Ask PI Midlantic - Agreeing on a Final PRO

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Question:

Dear PI Midlantic,

After a team of us has filled out the PRO, I sometimes have trouble gaining consensus on the Final PRO. Do you have suggestions for this process?

Bill from Annapolis, MD

 

 

 

Answer:

 

Dear Bill,
What you want to do is hold a meeting to iron out the differences. Here’s a good process to use  for that meeting:

1. Make a list of what we all agree on. Which Factors (High/Low) and Factor Combinations do we all have in common?

2. Make a list of the Factors and Factor Combinations that are different.

3. Describe, in words, what the list in Step 1 tells you. That is, what behaviors does everyone agree are required for excellence in the position? This confirms the basics, and establishes a tone of cooperation for the meeting.

4. Describe, in words, the differences shown in the second list. Give each person a chance to discuss why they think the position requires the behaviors their PRO shows. This step is really the meat of the discussion: when there are differences in the PRO, it’s because different people have different ideas about what the job requires. By hearing each person’s opinions, we’re getting the most information possible on what it takes to do the job.

5. Once you’ve ironed out the differences, use your PI software to create a Final PRO. Print it and attach it to your job description for reference. Share it with all necessary parties.

Here are a few ideas if Step 4 is giving you trouble:

  • Discuss which specific items each person checked and didn’t check on the actual PRO Checklist. (If you’re using accessPI the software will print the list automatically for you). The group can then check/uncheck items as a result of the consensus view, and you can re-graph the PRO using the agreed-upon items.
  • Make a list of the major job functions and rank them by priority and/or percentage of time spent on those aspects of the job.
  • Are some people capturing “today” and others capturing “the ideal?” Are some folks, knowingly or not, redesigning the position? Is now the time to do that?
  • Did you assemble the right brain trust? That is, are there people in the room who simply don’t understand the job? If so, help them understand what the job’s really about.

You’re wise to take this process so seriously. The kind of questioning and analysis described here often leads to a much improved and clearer job definition. We have even seen cases where the differences in two views of the job were so clear and distinct, the client concluded they really had two different jobs, not one. Also, when you do not get consensus on the position, it means that people disagree on what’s important in the position. When you hire into an environment that lacks agreement on job definition, you’re practically ensuring turnover. The steps you’re taking will definitely save you time and money down the road.

Sincerely,
Steve Picarde, Jr.
PI Midlantic