All entries for Wednesday 08 February 2012

February 08, 2012

Rank & Yank

Measuring performance has been controversy overtime, and one of those appraisal methods which was heavily criticized was “forced distribution rating system”, or “forced ranking appraisal systems” and some call it “rank & yank” approach.

Nothing is absolute bad or absolute wrong, there are pros and cons. However, in my view, this respective approach is not totally bad, and one could argue about this and start listing the disadvantages of forced ranking system supported by Deming’s system of profound knowledge, but I do believe that this system might be good applying it at some stage within an organisation, especially when the company is suffering from a bad working culture or the organisation might not be “mature” enough”, especially if line managers and direct supervisors inflates ratings and award superior scores to their subordinates or having the same ratings amongst their staff, then this method will be a perfect solution to force those managers to rate their employees according to their actual performance. And once again, this might be applied at some stage when the organisation is having the same sort of troubles and this is drawn from my own experience.

Let’s not go too far, University of Warwick is a prime example of implementing the forced ranking system (and like other universities in UK and abroad), they reward the best students for their good marks, and yank out students for failing and not scoring the minimum required marks or not abiding by the regulations. and yet, Warwick is rated one of the top universities in UK.

In conclusion, this type of appraisal management system might not be right for all companies at a particular time, but sometimes it might be the right choice at the right time. From my experience it promotes a productive and excellence performance culture, where those who work hard and achieve great results are rewarded and retained. Anyway, I am not saying it’s good, but it’s not bad too!

The Unbalanced Scorecard – Strategy Number 3

While building the balanced scorecard for Waveriders company using strategy number 3 in our mini project “Winning Strategies part 1”, and as a team leader for this project, We have noticed that while giving an equal consideration and importance for the four perspectives; it might seem theoretical easy, but in application it might be quite different.

Based on this respective strategy, the main focus was on expanding the market share in the European market through research, and identifying a new distributor as there is a potential growth in the Euro market; therefore it turns out to have some unbalances amongst those four dimensions.

In this respect, we found out that we have to slightly modify the weight of these perspectives in order to be more effective; at the same time we were aware that these changes in the internal domains (Internal Process & Learning and Growth) - particularly the unbalance in the learning and growth perspective - will affect the other two externals (Customers & Financial).

My point is that, if the strategy was concentrating on a particular aspect, and this aspect goes under one of the four perspectives of the balanced scorecard, then should we unbalance it accordingly? Or in other words, must we keep the balance and consider equally between these four dimensions as a rule of thumb? Definitely, we will raise this issue to Paul next week.

February 2012

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