Ditching Appraisals – Step 10 – Refine

Now that you’ve recovered from listening to what your stakeholders think, you must include their feedback as you refine the proposed design.  You and your project team will review all of the feedback, and see how you can use this to modify the design.

Image courtesy of stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You have to be prepared to be open to the suggestions that you received and avoid being defensive.  You should also not react to individual comments, but rather to look for the consensus across the groups.  However, don’t completely dismiss these individual, perhaps critical or radically different views; review them equally with those that are in favour of your proposals.  You must check for errors in your plans.

At this time, it would be good to have a sanity check yourselves.  Check the underlying assumptions that you made earlier.  It is all too easy just to fall back to the original assumptions underpinning your existing appraisal process.

What you’ll end up with at the end of this stage is a firm set of plans detailing objectives, assumptions, new processes, the groups of people affected, a communication strategy, training programs and resources required.  You now need to start to think about how to pilot your proposed changes, if you haven’t already identified a target group.  Again, at this point you have not got the go-ahead to implement this, so right now, you should avoid building detailed plans that may ultimately be rejected by the leadership team.

You now need to get approval for the next steps from your sponsor or senior management team; this approval will give you permission to make the detailed plans to enable you to pilot your changes.  Show the management team the key features of you plan; share with them the results of your stakeholder meeting and how you have implemented the views of the staff and listen to their concerns.  You must come out of this meeting with firm agreement to progress further; you’re committing serious company resources the further you progress with this project.  You need the explicit support from management to take the next steps.