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23 April 2010

Poor performers. What to do?

I have observed that there has been poor monitoring of individual performance by people and plenty of people have been able to slip schedules and deliver poor quality work with little or no consequences. With a change in labour conditions and an increase in the use of clear definitions of done we are getting more transparency in our game.

More and more people will be discovered as a poor fit.

What can we do?

The project's goal is faster, better cheaper.  But the organisation's goal is to develop it's people to maximize their potential.  (And yes Pawel, that's not every organisation's goal.)

The commonly proposed solution in project circles is to hire and fire quickly.  It's probably true that this gets you to the best result fastest.  But many larger and more bureaucratic organisations are not geared up for that.  What then?

Create or customize a job for the individual? Coach?

What do you do at the first attempt?  Where do you give up?

How much is this your problem anyway?

(By the way, if you are on my team, don't be too paranoid.  This post was inspired by a conversation from a colleague at a different company.)

Picture by {tribal} photography CC @ Flickr