) to judge their true performance and will include that information in their appraisals (Turner et al., 2008). In order not to cause animosity among team members, the appraisals must be made in a consistent manner.

Even though a project manager may not be formally included in the performance evaluations of project team members, it is recognized that the project manager has a responsibility to inform the functional managers of either poor or exemplary performance so that the functional manager can punish or reward as deemed appropriate. If the functional manager ignores the project manager's input and chooses not to take the appropriate action with the resource, then major problems can occur. If the individual is a poor performer and nothing is done about it, this can demotivate the entire project team, as often others are picking up the slack or redoing what the poor performer has done incorrectly. If, on the other hand, the individual is an exemplary employee but does not get rewarded for his or her efforts, then that is demotivating to the individual. Why continue to go the extra mile if one still gets the same reward as everyone else?

Argument

Develop Argument/Idea

In concurrence with experts' opinions found in the literature review, project managers must be included in the performance appraisal process of project team members to help raise individual accountability on project teams. In order to be most effective, performance appraisals cannot be generic documents used across the board for all employees. Instead, they need to be tailored specifically to the individual's developmental needs and personal job performance goals. To ensure success of the performance evaluation process, a joint effort involving the employee, the employee's manager, and the project manager should be used when developing, monitoring, and conducting the performance appraisals of project team members.

Author's Position/Proposal

I believe that there should be a performance evaluation process for individuals on the project team that is specific to each project. Ownership of this process would reside with the project manager and be held in conjunction with established performance appraisals used by the functional manager. This process would be established during the planning phase of the project and included in the project plan. With functional managers' input and agreement, the project manager will establish the roles and responsibilities of project team members and document in the project plan. Included in the responsibilities documented for the project manager would be an explanation of the project manager's role in the performance appraisal of the individual project team members and a description of the project performance evaluation process. Frequency of performance reviews between the project manager and individual team members would be established and documented in the project plan. I propose the following six-step individual performance evaluation process for projects led by the project manager:

  1. Establish individual project goals and expectations.
  2. Conduct periodic reviews.
  3. Determine development plans to remedy any performance issues.
  4. Continue to monitor and remedy.
  5. Conduct final performance appraisal.
  6. Provide or recommend reward/punishment.

1. Establish individual project goals and expectations. An individual project appraisal form should be developed during the planning of the project for each project team member that will be evaluated by the project manager as established in the project plan. This form should have two sections. One section should be specific to the general responsibilities required for the role as determined jointly by the project manager and functional manager. The second section should be specific to the individual's own project goals and personal development on the project. The project manager and team member should sit down in a face-to-face meeting to develop this section together and to review the expectations of the first section. Once there is shared agreement between the project manager and team member, the project manager will review the appraisal form with the functional manager, ensuring buy-in from all involved and ensuring alignment of project goals with overall personal development goals. (See the Appendix for a sample form.)

2. Conduct periodic reviews. The project manager should conduct face-to-face periodic performance progress reviews with each team member throughout the span of the individual's involvement with the project. The frequency of these periodic reviews should be established in the project plan.

3. Determine development plans to remedy any performance issues. During the periodic reviews, the project manager will determine if the individual's progress is up to established performance expectations, and, if not, what remedies may help to bring the performance back on track. A personal development plan should be written with actions to help improve performance.

4. Continue to monitor and remedy. The project manager should follow-up with the individual as needed to ensure that his or her performance is improving. If it is not improving, then different actions may be needed, including the involvement of the functional manager.

5. Conduct final performance appraisal. At the individual's completion of all project responsibilities, the project manager will conduct a final performance appraisal. The project manager will evaluate the team member's performance using the three-point scale of “exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” or “does not meet expectations,” as established on the form. Once completed, the form will calculate the overall performance rating of the individual. This overall rating can then be evaluated against the performance scale that was established by the project manager and functional manager at the completion of the initial appraisal form.

6. Provide or recommend reward/punishment. After conducting the final performance review with the individual, the project manager should review the appraisal with the functional manager. If the performance warrants a reward, the project manager can issue one if he or she has the authority to do so, or make a formal recommendation to the functional manager if he or she does not. In the event of poor performance, the project manager can make recommendations based on remediations already attempted for further possible actions, yet it is the functional manager's responsibility to ensure that the individual's performance is improved for the next project. The final appraisal by the project manager should go into the individual's performance file and count as a percentage (reflecting the percentage of the annual work year spent on the project) when being evaluated for raises and promotions/demotions, along with the functional manager's appraisal of the individual.

Conclusion. As previously stated, experts (Turner, et.al., 2008; Cleland, 2002; Pitagorsky, 1998; Verma, 1995) agree that performance evaluations of individual project team members should be conducted by both the functional manager and the project manager. This also concurs with the evidence that multisource feedback is more beneficial and reliable than single-source feedback. Choosing the project manager to own this performance appraisal process supports the notion that the best-suited appraiser is the one who observes and interacts with the individual the most. Having the project manager own the process is also reinforced by the evidence that project managers have a great deal of influence on motivational factors.

