Open Space Paris 2013 on Incentivisation and Performance Management

Open space session on Incentivisation and performance management (last open space session at Paris 25/9/2013)


Delivered within a week of having it, I suspect I won’t be the last….


Convener – Phil Thompson – embedded Agile support at Kuoni


List of Participants – and a big thanks to all of you for making this an engaging session – although some people’s handwriting has left their names a little open to interpretation:

Vincent Lassalle

Helene de Sant Front

Irwin Marmorat

Ruxawdra Banici

Martin Teljeby

Paul Whelan

Leon Cosmin Lupu

Steff Lang

Alan Shelmose

Adam Polczyk

Arne Ahlander

Maunicia de Caster Nanannete

Christopher Hogden

Peter Downer


The discussion started around objectives. There was some consensus that these should not link directly to reward, and if there is any element of reward then the team should be involved in its allocation / distribution.

Where the objectives come from was raised, should they come from the team, from the individual, from a line manager? and we agreed that it depends on the work and the company – although the closer it got to the person was preferred. Sensible comment was that the objectives should be the job description contextualised for the immediate future. One good point was that the objectives could be linked to retrospectives and by making the objectives very short then when looking back you can build up a record of achievement.  

There was discussion about what the point of the objectives were, surely the only realistic objective would be to deliver working software as a sustainable quality, which is great for a team (as long as the project has a MVP small enough) but the individual element was raised – how can you ensure that all individuals are contributing. It was felt that it would be unlikely for someone to be poor / lazy without the other team members / mgmt being aware (this might not the be case in a dysfunctional team). The daily scrum should identify those members not pulling their weight and there needs to be some opportunity to raise these issues (maybe retrospective) but some formalised 360 feedback sessions would be beneficial.  There was acceptance that performance against a defined objective makes HR’s job easier to manage people out of the organisation.

There was a wider debate about motivation in general, making note of the many references already made about Dan Pink’s work. There was also some good points made about giving objectives being seen as disempowerment – because the individual is being told what to do, can they opt out of the objective?


Actions – no real take away actions but there appeared to be agreement on the following points:


·         Objectives should be personal to the individual and relate to the same drivers of motivation, being empowered, being good at it, and wanting to be part of something.

·         Objectives work best when assessed by the team and have a short timeline

·         Objectives should be about learning and development not about reward

·         The best objective is to be part of a team that delivers VALUE, which is usually related to delivering working scalable software.


Maybe I’ll see you all in New Orleans …




Phil Thompson
Lead Agile Practitioner
Kuoni Global Travel Services

skype: Philthompson01

Phone: +447940 495987



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