The success of an individual’s career development plan can only be confirmed by developing a thorough method to measure progress. Performance management or measuring progress isn’t merely checking off the done box after an objective is completed. It’s a method that shows your efforts towards a particular goal and how far you are from success. Creating a performance management measure tracking sheet is fairly simple. The following steps will help in creating the bare bones of a measure tracking sheet that can be used as a working document. Remember, your personal performance measure tracking sheet can be a valuable tool before and during performance review time!
Once you have identified specific performance objectives, populate the rows of an Excel spreadsheet with each individual objective. The objectives should be realistic and attainable. For example, earning a degree is a broad objective. Make it more specific by saying earn a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree within the next 2-3 years. This is both a realistic and attainable objective. Measuring this objective has now been simplified by making it specific. Read Constructing a Career Development Plan for more information on defining objectives.
Timeframe for reaching the objective
Every objective should follow a timeframe as when to complete it by. Add a little grace room for completion time to incorporate unforeseen circumstances. Don’t wander too much though; you want to be proactive in reaching a goal instead of letting it sit on the back burner. For earning an MBA a realistic timeframe should take note of the academic curriculum and approximate time stated in the school’s catalog in completing this degree.
A performance measure should be a number and a unit of measure. The number indicates how much needs to be done and the unit of measure states what was done. For example, a measure for earning an MBA degree would be to complete three courses per semester. At the end of the semester mark how many classes were actually completed. Turning this into a percentage will give a more concise view of progress. So, number of courses completed/total number of courses times 100.
List milestones that you have reached or will be reaching within the specified timeframe. Assess how long it took to reach the milestone and adjust your other timeframes to more realistic expectations. Listing minor accomplishments serve as motivators so don’t leave them out. Link results to objectives to see how you are progressing. For example, a milestone towards earning an MBA could be completing the first class in the program. An achievement within the milestone might be “received A grade.” The content within the class could serve as a milestone reached by gaining the particular skill that’s aligned with your objective.
Finally, a notes section is helpful in documenting hurdles that have affected the progress of the objective that in turn can serve as a learning experience for the remaining objectives. Also note specific events that helped in accomplishing an objective so that you can use the same strategy elsewhere.
This is only a starting point for developing a Performance Management Measure Tracking method. Once the method has been established, it gets easier to expand on it.