Brian Lockwood

Comprehensive Performance review template

July 3, 2018 by

I looked around for a good performance review template for a long time but I finally just sat down and wrote my own. It is a 5 pt system with various categories that cover

  • hard skills – your skill at your core competency i.e testing
  • soft skills (quality, follower ship, communication, proactivity, intangibles)
  • Performance – how you are doing, productivity
  • Quality
  • Trend – getting better, worse or the same

I have a special category for Managers and rising leaders

I’d love feedback on this if you have any comments, suggestions for improvement.

Hard skills

5- Is an expert in all skills required to perform the job to high level

  • Helps supervise others as needed
  • Continually improving their skills. Able to review others work, note problems, suggest improvements
  • Can create skills tests for others
  • Able to review work of others, mentor as needed
  • Exceeds level expectations
  • Industry certifications, training, teaches, writes, mentors

4- Is proficient in all skills to enable completion of transactional work to high degree of quality

  • Doesn’t require supervision
  • Scores highly on any specific tests given i.e. English, activation understanding
  • Able to help peers in most cases when asked

3- Has a skill set to do most tasks. Quality and efficiency will improve with experience

  • Meets level expectations
  • Some supervision required
  • Is unable to help others in most cases. Requires help on occasion

2- Insufficient skills to do most tasks without supervision. Significant additional training and development required

  • Nominally meets level expectations
  • Requires significant help and supervision
  • Demonstrates potential to achieve competency with some additional experience and effort

1- Significantly underperforming level with little demonstrated potential to ever improve to level competency

Soft skills


5- Initiates solutions to problems they’ve identified themselves

  • Always brings initiatives to completion i.e. a “closer”
  • Often solves problems first and then confirms status afterwards, essentially solving problems before most people even know about them
  • Solutions are presented as actionable recommendations requiring as little as an “approved” to complete it
  • Tasks are done to time
  • Strong sense of urgency to “get it done”
  • Expert at prioritization
  • Obstacles, blocking items that would prevent task from being completed are proactively identified and resolved prior to impacting task

4- Proactively identifies problems but doesn’t always have solutions

  • Completes tasks assigned quickly with high quality and efficiently, with little wasted time or effort
  • Some tasks may be mis-prioritized even though they are all done
  • Help may be required with obstacles but they are identified early

3- Little initiative shown but when given a directive, decisively responds, clarifying if needed

  • Finishes tasks to completion although doesn’t proactively raise problem themself let alone the solution
  • Some reminders may be required
  • Prioritization must be given
  • Obstacles must be identified

2- Never shows initiative, sluggish response to directives when given

  • Completes tasks as assigned but often as result of active management, reminders
  • Tasks are completed to low quality
  • Frequent reminders are needed
  • Excuses are sometimes made to explain lack of progress, failure. Lack of responsibility
  • Employee is always “waiting” on someone else

1- Poor response to most directives, with poor quality work

  • Rarely finishes tasks


5- Outperforms peers consistently while maintaining high degree of quality with a combination of Effort and Efficiency

  • Frequently expends additional effort i.e. works on weekends
  • Uses techniques, peers and resources to maximize efficiency
  • Is extremely efficient at managing time
  • Prioritizes tasks very well
  • Demonstrates consistently high scores in objective performance measurements

4- Generally outperforms peers to varying degree of quality with a balanced approach of Effort and Efficiency

  • Sometimes expends additional effort
  • Scores above average in in objective performance measurements

3- Performs at same level as peers – generally could improve either Effort or Efficiency

  • Rarely expends additional effort
  • Doesn’t always use time efficiently or work to priority
  • Scores average in in objective performance measurements

2- Generally underperforms peers – significant improvement required in either Effort or Efficiency

  • Effort is generally insufficient, too many sick/personal days etc
  • Efficiency is poor due to lack of time management, focus, prioritization
  • Scores below average in in objective performance measurements

1- Significantly underperforms peers  – significant improvement required in both Effort and Efficiency


5- Proactively communicates solutions to problems, and or required information, in the form of recommendations

  • Always uses recommendations (vs asking questions)
  • Tasks always acknowledged quickly
  • Engages in “push” communication in all cases
  • Communication is very effective: clear, concise, objective, well researched and actionable
  • Standardized reports are always highly detailed and delivered early
  • Makes frequent use of memos
  • Response times are rapid to both internal and external customers, co-workers
  • Communication is professional and courteous at all times

