Agile performance management

When I was asked to take the challenge to implement a new performance management system that could fit our agile organisation I was blown away and almost went crazy with excitement!

Performance Management or tracking and contributing to improving this performance in a horizontal organisation… Coming from a traditional HR approach this really meant doing things differently.

It meant:

  • We could not design it for a hierarchical organization, we are all working as peers in a self-managing organization

  • It could not be an annual top-down review with little feedback in between, we want regular check-ins

  • That goal setting needed to be flexible and shift with business priorities, we are agile right?

  • It should focus on looking forward and not only on appraisal, we want crowdsourcing focusing on how we can go far TOGETHER.

I had a lot of experience in the traditional way and a proven track record of previous implementations. Euhmmm… Traditional…

So let me take you on the exciting journey of how we did this!


Step 1 was to set up a team of my colleagues Developer for designing what we wanted the appraisal system to look like. Kanban Board checks, stand-ups check, retros check.

We decided on the user experience and features we needed, and the architecture required for this.

This resulted in our wish list: peer-2-peer feedback, different set-ups for goal setting, appraisal, feedback and development areas.


Step 2 was quite challenging. Developers choosing a tool and/or hacking it 😊.

We wanted a system that had the necessary building blocks, modular and configurable to our needs and of course, our way of working: a fast implementation!


Step 3 was easy: Bottom-up having decided on what we wanted we asked for a go from our Managing Director. We received trust to do the go-life.


This quarter we implemented a peer-to-peer appraisal based on the retrospective technique stop-start-continue. We witnessed our self-managed team to choose wisely an unlimited number of peers to challenge themselves and give and receive constructive feedback. Timing in which we did this was 1 sprint of 2 weeks.

And it was great to do so and hard and most of all so valuable.


We are looking forward to the next cycle, coming really soon and, in the meantime, giving praise to each other which allows us to work outside of the teams and throughout the whole company which can sometimes be a challenge when working in distributed teams.

We will adapt to the wishes and feedback we received to improve in a continuous Agile way!