We have spoken at great length about our approach to 360 degree feedback; how to ensure it is effective through focusing on the quality of the debrief conversation, delivering training for 360 debriefers, the principles of good questionnaire design, and selecting a report that works dependent on the purpose of the process.
However, we shouldn’t lose sight of the software element in the middle of these key factors for success; we provide our clients with the tailored on-line 360 degree feedback software as well as all the supporting services described above.
Making the software work for you
I don’t want this to descend into a ‘How to select an online 360 software provider’ post, so instead – I’ll cover how to get the system to work for you. We see the system’s role as a supportive one – it only exists to help the process, it must not become the end itself. So, you are looking to:
- make it simple
- ensure the only time spent by people is on completing or reviewing feedback rather than clicking all over the place
- make error checking easy
- remove administration tasks / make them easier
- improve reporting and make it more timely
Most everything else is fluff. So, when we are implementing the system phase, we work off a simple checklist of what needs to be done and we strip the system functionality down to this level. The less noise the better.
If you have this level of simplicity then there should be no training requirement; it should be intuitive. The days of lengthy user training manuals are gone.
For a service like ours there is no real IT project to implement. The only area to take care on is ensuring that emails will get through firewalls/spam filters.
We do suggest that you pilot the 360 implementation if you can. There are unlikely to be technical issues, but this does offer the opportunity to change wording of questions, instructional text, and review process.
Otherwise it should be a matter of getting the emails sent out and off we go.
Respecting the role of software in the 360 degree feedback process is important, but don’t let the tail wag the dog.