360 by srirammadhav


									                                                                      The potential of 360-degree appraisal is
 Case studies                                                         being realized at British Aerospace’s
Full-circle appraisal at                                              Military Aircraft Division through closer
                                                                      and more efficient teamwork in complex
BAe                                                                   engineering and manufacturing opera-
                                                                      The successful inception of the 360-degree or
                                                                      full-circle appraisal techniques within the
John Bradford
                                                                      Military Aircraft Division (MAD) is a logical
                                                                      complement to the company’s training and
                                                                      development strategy. The focus has been on
                                                                      improved teamwork, enhanced personnel
                                                                      management skills and task orientation.
                                                                         Significantly, 360-degree appraisal has
                                                                      been piloted in what is probably the most
                                                                      sophisticated integrated engineering initiative
The author                                                            in Europe – the Eurofighter 2000 project –
John Bradford is a freelance business writer.                         which involves international partners in pro-
                                                                      ducing one of the most advanced military
Abstract                                                              aircraft in the world.
                                                                         The Eurofighter 2000 (EF2000) avionics
Reports on the 360-degree appraisal, introduced at British
                                                                      team at the Warton, Lancashire-based, MAD
Aerospace’s Military Aircraft Division, to link the division’s
                                                                      headquarters, found that the management
organizational development strategy with its management
                                                                      ability of team leaders was becoming an issue,
development programme. Focuses on the improved
                                                                      manifested in demotivation and diminished
teamwork, enhanced personnel management skills and
                                                                      productivity among teams themselves. How-
task orientation achieved through personal development
                                                                      ever, MAD felt that a 360-degree appraisal
plans, feedback and advanced multimedia open learning.
                                                                      programme would help overcome these diffi-
                                                                      culties, since the division has actively encour-
                                                                      aged employee involvement and participation
                                                                      over the last two years.
                                                                         This form of appraisal was introduced by
                                                                      personal development specialists in the divi-
                                                                      sion’s personnel directorate, which defines it
                                                                      as performance analysis through upward,
                                                                      downward and peer-group feedback, in addi-
                                                                      tion to personal self-assessment by managers
                                                                      and team leaders.

                                                                      Effectiveness survey
                                                                      The trigger for the programme was an effec-
                                                                      tiveness survey conducted by MAD’s organi-
                                                                      zational development (OD) specialists across
                                                                      eight different teams, ranging in population
                                                                      from five to 120 people. This was the first step
                                                                      in their overall co-ordination of appraisal and
                                                                      performance measurement activities.
                                                                         Focus groups met and individual inter-
                                                                      views of 270 people from EF2000 avionics
                                                                      were conducted. These exercises helped the
                                                                      OD team identify group needs, with the
                                                                      emphasis on team and personal development
Management Development Review
Volume 8 · Number 4 · 1995 · pp. 10–13                                for the management population. The survey
© MCB University Press · ISSN 0962-2519                               also revealed the importance of involving
               Full-circle appraisal at BAe                          Management Development Review
                     John Bradford                                  Volume 8 · Number 4 · 1995 · 10–13

