How Do Performance Reviews Work in an Agile Environment?

A team of people working together around a conference table.

At its core, Agile is team-based. The team’s performance comes first. But how do you evaluate the team members? How do you do performance reviews in Agile workplaces?

This means that evaluation in a team environment should focus on one’s role in the context of the team, not just on individual performance.

Wait – what’s wrong with evaluating individual performance in Agile? 

Well, performance reviews in Agile can lead to high-performing individuals can becoming hyperfocused on their own tasks and areas of expertise. This is often to the detriment of the team’s work as a whole.

Growth in your specialty benefits the team in some ways, but you know what benefits the team even more? Contributing to the work that the team is expected to deliver.  

That’s why I recommend recognizing, rewarding, and evaluating individuals based on how they work within the team. Don’t ask team members to list off their new competencies or certifications; ask them how they meaningfully contribute to the work. 

Use the Retro to its Fullest Potential

Another thing to try? Ask team members to evaluate each other. It’s ultimately up to your team to determine how they do the work. And, it’s up to your team to figure out how they can refine their process.

This typically happens during the Retrospective. As the team reviews how the Sprint went, they have the opportunity to look at performance on the team and the individual level.

Ensure that your team feels comfortable holding each other accountable and sharing their work. They should be able to take it from there.

Keep in mind: performance reviews in an Agile workplace need to be Agile too!

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