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Topics: Organizational Culture, Resource Management, Talent Management
Providing performance feedback to team members in a matrix structure
It is a normal practice for people/functional managers to evaluate the performance of their direct reports on a semi-annual or annual basis as a step in the overall evaluation and compensation review process.

As PMs, we have significant visibility into the quality of the work done by team members in a matrix structure, and yet, we don't always have the ability to provide input into their formal evaluations.

I'm running a poll to understand how this is handled by YOU when you don't have formal reporting authority over your team members.

Please take a minute to complete it here: https://www.projectmanagement.com/polls/77...al-performance-
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Dear Kiron
Thank you for sharing this questionnaire with us.
I'll be curious to know your opinion on the topic and the answers you got and your opinion
While project performance reporting to the functional managers is important, my first priority is to the project team members. I will share my performance feedback with each team member before I do so with their manager.
I agree with Stephane in that your first obligation is to your team members but that includes ensuring that their functional managers are informed of their direct report's performance.

Although I am of the opinion that the functional managers should take the initiative to obtain feedback from the project managers I would actively promote a member whenever appropriate and alternatively advise of sub-performances. I would do this for selfish reasons - improve project performance.
Peter has a good point, by informing the functional managers proactively we serve our team members.

As to loyalty priorities. We might run into conflicts of interests, so it is good if we define our priorities and be clear about them (and avoid emotions because of personal relations). My normal priority is
1. my employer
2. my customer
3. my team
4. my contractors
5. my organisation with all aspects of e.g. functional managers, finance, legal, sales, ...
(again: I am loyal to my team if I inform functional managers)
6. outside stakeholders (sorry ESG)
This is a fine list Thomas, however, one must recognize that by serving one you essentially serve them all. To look after the best interest of your employer you have to look after the best interest of your customer, your team, your contractors, your peers and your stakeholders. Alienate any one of them and all suffer - especially you.

If one has to be thrown under the bus I would go in the reverse order, but carefully.
Peter, thanks.

In a perfect world you can satisfy the interests of all if them. In reality I have never seen it.

For example I have seen quite often a conflict of interest between my employer and the customer, and it was often driven by opposing targets regarding profit.

As a good PM you build trust and relationships with the customer. This list ensures awareness about how to decide in conflicts.
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1 reply by Peter Rapin
May 04, 2022 3:08 PM
Peter Rapin
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I agree its the balance that's necessary. If you have succeeded in building trust between you and each of the parties you're in a great position to broker an understanding/agreement when the occasion for compromise and solutions presents itself while still remaining true to yourself. Sometime navigation through the rocky, and shark invested, channel can be a challenge.

Professional PMs can make great politicians.
May 04, 2022 2:58 PM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Peter, thanks.

In a perfect world you can satisfy the interests of all if them. In reality I have never seen it.

For example I have seen quite often a conflict of interest between my employer and the customer, and it was often driven by opposing targets regarding profit.

As a good PM you build trust and relationships with the customer. This list ensures awareness about how to decide in conflicts.
I agree its the balance that's necessary. If you have succeeded in building trust between you and each of the parties you're in a great position to broker an understanding/agreement when the occasion for compromise and solutions presents itself while still remaining true to yourself. Sometime navigation through the rocky, and shark invested, channel can be a challenge.

Professional PMs can make great politicians.

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