Whether you are planning to have discussions about your upcoming performance process or have already started the conversations, chances are it has been almost a year since the last process was kicked off. With so many other initiatives and major projects between performance cycles, it is easy for the preparation from the previous performance and goals cycle to feel like a distant memory.
Regardless if there are large changes to the requirements for the next cycle or you intend to use the same form and route map, there are four simple best practices you should consider to increase success in your next cycle.
1. Start the Conversations Early
Everyone’s schedule is busy these days and it can be difficult to have the right stakeholders available to join meetings on a short notice. By starting the conversations of objectives and requirements for future performance and goals cycle early, you can build in slack to the timeline while also capturing feedback from all required personnel. The suggested timeline to begin these conversations is at least two months before the launch of the new cycle, depending on the level of changes.
2. Test, Test, Test
Depending on if there are changes to the new performance and goals cycle or not, it is very important to test the form functionality thoroughly. Testing the form’s behavior will confirm the desired results and identify any unforeseen changes as a result of quarterly releases. We recommend a minimum of 4 weeks of design and testing to give enough time to meet the form’s launch date. While testing the form, don’t just focus on section and field permissions, but also test hierarchy changes, reporting, multiple roles’ participation in the process, routing the form back and forward, and the completed form’s integration with the Employee Profile. Nearly all issues identified during a live performance process can be identified and prevented with adequate testing.
3. Review Key Process Decisions
Certain annual decisions need to be made during the preparation of a new performance process. Some of the most important decisions involve route step dates, review of notification templates, and the target audience for the form launch process. These items need to be addressed and confirmed prior to starting each cycle. It is also recommended to review and confirm the Form Template settings on the performance template.
4. Remain Forward Thinking
Clear and thorough documentation of requirements and test scripts will become an extremely useful reference point for future cycles. An effective template to capture this information will reduce the level of effort in preparing for future cycles. One tip in capturing lessons learned for future cycles is to include configuration notes into the form template description field. This admin only text field easily gives visibility into key components of the form configuration and attributes.
By following these simple suggestions, your organization can create a better user experience with less complications during the future performance and goals process. If there are any questions around configuration decisions, process optimization opportunities or best practices, please consider contacting Whitaker-Taylor, Inc. to partner with you on your next performance planning cycle.