The first step in the proposed appraisal process, establishing individual project goals and objectives, was chosen due to the emphasis in the literature review that goal setting had on achievement. The literature review showed that it must be clearly identified what the expectations are for the individual's performance and the individual must be included in establishing these objectives so that buy-in will occur.

Secondly, the literature review confirms that periodic face-to-face meetings help to monitor and guide progress throughout the individual's duration on the project. Face-to-face is the preferred method of feedback, since it allows for instant clarification and mutual discussion. Latham and Wexley (1994) provide the foundation for the proposed third step, determining development plans to remedy any performance issues, based on their principles of reinforcement. Step number four, continuing to monitor and remedy, strengthens the effectiveness of the reinforcement by establishing a continuous feedback loop throughout the project. This approach agrees with the experts that continuous feedback is required for successful reinforcement.

The fifth step, conducting the final performance appraisal, utilizes the appraisal form which incorporates the ratings used in MSS. This particular scale was chosen due to its simplicity and proof in reducing rating errors. Using a scale and having a final numerical performance rating was shown in the literature review to be a proven method of reducing rating errors and providing a valid, reliable evaluation process. Once the performance evaluation is completed and reviewed, the final step, providing or recommending reward/punishment, is completed. This concurs with the literature review on goal commitment and rewards and ties in with knowing what motivates the individual to perform. The percentage split between the project manager's appraisal and the functional manager's appraisal provides a weighted rating of the project performance with functional performance. This adds value to the project manager's assessment, especially since he or she observes the individual more than does the functional manager.

Conclusion

Normally, performance evaluations are conducted by an individual's manager on a yearly basis to determine raises and promotions. If done correctly, performance evaluations can help in the personal and professional development of the individual. Since many individuals spend a considerable amount of time on projects, it would make sense to incorporate a performance evaluation process into projects led by the project manager. This process would allow the individual, project manager and functional manager to work together to establish individual project goals and expectations enhancing the individual's growth and development. Continuous feedback would be provided to monitor and remedy any issues as they arise. The performance appraisal itself would be role-specific, established through a job analysis, and thus providing a consistent means (performance rating) of comparing individuals in the same role. The individual performance evaluation conducted on the project would be used in conjunction with the yearly performance appraisals owned by the functional manager. This allows for a more thorough and valid performance assessment to be used for issuance of positive/negative reinforcement (rewards and punishment), ultimately resulting in increased individual performance and raised accountability on project teams.

References

Cleland, D. I., & Ireland, L. R. (2002). Project management: Strategic design and implementation. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.

Dunn, S. C. (2001, June). Motivation by project and functional managers in matrix organizations. Engineering Management Journal. Retrieved Sept. 7, 2008.http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5394/is_200106/ai_n21474565.

Edwards, M. R., & Sproull, J. R. (1985). Performance appraisal for matrix management. Journal of the Society of Research Administrators, 17(1), 33.

Edwards, M. R. (1990, June). A joint effort leads to accurate appraisals. Personnel Journal, 1, 122.

El-Najdawi, M. K., & Liberatore, M. J. (1997, March). Matrix management effectiveness: An update for research and engineering organizations. Project Management Journal, 28(1), 25-31.

Gibson, J. L, Ivancevich, J. M., Donelly, J. H., & Konopaske, R. (2006). Organizations: Behavior, Structure, Processes. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Hamburger, D. H. (1985, December). Making matrix management work. Project Management Journal, 16(5), 82–89.

Ilgen, D. R., & Knowlton, Jr., W. A. (1980). Performance attributional effects on feedback from superiors. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 25(3), 441–456.

Kendrick, T. (2006). Results without authority. New York: AMACOM.

Klein, J. (2000). Corporate failure by design: Why organizations are built to fail. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum.

Latham, G. P., & Wexley, K. N. (1994). Increasing productivity through performance appraisal. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing, Inc.

Pitagorsky, G. (1998). The project manager/functional manager partnership. Project Management Journal, 29(4), 7–16.

Roch, S. G., & McNall, L. A. (2007). An investigation of factors influencing accountability and performance ratings. The Journal of Psychology, 141(5), 499–523.

Shaw, D., Shneier, C. E., Beatty, R. W., & Baird, L. S. (1995). The performance, measurement, management & appraisal sourcebook. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.

Smither, J. W., London, M., & Reilly, R. R. (2005). Does performance improve following multisource feedback? A theoretical model, meta-analysis, and review of empirical findings. Personnel Psychology, 58(1), 33–66.

Stickney, F. A., & Johnston, W. R. (1983, March). Delegating and sharing of authority by the project manager. Project Management Quarterly, 14(1), 42–53.

Turner, J. R., Huemann, M., & Keegan, A. (2008). Human resource management in the project-oriented organization. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Valle, M., & Davis, K. (1999). Teams and performance appraisal: Using metrics to increase reliability and validity. Team Performance Management, 5(8), 238.

Verma, V. K. (1995). Organizing projects for success: The human aspects of project management (Volume One). Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Appendix

img
This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI or any listed author.

© 2010 Project Management Institute 17

Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Content

Advertisement

Publishing or acceptance of an advertisement is neither a guarantee nor endorsement of the advertiser's product or service. View advertising policy.