360 degree appraisal: the planning phase

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In my recent post on the 360 degree feedback process I identified that I would work my way through our standard approach to a 360 project.
The first stage is the plan.

I don’t need to run through how to manage a project or how GANTT charts work but I would like to emphasise the need for a plan.  A 360 degree appraisal project is a concerted effort over a reasonable period of time.  For organisations introducing 360 degree appraisals for the first time then it requires a significant investment in communication, training, and coordination.

I will assume that we are working with a client that is introducing a 360 degree appraisal system for the first time.  Elements of the plan are

  • Gain strategic direction on purpose and intent from senior management
  • Identify any technical requirements and alert IT departments to these requirements  as they may have lead times (not applicable for our system but may be for others)
  • Run a short workshop with all stakeholders which makes key decisions for the project (e.g. anonymity, who picks raters)
  • Develop a communication programme and plan in
  • Determine training requirements and plan in
  • Design competency framework with the strategic intent and eventual reporting in mind
  • Build the questionnaire and reporting that work with the competency framework and strategic purpose
  • Plan any administrative resources that are required and begin to fix the implementation timetable
  • Train raters and recipients directly or through communication plan
  • Start process
  • Remind / chase
  • Train debriefers
  • Debrief recipients
  • Run a review of the whole process including all parties who have been involved

We recommend that you allow a minimum of 3 weeks for people to complete feedback and that things are a lot less tense if you leave 5 weeks.

No matter what role we are playing with a client Bowland Solutions will always emphasise the need to create a simple plan of action for the project.

In my next post I will turn my attention to how you design the framework, questions, and system to meet your specific requirements.


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