Category Archives: Work

Assigning Critical Tasks In a Non-hierarchical Team

I’m currently part of a cooperative/non-hierarchical team. We have a program manager but no technical leads. On a very busy and essentially leaderless team like ours, you can’t just throw an essential task out and hope someone will pick it up and get it done before the deadline.

We follow an agile process and adding a task to the backlog and getting it assigned and done the usual way works fine for much of our work, but not so well for tasks that seem like red tape, are unpleasant, or are outside normal development work. With this team dynamic, when you need something important done, it’s best to assign it to a specific team member and give them the option to suggest someone else if they don’t think they’re the best person to work the task.

Performance Appraisals Are Harmful for Most Companies and Employees

BBC provides evidence for what many of us have intuited for years, that performance appraisals are worthless at best and often harmful for the majority of employees. The article provides links to data in support of its claims.

It’s encouraging to see that many high profile and strongly performing companies have recognized that this process harms them and ditched the traditional formal performance reviews. Harvard Business Review reports that the list of companies ditching performance appraisals includes Dell, Microsoft, IBM, General Electric, and Lear.