360 Degree Reviews

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360 Degree Reviews


Some of you may be aware that I’m currently pursuing my MBA. (I would’ve preferred to get my master’s degree in CS or something like that, but there weren’t any good options nearby that would allow me to get my degree part-time.)

One of the things that I’ve often heard in my classes is how a system of reviews is needed. One popular form of reviews that is mentioned often is anonymous 360 degree reviews. Basically, you not only get the standard review from your supervisor, but you also give anonymous reviews back to your supervisor as well as to the others in your department. With this system, peers can share feedback and supervisors get to hear how the area thinks they’re doing.

Personally, I really like this idea. It gives everyone the chance to share ideas and feedback on how everyone is doing without worrying about hurt feelings. Not only that, but employees don’t have to worry about the pointy-haired boss not liking them anymore because they suggested a different way of doing things.

In a programming environment, it would be a good way to suggest to management things like employing unit tests or to let a peer know that they really need to work on their documentation in their projects. It seems like a simple and cost-effective means of spreading knowledge and getting people involved.

What do you think? Am I off base here or do you think this really works? Does anyone actually have any experience with this, particularly in a software environment? I mean, even Dilbert has 360 degree reviews!

(I wonder if I should have a Business category for posts like this…)