4- Proactively identifies and reports problems although may not consistently recommend solution

  • Engages in “push” communication in most cases
  • Tasks acknowledged in all cases
  • Makes recommendations in most cases
  • Standardized reports are well done and never late
  • Communication is generally effective
  • Occasionally uses memos
  • Response times are good

3- Responds to directives quickly and efficiently, resolving problem decisively with no follow-ups required.  Doesn’t often proactively identify problem

  • Communication is a mix of “push” and “pull”
  • Tasks acknowledged in most cases
  • Rarely uses memos
  • Communication is competent
  • Status reporting is sometimes minimal, sometimes late
  • Response times are acceptable
  • Some communication sloppiness i.e. forgets salutation, excessive CC’s, adding/removing CC’s

2- Responds to directives with eventual solution although reminders are required

  • Asks questions, in most cases, vs making recommendations
  • Tasks often not even acknowledged
  • Standardized reports are often minimal and often missing, late
  • Never uses memos
  • Response times are slow
  • Frequent communication sloppiness i.e. forgets salutation, excessive CC’s, adding/removing CC’s

1- Fails to respond to some or more directives. Resolutions are of low quality and require high degree of management

  • Always asks questions, incapable of making recommendations
  • Status reporting is usually minimal, sometimes late/missing
  • Standardized reports are often missing, late
  • Questions are frequently required to figure out what is going on. Requires constant pull communication
  • Communication is ineffective. Often communicates in subjective (“I think”, “this is my opinion”), non-actionable way
  • Fails to acknowledge tasks
  • Non-responsive in most cases


5- Helps leaders proactively to better do their job

  • Meets directives with high level of responsiveness
  • Helps leaders or others even if not asked
  • Does tasks the first time without requiring reminder
  • Management potential
  • Always remembers what they are told, without requiring any reinforcement
  • Has 100% goal alignment with superiors, understanding and meeting their requirements
  • Responds extremely well to internal customers (i.e. support, QA) and all other co-workers, going above and beyond

4- Follows directives with high level of responsiveness

  • Responds to directives quickly
  • Helps leaders or others if asked
  • May require occasional reminder “double tap” to do task
  • Management potential if motivated more
  • No admonitions ever needed
  • Usually remembers what they are told
  • Goal alignment with superiors is close
  • Responds extremely well to internal customers (i.e. support, QA)

3- Follows directives

  • Responds to directives
  • No inclination to help proactively but will if really required
  • Responds to admonitions positively with sustained improvement
  • May require semi-frequent reminder “double tap”
  • Lessons require some minimal reinforcement
  • Some work is required to get goal alignment with superiors
  • Responds to internal customers (i.e. support, QA)

2- Follows directives albeit sluggishly at times

  • Little or no help offered even after being asked
  • Requires frequent reminders to do tasks “double tap”
  • Some ancillary problems and distractions raised
  • Incidents of arguing, foot dragging etc may occur albeit infrequently
  • Responds to admonitions with short term improvement only, then regresses
  • Lessons are often forgotten, requiring frequent reinforcement
  • Goal mis-alignment exists with superiors
  • Poor response to internal customers (i.e. support, QA)

1- Follows directives only under duress

  • Never helps even if asked
  • Never does a task without frequent and forceful reminders
  • Negative response to admonitions, defensiveness, further degradation etc
  • Employee seems incapable of remembering anything they are told, taught
  • No goal alignment with superiors


5- Exceeds expectation of job level significantly

  • Subsidizes efforts of other team members, groups
  • Bleeds out to other competencies, groups to help
  • Shows constant improvement
  • Never requires help or job subsidization
  • Epitomizes ethos of particular job competency (i.e. QA, development)
  • Interim promotion needed now vs waiting for review cycle

4- Exceeds expectations of job level based on experience

  • Shows systematic if not exponential growth
  • Demonstrates strong respect for ethos of particular job competency (i.e. QA, development)
  • Promotion should be given during annual review if next level or position is available

3- Meets expectations of job level

2- Doesn’t meet expectation of job level currently either to hiring at a level above what was appropriate, performance degradation or mitigating factors

1- Fails to meet expectation of job level and demonstrates no potential to ever do so


