5 Tips to Ace Your Performance Review


Watch Jennifer Bridges, PMP, and learn the tips you’ll need get the attention you deserve as a project manager when being reviewed by a client.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

learn how to do well on a performance review

In Review: 5 Tips to Ace Your Performance Review

A performance review, as Jennifer noted, is when you discuss the goals you identified and agreed on and compare them to what you’ve actually accomplished on the project. You want to keep this procedure simple, for both you and your review, and are the five ways Jennifer suggests to do so.

  1. Take time to plan
  2. Update regularly
  3. Identify Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART goals)
  4. Agree on deviations upfront
  5. Provide your insights

By managing your review as you would your project you can set a professional tone to the proceedings and no matter where the project takes you show how that you’re a leader who has the skills to take on responsibility.

Pro-Tip: Not all performance reviews are created equal, and as we’ve covered in the past there is some truth to the fact that productivity is hurt by annual reviews. Read A Girl’s Guide to Project Management blogger Elizabeth Harrin’s article and learn how to fix what’s wrong with performance reviews.

Video Transcription

Today, we’re talking about five tips to ace your performance review. When we talk about a performance review, we’re talking about taking a performance plan, something that you’ve taken time to identify your goals and what you’ve agreed to accomplish, and compare it at some point in time with the goals that you actually accomplished. The key here is to keep it simple and easy for you and your reviewer. Here are some tips.

Number one, you are your most important project, so allocate proper time for planning.

Number two, treat it as a real project and update it regularly. If you look at the project management lifecycle, you’re going to actually initiate it, plan it, execute it, monitor and control it along the way, and close it out at some point in time in your performance review.

Start SMART. Identify SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. This is an excellent point where you can align your goals with how the project management role has now changed. Corporations now are expecting their Project Managers to improve in three skill areas: one, in strategic and business management; two, in technical project management; and three, leadership. So that is an area you can outline with your SMART goals to improve. You also want to align your SMART goals with the corporate goals.

You also want to negotiate and agree upon deviations up front. Talk with your reviewer. Just like a project where things change, the same happens in your performance. Because you know up front there are some goals that you’re not going to meet, so if you take the time to talk those through with your reviewer and renegotiate those, and re-baseline them just like your project, it could make the difference between a successful and a non-successful performance review.

Also provide your insights. This is a time where you can identify what you think you did well and where you want to improve, and the area where you want to improve is where you set your next professional development lifecycle. What you did well is how you begin to establish your Project Manager brand.

If you need a tool to help you manage your professional development lifecycle, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

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