everyone on the EF2000 team in manage-                   particularly rich source of quality informa-
ment development per se.                                 tion. As the process matures, this form of
                                                         appraisal, where necessary, will be treated as a
                                                         very natural process, and part of MAD’s
                                                         overall training and development suite.”
A questionnaire was produced from the per-
sonal attributes inventory (PAI) framework of
competences, which MAD has introduced                    Feedback formula
recently with significant success. The range of
                                                         The initial formula used for team leader
attributes or competences was then tailored to
                                                         feedback is a traffic-light system which illus-
360-degree appraisal in order to produce
                                                         trates needs and priorities for an individual’s
high-quality feedback information. This was a
                                                         personal attributes:
crucial factor in realizing actionable data
                                                         • red indicates a poor level of competence
which also needed to establish credibility
                                                            and a strong developmental need;
among team leaders and team members.
                                                         • yellow indicates a satisfactory level of com-
    MAD’s personnel directorate says that
                                                            petence with a degree of developmental
securing ownership and acceptance of 360-
degree appraisal had to overcome the very
                                                         • green shows that a competence is one of
nature of the workforce and management. As
                                                            that individuals’ strengths and that no
individuals, they are precise, technically-
oriented and, at a critical level, scrutinize all           development work is required.
information very closely indeed.                         Recipients also have access to a group sum-
    However, given the preparation and focus             mary which puts his or her performance in the
groups, initial scepticism was overcome and              context of the team’s activities.
the majority of managers appraised accepted                 MAD’s OD team has developed a bespoke
the quality of information received during the           computer software package in-house to
feedback period.                                         implement the accurate measurement and
    To align data with team leader develop-              control of the data analysis procedure. It
ment programmes, appraisal was also linked               provides a method of rapidly scoring personal
to MAD’s established personal development                attributes and data provided by completed
plan (PDP) for every employee in the 16,000-             questionnaires, as well as easily-assimilated
strong divisional workforce. PDPs provide a              tables, graphs and summaries for managers
platform for traditional review, focusing on             undergoing appraisal.
the competences involved in task manage-                    The OD team assists team leaders in the
ment processes. The analysis now available               formal development of their skills sets by a
through 360-degree appraisal complements                 structured approach to self-development,
that data set with additional information on
                                                         either through the division’s five open learn-
how managers perform their leadership roles.
                                                         ing centres or through formalized manage-
    Within this broad framework, the new
                                                         ment development programmes.
appraisal programme is used as a way of
                                                            Any activity is undertaken on a consensus
linking the division’s organizational develop-
                                                         basis, with each manager fully aware – as a
ment strategy with its management develop-
                                                         result of discussion with the OD team – of the
ment programme. This, says MAD, is a truly
                                                         needs they have to address as highlighted by
holistic approach to structural change and
                                                         appraisal. They also receive objective advice
personal development across the whole busi-
                                                         on the interpretation of key findings resulting
                                                         from appraisal.
    “However”, says BAe’s organizational
development adviser, Gillian Bond, “it is not
the case that this appraisal technique should
                                                         The benefits
be rolled-out across all areas of the company.
It is a high-precision, personnel development            Although the scale of appraisal and develop-
tool which should only be applied within the             ment activities like these takes time to pro-
context of an overall programme where a                  duce long-term, sustainable benefits, indica-
specific need is identified.”                              tions to date are very encouraging, according
    “Nonetheless, we have proved that where              to BAe EF 2000 avionics manager, Bob
360-degree appraisal is appropriate, it is a             Smith:
               Full-circle appraisal at BAe                            Management Development Review
                     John Bradford                                     Volume 8 · Number 4 · 1995 · 10–13

