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A performance management assessment is a measurement of how well a person or group performed a specified task. These assessments are often used as a benchmark in the business world when one group is compared to another. Outside the business world, they are used to measure nearly any activity where a task is completed. There are basic performance models for things as varied as how children perform on a standardized test to how well a computer program simulates a situation.
Performance management is a practice that has existed for a very long time. People have assessed the final outcome of tasks and rated the participants for centuries. Even with its huge background, it didn’t become a codified science until the 1970s. In the years that followed, computer-based record keeping and simulations enhanced the processes, which made the systems more streamlined and easier to use.
One of the more common ways for a person to come across a performance management assessment is in a business or corporate setting. These assessments are used to rate the activities in many companies to find inefficiencies in their methods, employees and systems. Since record keeping and self-governance are part of most large business, the performance management assessment methods fit right in with the current systems.
There are two common situations where these processes are used. The first is a breakdown of the actions of a particular subarea of the company, such as a particular department, project or employee. These types of assessments determine the viability of continuing in a certain direction, such as when a project should end and whether an employee should be promoted or fired, in addition to other performance-based issues.
The other common method is as a benchmark for a particular employee's or team's overall competence. When people are placed on a project, a performance management assessment will help determine the proper qualifications, skills and performance required for the project. If the project is very important and prominent in marketing and media, past assessments will help find the best individuals and teams to work on the project. If the project is less important or lower-profile, less important or competent workers may be chosen.
While a performance management assessment is very common in the business world, it is found in other places as well. Among the most common non-business places to find these assessments are schools. Standardized tests and education-based competitions, such as spelling bees or debates, are a method of categorizing children based on their current ability. These assessments show which children are excelling and which are falling behind.