4 Ways to Improve Your Performance Self-Assessment

Business Employee Climbs Up Evaluation Improvement Form

It’s a new year and for many of us it’s also performance review season. There have been some great posts around the web about preparing to complete your self assessments. There are also a lot of questions around how Business Analysts are (or should be) measured. Chad Estes even posted a question on the Real World BA Facebook page about what we could put metrics around.

Honestly, I think this is an area that is difficult for most companies. And I don’t pretend to have the right answers. I struggle with the idea that a BA is measured on things like how many change requests occur on their projects, or if there are “missed” requirements. At some level there is validity in these measurements, but there are also so many additional factors that could cause for “new” requirements to be introduced that are outside the BA’s control.

Whether your organization has specific measures that you are evaluated against, or if it’s more subjective around your “effectiveness”, you have an opportunity with your self assessment to call out the things you do to better yourself and the role of the BA as a whole. Make the time to really think back at all the things you’ve done – little and big, assigned and self-initiated. Many times your manager may not realize all that you’ve accomplished, and it’s up to you to point it all out.

So here are four things that you may not have thought about to include in your performance review, but could help to prove your value and dedication.

1. Free Webinars Attended

Many companies offer some sort of training reimbursement which typically needs to be approved in advance. Your manager is more than likely aware of these, but still include them. But also don’t forget about any free webinars that you attended this year to show your initiative to seek out additional training opportunities and keep your skills fresh.

2. What You’re Reading

If you regularly read books or trade publications related to business analysis or the industry in which you work (including blogs 🙂 ) be sure to call that out as well. Similar to attending free webinars, this shows that you are staying current with industry news. Hopefully you’ll also be able to show some examples of how you applied that knowledge to your job.

3. Internal BA Meetings

Did you initiate, present, or attend a brown bag style lunch where you shared information with other BAs? Did you start an informal monthly meeting or BA book club? If you’ve initiated or participated in activities to bring the BAs together in your organization call this out. This shows your leadership and commitment to the BA practice.

4. New Processes

If you introduced a new element to the business analysis process, or suggested improvements to documentation templates you should definitely call attention to this. Did you create and use a Requirements Work Plan recently even though it is not a formal part of your process and methodology? Did you try a new diagramming technique? These seemingly minor things show that you are continually trying to improve yourself and the overall process by bringing other business analysis best practices to your work.

What else can we add to our performance assessments to show our value and dedication? Add your items to the comments below – it may help remind someone else of the things they have done that can help boost their list of accomplishments.

And the other great thing about being a new year is that it’s a fresh start. What  types of self-growth opportunities can you plan for this year, so that when next year rolls around you’ll have your list ready to go?

© 2010-2011 Real World BA, LLC. All rights reserved.
4 Responses to 4 Ways to Improve Your Performance Self-Assessment
  1. Dave
    January 6, 2011 | 9:34 am

    I’ve also tried to include examples of saving money by eliminating or reducing work effort or direct out of pocket expenses. For example, if I thought of an alternative solution, got the business’ buy in for it, and it reduced or eliminated work effort. Or, when working with a vendor, if I am able to eliminate or reduce the cost of a change request by proving that the requirements, or a subset of them, existed.

    • Real World BA
      January 7, 2011 | 3:48 pm

      Excellent items to include, Dave! I can particularly relate to your example of reducing costs with vendors by proving a requirement existed. I had this happen a couple times this year as well – thank you for the reminder to call that out!

  2. Laura Brandenburg
    January 6, 2011 | 10:31 am

    Hi Karie,

    These are some great ideas. Like Dave, I often try to connect my contributions to value or ROI. Cost savings, finding new benefits, avoiding wasted effort are all great ways to show your manager you are focused on the bottom line.

    I also wanted to emphasize #2. I did this early in my career, thinking I was trying to stretch my professional development a bit. I was pleasantly surprised by my manager’s reaction. The fact that I had taken the initiative to purchase a few books related to my responsibilities and apply the knowledge went a long way with her and raised my esteem in her eyes. Just a testament to how small things count. And they are soooo easy to overlook.


    • Real World BA
      January 7, 2011 | 3:51 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Laura! It’s so great to hear real-life examples of people receiving benefit from calling out the small things and having that appreciated by a manager. It really does matter!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

CommentLuv badge
Trackback URL http://realworldba.com/4-ways-to-improve-your-performance-self-assessment/trackback/