Establishing the Timeline for the 360-Degree Feedback Process

November 17, 2012 by Sandra Mashihi

“How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time.”    Fred Brooks

Most 360-degree feedback processes share a common timeline. The recommended process below will give you an idea of how long each step in a complete 360-degree feedback process might take, although it is highly dependent on the company culture, the purpose of the 360-degree intervention, and the availability of raters.

  • Communication of 360-degree feedback process: (1-2 weeks, if in-house meetings are conducted with participants, invited raters, and managers)
  • Selecting raters: (1-2 weeks, if participants discuss their rater pool with their manager)
  • Distribution of online questionnaires: (1 week)
  • Completion of online questionnaires: (2-4 weeks, but this depends on the nature of the project and organization)
  • Processing of 360-degree feedback reports: (1-2 days)
  • Feedback meetings: (1-2 hours for each participant)
  • Completion of development plan using Momentor: (1-2 weeks)
  • Progress Pulse: (6-12 months)
  • Reassessment: (12-18 months)

Coach’s Critique:
When clients call us up to ask about the timeline of a typical 360, we lay out the information above. What I find ironic, is that although many organizations seem to display urgency to get the 360 system going, they seem to back off throughout the process of implementing 360s, which can lead to several months off schedule towards completion. Even then, many organization don’t even go through the completion of it, and generally tend to lag when it comes to development planning and reassessment.

So, in order to maintain the scheduled 360 process timeline, it is important for all 360 implementers and stakeholders (e.g. HR rep., coach, consultant, executive stakeholder, manager, etc.) to be proactive in making sure all steps are accomplished.

First, it is important to make sure when the 360 is implemented to be clear about the deadline. Often times, participants lag with getting them done, sometime can throw the process off by a month. Second, when the 360 report is generated, stakeholders need to ensure the immediate step of setting up development plans. Often times, when time passes after a participant reviews his or her report, he or she never ends up getting to planning the development goals. Third, goals need to be tracked on time, to ensure accountability.Finally, when too much time is allocated to completing goals, sometimes participants are likely to lose motivation in completing them. Other work priorities may interfere, and participants are likely to place their development plans on the “back burner”.

So, time is of value in the 360 degree process! Delaying the steps within the process can actually minimize its effectiveness and reduce the motivation of constituents to stay up to par with completing the process.

What has been your experience with the timeline of 360-degree feedback process? Do you see “lags” taking place? If so, what causes them?

Dr. Sandra Mashihi is a senior consultant with Envisia Learning, Inc. She has extensive experience in sales training, behavioral assessments and executive coaching. Prior to working at Envisia Learning, Inc., She was an internal Organizational Development Consultant at Marcus & Millichap where she was responsible for initiatives within training & development and recruiting.. Sandra received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles and received her Master of Science and Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.

Posted in 360 Degree Feedback

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  • Milbert

    A very nice article.

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