Seems like every January I get questions from HR leaders in organizations I’m working with that go something like this – “We are working on the yearly performance objectives process, and we were wondering whether it needs to change in an agile environment?”
The main evolution I see in the Performance management process is leaning towards measuring up and across as well as focusing on capabilities improvement rather than a set of concrete product deliverables specified up front.
Measuring up will motivate individuals to become better team players in their teams, as well as be better connected to their business objectives.
I personally preferred capabilities improvement over concrete deliverables for many years even before I’ve been exposed to agile, but of course it makes more sense. There are many situations where you cannot specify deliverables up front these days. You CAN aim for a certain capability or improvement trend.
Another trend I’m seeing and think is useful is to give teams shared goals on top of individual goals. These are again capability-driven goals as well as business objective goals.
A couple of years ago I compiled a list of examples that some HR leaders found useful. Maybe you will find them useful as well. Below are some references I used to build this list and I think are a good place to start for HR professionals interested in the performance/professional development aspects of agile. They are a bit dated I admit, and those following my writing and twitter presence will find more stuff.
UPDATE: HR people are really excited about the AgileSparks Agile Leadership development program called LAST (Leading Agile Software Teams)
measureup.htm - about how to measure/compensate in a group accountability environment
com/2009/01/07/individual- performance-in-agile-team- assessment-and-individual- burndown-charts/