Peer Evaluation Dysfunctions

July 30, 2009

Every business is a system, and the performance of individuals is largely the result of the way the system operates… the system causes 80% of the problems in a business, and the system is management’s responsibility.

Ranking people for merit raises pits individual employees against each other and strongly discourages collaboration.

There is no greater demotivator than a reward system that is perceived to be unfair. It doesn’t matter whether the system is fair or not. If there is a perception of unfairness, then those who think that they have been treated unfairly will rapidly lose their motivation.

When we optimize a part of a chain, we invariably suboptimize overall performance.

—Mary Poppendieck, The Best Software Writing I, 2005.

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