5- Work is done right the first time, all the time, to a high level of quality

  • Employee can review other’s work to find defects
  • Mistakes that are made are learned from and never made again
  • Multiple mediums can be reviewed i.e. grammar, spec testing, website
  • Defects never re-opened
  • Can do Level I (grammar, spelling, bad links), Level II (excessive content, awkward, technical English etc), Level III (high level, natural English)
  • Goes above and beyond in tasks – work is always exceptional
  • Passionate about quality

4- Work is done well requiring only minimal review, two times

  • Occasional repeated mistakes initially
  • Defects rarely re-opened
  • Level I and Level II reviews can be done
  • Routinely exceeds expectations in tasks
  • Interested in quality

3- Work requires review but most defects aren’t critical or obvious, three times

  • Mistakes of the same category continue to be repeated, abeit infrequently
  • Some rework may be required
  • Level I reviews can be done
  • Defects sometimes re-opened
  • Meets expectations in tasks
  • Understands need for quality work even if it isn’t always met to a high standard

2- Work always requires review, often contains critical and obvious defects, may require total rework

  • Same mistakes are repeated over and over again
  • Rework is frequently required
  • Unable to see defects even when shown
  • Lacks motivation to do high quality work at a base level. Doesn’t understand what quality is
  • Can’t even do Level I review
  • Defects often re-opened
  • Fails to meet expectations in tasks, work is often minimalistic
  • Doesn’t care about quality

1- Works at a level that review generally can’t be accomplished at all


5- Exhibits multiple positive intangible qualities that benefit group/peers, company, performance

  • Has brought new and different hard skills to the table that enrich job. Sponsored several initiatives that created value without sacrificing from core responsibilities. Does things that aren’t in job responsibilities i.e. mentors others, helps etc  Examples – great employee referrals, new ideas, popularity with peers for help, unique skill set (i.e. C++)
  • Brings a positive, can do attitude that inspires others
  • Acts as a positive role model, leads by doing
  • Reflects value of company with actions, demeanor
  • Excellent team player
  • Significantly amplifies efforts, increases efficiency of others
  • High peer reviews
  • Volunteers for new initiatives

4- Brings new and different intangibles to the job that overall provide a net value add

  • Good team player
  • Amplifies efforts, increases efficiency of others
  • Good peer reviews

3- Neutral

2- Exhibits some negative traits that detract from individual performance, team effective and/or degrades efficiency of others i.e. rudeness, lack of willingness to help, distractions

  • Complains, argues, is negative
  • Degrades efficiency of others

1- Negative intangibles detract significantly from the overall value of this employee

Peer – this is where feedback may be collected from peers, other employees with some association, teams who are internal customers (i.e. QA is an internal customer of Dev team)

Score from 0 to 5 – based on average rating from all reviews


5- Employee is rapidly improving taking on new responsibilities, learning new things, becoming better and more efficient at a rapid pace

4- Employee is improving and taking on new responsibilities, learning new things, becoming better and more efficient at a systematic pace

3- Employee is improving proportional to general experience

2- Employee shows no professional growth at all, despite not attaining full potential or acquiring all necessary skills

1- Employee is degrading. Additional experience is offset by lack of effort, diminished efficiency. Has had tasks re-assigned to others. Other tasks reduced in scope



5- Owns competency from transactional work (doing tasks), to operational (supervising others to do tasks and working with other teams) to strategic (helping guide the strategic focus of team).

  • Provides valuable strategic advice, recommendation to superiors
  • No job subsidization, guidance, management is required by superiors
  • Scores well on all team level performance measurements i.e. velocity, code quality and goals (i.e. bugs sourced). Team is growing, improving and doing new things based on leader’s initiative
  • Consistently demonstrates natural leadership
  • Provides an excellent example to others. i.e. leads by example. Demonstrates company ethos i.e. hard work

4- Group is run efficiently at an Operational level with a high degree of performance

  • Some strategic direction and initiatives need to be supplied
  • Some job subsidization, guidance, management is required by superiors
  • Team is able to accomplish new tasks and accept new responsibilities that are explicitly assigned to it
  • Provides a good example to others. i.e. leads by example.

3- Group is run competently but with consistent requirement for oversight/management. The group is generally static with limited ability to grow, do new things

2- Group is maintained but frequent supervision is required. Most operational tasks are done by higher level manager. No capability to do anything else

1- Person prevents group from failing for a brief period of time but replacement needed.