Objectives Part 1
This year in Learning Pool we’re putting a greater emphasis on performance management and appraisals.
At the start of the financial year we like to set objectives for the incoming year. So there’s a set of company objectives, but they’re quite high level (as they should be, they need to be appropriate for the sales team and the development team).
The development team have their own set of objectives, which are based on the company wide ones. My task now is to take the development team set and extract a meaningful set of personal objectives for the year.
A worked example
This is one of the company objectives (with a wee bit redacted).
We’ll improve the quality of our service. We will measure customer satisfaction and be rigorous in adhering to service level commitments. We get that customer satisfaction has a lot to do with quality so we’ll get serious about quality this year, measuring error rates and defects and improving our performance throughout the year.
That is pretty broad, but is easy pickings for a software development team. Here’s one of several development objectives that targets quality of service.
Build quality into the release process with automated testing, unit testing and tests plans from QA executed for every release
So I have a set of company objectives and a specific set of development team objectives, what about my objectives?
I want my objectives to be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound). That means, while I need them to relate back to the company objectives, I want them to be things that I do in my day-to-day work.
I want some of them to be things that I would do anyway, things that are reasonably easy to achieve. I also want some to be pie in the sky, almost impossible to achieve.
Finally, because I have responsibilities that extend to leading a team, and a leadership role within the wider development team, I want my objectives to have dependencies on other people achieving their objectives.
My first draft
- all software developed by the technical team will have an automated build process and test run
- the team will be performing systematic QA on all projects, i.e. we’ll be in a position where we can measure the quality of our product.
- all code will be reviewed by at least one other developer.
- by dateX the team will have estimates for all story level tasks
- by dateX+6months the accuracy of story level tasks will be ±10%
- by dateX the number of bugs raised against code will be 50% lower than in dateX-6months
What do you think?