We are just to start down the path of annual reviews etc which i'm all in favour of. The only bit that I am unsure about is the target setting element. How does everyone else do target setting and do they have any targets they wish to share?
The targets wil be linked to a chance to get extra cash to take home on top of normal wage. This sounds good in principle, but it just don't see where I get something relevant achievable and positive from?
I see a couple of areas for concern. If a target is to implement something new there would be a temptation for the person/team concerned to impliment this and to a certain extent say to hell with everything else. If a target is to keep the system running, well to hell with implementing something new it might break a working system.
We don't use any helpdesk software so "average time to resolution" other statistic isn't possible though once again as the experience from the NHS targets we hear so much about starts to encourage corner cutting elsewhere to achieve this target. "Completing" solutions but not actually giving an answer. (I'm sure anyone who has used Capita's Support Net for SIMS can testify to this particular problem)
I think to be honest I see target setting and then trying to achieve this outside a totallity of performance as a paper excercise to justify HR's existance and with the addition of a money element potentially deviceive with one part of the staff as some get something and some don't.
Please someone have a positive experience with examples they would like to share.
I think it ought to be a given that the day to day stuff carries on working - there should be no bonus payments for introducing (say) a new VLE if the normal stuff all falls to pieces.
Do you have any kind of system to record jobs done and, more importantly, user satisfaction (as you say, there's no point having jobs logged and closed with the user ready to explode because things haven't actually been fixed). If you've got that, then showing that user satisfaction has stayed steady (or, better, increased) coupled with the introduction of something new would be a good target.
The "something new" needs to be wanted - no point in saying "going to set up XYZ hardware and software" if no-one wants it. Of course, there are lots of things that no-one will ask for because they don't know they exist. This is where the project can be more interesting. Let's suppose that you don't have a VLE. You start by proposing the introduction of a VLE and you have demos of the sort of thing it can do. This then works through development, install, documentation, user acceptance testing etc etc
In my review the purpose of targets is to not set something technical but more personal
I.E 2 of my targets are...
Gain more confidence on the phone
Work on my face to face time (I prefer remote software & bluntness)
P.S we don't get paid extra for attaining them , and i've already achieved them (I think) as they routed all sales calls to go through me when I'm in the office. Hence I try to stay out of the office and work on my face to face time.
1. Specific – Objectives should specify what they want to achieve.
2. Measurable – You should be able to measure whether you are meeting the objectives or not.
3. Achievable - Are the objectives you set, achievable and attainable?
4. Realistic – Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have?
5. Time – When do you want to achieve the set objectives?
The idea of a survey seems interesting but on occasion we have to say no to some things as they are illegal, cost too much (In time or money) or are just not practical with the rescources available, so the users sometimes leave disappointed or frustrated as unrealistic requests are still wanted even after explaining all the problems. External factors also can have a massive impact on relative "satisfaction" as the odd update will cause unforseen problems or a change in use by some users can have detrimental effects elsewhere (Lets copy 500mb files around the network, or print massive documents) which ICT Support has no contol over.
I share newtothis' concerns about the satisfaction survey. I have on several occasions had to refuse a request for one reason or another, e.g. software which can only run with no workstation security or where users need admin rights and would hate to think of my pay taking a hit as a result of the fact that the teacher didn't like my answer. By saying no, I was ensuring the ongoing stability and security of the network - that is my job and that is what I'm paid for, to think that a non-technical teacher could reduce my salary/bonus because they don't like how I achieve this is worrying.
Also consider the teacher who gives you a CD and says "can you install this please, as my next lesson depends on it" and is then unhappy when you 'fail' to deliver.
I also don't think I should be getting a bonus based on quick resolution of calls or server uptime - again, this is my job.
If any technical or directly performance-related targets are to be set, they need to be set by someone who understands the full implications. 'Install all software within 1 day', 'buy all new hardware within 2 hours of being asked for it' or 'close all support calls within 2 days' are not realistic, and sometimes meeting them would not actually be in the school's best interests.