  The initial effectiveness survey when combined           ing in other businesses, their centres were
  with self-assessment indicated a good match in           little more than self-help libraries, and com-
  eight areas of concern which required attention.         puter-based packages had inherent limitations
  The most fundamental issue was one of teams
                                                           as learning tools because they were stand-
  trusting management in their ability to manage
  communications’ techniques and the reliability           alone units.”
  of their messages. We had to move to a position              He explains that, in most cases, PCs at
  where we could demonstrate that management               other companies were running individual
  does listen, take action on information received         hard-disk tutorial packages; others ran laser
  and, where appropriate, deliver results. Chang-
                                                           disks, and some centres might have been
  ing our position in itself has become a motiva-
  tional factor for teams. However, good person-           equipped with CD-ROM drives. This led
  nel interface and motivational abilities are not         MAD to conclude that significant barriers to
  skills which can be acquired through osmosis.            fully realizing the potential of open learning
  Traditionally, because of the task pressures             existed in current provision and facilities.
  constantly faced, managers have not had the                  “Many of our employees are well-educat-
  chance to acquire team leadership and person-
                                                           ed, discerning and highly computer-literate
  nel skills. At the same time, an additional
  benefit of the process has been that some mem-            because of the nature of our business”, says
  bers of the management team have realized they           Dixon. “And, even those who don’t have a
  would be more effective if they reverted to their        similar level of computer knowledge are able
  original technical roles. This reflects on the            to access information from PCs with only a
  traditional BAe environment for career progres-
                                                           little guidance. Therefore, our rationale was
  sion, which no longer exists.
                                                           to equip the five open learning centres we
The old culture is changing fundamentally,                 have as 100 per cent multimedia facilities,
and BAe recognizes that it has restricted some             which demanded the integration of all avail-
people’s contribution to the business in the               able software media. This had to be config-
past by removing them from task-oriented,                  ured in such a way that users could access
technical positions. Now, reward, recognition              their chosen subject in a variety of media from
and career development are achieved via an                 a single PC. Rapid media interchangeability
emerging twin-career ladder.                               was essential.”
   This, adds Bob Smith, gives a fully-round-                  In order that learners had all available tools
ed support structure to the company’s train-               at their fingertips with complementary pack-
ing, development and team performance                      ages – along with the need to attract large
strategies.                                                numbers of users and sustain interest to
                                                           justify its expenditure – the MAD open learn-
                                                           ing unit actually rewrote some technical rules.
Open learning leader
BAe’s Military Aircraft Division is also a UK
leader in open learning, using advanced
multimedia, a dedicated open learning centre
at its Warton, Preston headquarters, and a                 For example, MAD, with its systems’ suppli-
radical implementation programme.                          er, CC Information Systems, has fully inte-
Launched just 18 months ago following a                    grated multimedia formats without open
£90,000 capital investment, 6,000 of the                   learning centre staff having to reconfigure
16,000 workforce are signed-up and 900 man                 systems by reswitching or replugging every
hours of attendance at its five UK sites are                time a user has a different demand of the PC.
logged each week.                                          This has been achieved by workstation design
    Key factors include buying the best and                with multiple individual input routes, which
latest hardware, software and packages, easy               obviates system clashes.
access to information, a mix of teaching meth-                 This is important especially in Windows-
ods and a culture committed to personal                    based CD-ROM programmes and the now
development.                                               older technology of interactive video because
    “Technologically, we had to push back                  it is often difficult to switch from IV to Win-
some of the boundaries in computer-based                   dows and vice versa. Typically, open learning
training and multimedia personal computer                  centres seldom link workstations together to
facilities,” says MAD’s open learning adviser,             print which provides students with valuable
Ian Dixon. “When we examined open learn-                   hard-copy output from on-screen work.
              Full-circle appraisal at BAe                         Management Development Review
                    John Bradford                                 Volume 8 · Number 4 · 1995 · 10–13

   As far as CCIS is aware, it is the first open        approach lacked an overall strategy and
learning operator to take this route, according        cohesion, partly because the business itself
to the supplier’s director, Vaughan Waller.            had been undergoing major restructuring.
   “From the genesis of MAD’s open learning               Head of personnel at Chadderton, Peter
philosophy, and their adherence to the policy          Duffy, explains the benefits that each partner
of maximum utilization and availability, they          brings to the alliance:
have been at the leading-edge of technology in         • Cranfield has traditionally been strong in
this sector. While there is nothing new about             the aerospace industry, with technical
open learning, this approach and a determi-               expertise at graduate and post-graduate
nation for implementation breathes new life               levels.
into the concept. Most workplace open learn-           • MANCAT is a national leader in open
ing users in the past have viewed it as hard              learning.
work and are reluctant to investigate better           • Pera has experience and resources of core
applications.”                                            skills, applicable to all employees in the
   As a further development of BAe human                  business.
resources activity, the company has formed a           Henley’s primary role will be to provide
partnership with Henley College for an                 accredited executive programmes to develop
employee development initiative at the Chad-           international, commercial and operational
derton Aerostructures business in Manches-             competences.
ter. The partnership also involves three other             Says Peter Duffy: “The success of the
institutions – Cranfield University, Manches-           alliance is greater than any of the partners
ter College of Arts and Technology(MAN-                envisaged, because they complemented one
CAT)and Pera International. The initiative is          another so well. Criteria for the selection of
called the Chadderton Employee Develop-                partners were that they could complement
ment Alliance.                                         BAe’s resources, but they also had to have an
   According to Henley Newslink, senior                international perspective and ambition”.
managers at Chadderton – which supplies                    Over 600 employees at Chadderton are
aerostructures, components and related                 now pursuing development programmes, and
aircraft services worldwide found that while           the intention is for all the 2,500 workforce to
employee development was adequate, the                 be involved by the end of 1995.


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