The Pitfall of Personal Performance Indicators


Even success of a one-person company is not entirely dependent on the efforts of that one person alone, but also on the market conditions, business partners, and myriad of other external factors. And in larger organizations the efforts of an individual represents just a tiny fraction of the cumulative effort. Evaluating performance of an individual based on overall success of a company therefore seems both unfair to the employee and useless from the management perspective. A standard management solution to this problem is to either devise a performance indicator tailored for each individual or to use some standard and easily observable indicators, such as number of working hours. The biggest pitfall of personal performance indicators is that they relieve an individual of responsibility for the success of the company as a whole. For example, it's easy to say for a salesman that he has brought many new customers, while it may well happen that the new customers did not add much to the company's bottom line. And a programmer can equally say that he delivered lots of story points and that he's not to blame that the delivered functionality was not accepted by the end users. And any other employee could say that he or she worked long hours and that it is not his or her fault that the company is sinking.