Surprised by my own overlook

During a performance evaluation, one peer provided no-data-to-evaluate feedback to one of my reports. They surprised me. What did I overlook?

Let’s name the peer — Terra and my report — Ken. Ken is a young engineer. I prepared an individual project for Ken, for his growth. I also assigned several peers to him for help and performance evaluation. Terra was one of the peers. The project required building a data processing infrastructure and she was the most qualified person on the team in that area.

As the project was getting to completion, Ken and I made a decision to remove data processing infrastructure from the project roadmap. The project was already achieving its objective without it.

Ken didn't have any reason to work with Terra anymore. We were very close to the evaluation period. I could not make formal adjustments to it. So Terra would have to provide her feedback in any case.

As a result, Terra gave a fair no-data-to-evaluate signal at the end.

So what did I overlook? I overlooked a clear communication to Terra, specifically:

  1. About the plan change
  2. About the fact that she still needs to provide feedback and how we can get data to her

I could perform the communication myself or mentored Ken to do it.

During the evaluation, I attributed Terra’s feedback to my mistake. Ken still had satisfactory data from other peers. So he passed the evaluation and got the desired outcome. And I learnt a lesson for the next time.

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