Personalising Performance Observations

2587165483_e0e271eb13_oSome of my personal learning network contacts have started me off re-thinking performance observations and re-view.

Michael Hussey’s cricket bag has helped clarify my thoughts!

Earlier this morning, I was following up on a discussion (Is Performance Analysis drowning in raw, useless data?) that has been running for some time in the Performance Analysis in Sport Group on LinkedIn. Despite the discussion running over the Christmas and New Year holiday there has been a vibrant exchange of views. Two days ago I was introduced to geographic choropleths in the exchange between Mark Upton, Chris Carling and Russ Shopland.

Concurrent with this reading I received an alert to a taster for Richard Hill’s Whackademia. In it, Richard writes:

For one performance review, I received a report that bore little resemblance to my own appraisal. So incongruent was its assessment of the quality of my work that I thought I had been sent the wrong review. As I glanced through the error-strewn missive, I was astonished by the ability of the author to conjure such a fictional narrative from so poorly informed points of history: innuendo, gossip, circumstantial evidence, gross inaccuracies, simple untruths and other cosmic distortions littered the document. I was confronted by invective masquerading as objective assessment. I stared at the offending document more in amazement than disbelief, but worried about how I might begin to extract myself from this hornet’s nest. I was gripped by a sense of impending doom, as if I were about to be hauled off to the Tower and my head impaled on a spike.

Elsewhere, Richard observes (about university performance review):

performance reviews in all their manifestations are probably here to stay: the struggle now is to try to ensure some equity and equilibrium is built into the system. … By and large, however, the current system of review is very much grounded in a hierarchical structure which rests on aspects of organisational life that are simply unavoidable: personal fads and foibles, and subjective preferences and judgments.

7136210011_bb45983ab9_bI think I am particularly sensitive to these ideas at the moment. One of my recent performance reviews led to me to think about the Michael Leunig’s poem The Horse I Backed which has the delightful concluding line “The horse I backed took a different course”.

I have been thinking about the New York Times’ Snow Fall too. This has disturbed me in the way reading Edward Tufte in the 1990s did. I think there is a new standard set for visualisation and narrative in the Snow Fall project.

Michael Hussey’s cricket bag? Listening to Michael Hussey about how he packs his bag and what it contains encouraged me to think about the tool kit I use for performance re-view and feedforward. I have been looking at voice options (Vocaroo), screencasting (Camtasia 2) and notes (Evernote) in the last few days. I have looked at Blubbr too. I have been thinking a lot about responsive design after the reformatting of Clyde Street. I enjoyed my exchange with Mark Upton about the flipped characteristics of this personalisation.

2013 is going to be a remarkable learning year for me in addressing personalisation issues. Given the quality of the discussion on LinkedIn I am wondering if the next step is to encourage a community of practice to share its attempts to personalise performance re-view. At present I am thinking that Drupal might be a perfect platform for this sharing.

Photo Credits

Heirloom Leica (Earthworm, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Horse race (Boston Public Library, CC BY_NC-ND 2.0)

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