Thomas Otter posted a while back about the problems with appraisals (including a link to a video from the UK version of "The Office" which is extremely funny). Gautam Ghosh provides some good advice on about how to improve the performance appraisal process. New Employee Performance Management software, in and of itself, does not improve performance appraisals. It requires the right processes, culture (i.e., appraisals are fair, high performance is rewarded, etc.), and content (as Gautam points out, bad goals or too many goals can be problematic).
Bill Kutik has a nice article in HR Executive about HR.com's VIEW conference. Gerry Crispin weighs in on the conference here. I wanted to attend and participate in a virtual analyst panel, but I had a scheduling conflict. So, I do not have first knowledge of the experience. I would really like to see virtual conferences succeed as it would reduce travel for everyone (and probably allow greater participation from around the world).
For those interested in Enterprise Apps, some interesting predictions. It has a number of similarities to my Analyst Corner for "ERP 2007: A Year in Review" that will publish on Monday (Gartner for IT Leaders subscription required).
SAP put on its annual influencer summit this week. Here are a few quick highlights:
SAP talked about how they would allow Business Suite customers to work "side by side" with Business ByDesign. Essentially, this would allow Business Suite customers to leverage services that are developed as part of the BBD effort
SAP has a focus on expanding the usage of its applications beyond task users (I would call them professional users) to business users (employees and managers)
SAP made a point of "process integrity" as a key benefit of its approach to service-oriented architecture. If you use services from SAP, they have made a point of making sure that there is process integrity built in (e.g., if I have a service called "Cancel Order", it makes sure that it updates all the modules impacted by the order cancellation)
SAP showed the business process modeling environment within Business ByDesign which was pretty interesting. It did a nice job of integrating application configuration with process models (the configurations are shown with the process model and when the configuration changed, the process model changes based on the choice)
One of the keys to SAP's strategy of adding functionality more quickly (and allowing customers to take it on more quickly) is Enhancement Packages. SAP is keeping the core ERP (version 6.0) application stable while using Enhancement Packages (EP) to add new functionality. These EPs operate on a Switch Framework that allows a customer to choose whether or not it wants to turn on that new functionality. SAP is releasing EPs twice per year (it has already released two).
SAP provided some stats from surveys of their customer base. It indicated that 65% of R/3 4.7 customers that are doing an upgrade to ERP 6 are doing a technical upgrade, 25% are adding functionality (via EPs), and 5% are planning to use it as a full Business Process Platform (using ERP 6 and NetWeaver as the basis for delivering business processes enterprise-wide). It also indicated that 15% of the installed base is on ERP 6.