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Lean Startup Performance Reviews (aka "Pirate Performance")

We apply Lean Startup performance evaluations to business outcomes. We evaluate our employees on their performance within the company. Can these two things be merged?  Should they be?

This month we're going to adopt an alternate format and run an exploratory session around Lean Startup, Pirate Metrics, and Employee Performance Reviews, facilitated by Pete Oliver-Krueger.  If you are new to Lean Startup, this format will give you a chance to see Lean Startup analysis in action. If you have experience with Lean Startup come help shape the discussion.  (Experience with HR, Personnel Management, and Performance reviews is nice to have, but also not required.)

We'll kick off the session with a review of what Pirate Metrics are, and an introduction to the Enneagram, a system of 9 archetypes, that will serve as a framework - a discussion shortcut of terms - to explore how Lean Startup might affect the wide variety of personalities found within any company.

Through this lens, Pete will present a hypothesis on how employee success, quality of work, quality of life, and maybe even happiness can be measured, and correlated to overall company health, success, and happiness.  For example, instead of setting just any goals for the year, employees can set goals targeted at one or more of the Pirate Metrics: Awareness, Activation, Retention, Referral, or Revenue.  Employees could also earn "Assists", like in hockey, for assisting someone else's goals. 

Then we'll launch into roundtable discussions and brainstorming exercises.  What are the Problem Hypotheses of performance reviews? Is this approach a solution for those problems? How would we test these hypotheses, and their potential success and failure? What other factors might get in the way, or require their own testing? What should we add? Have any of these techniques already been tried, and what were the outcomes?

Pete Oliver-Krueger has presented on Lean Startup topics here at Lean Startup in the Enterprise, Lean/Agile DC, DC Lean Startup Circle, and elsewhere. He is also a cofounder of the new Lean Startup Academy (link:  He currently owns his own company which helps large and small businesses implement Lean-Startup-style development and business practices in the DC area. Before starting his own company he managed products and people as a Development/Product Manager for companies like TD Ameritrade, the Air Force, and the FDA.

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  • Peter O.

    Hey folks, here's a link to the presentation slides! Thanks again for coming out and participating!

    1 · April 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice work, Pete ... appreciate the time you took to share with us!

    April 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    A great experiment and proposal to a domain long overdue for a creative solution. The presenter brought together diverse ideas into a cohesive model that makes you rethink the way to hire, nurture, motivate, empower, evaluate and grow employees. Thank you.

    April 10, 2014

  • Jason M.

    Sorry, folks, would love to make it, but I've got a recurring conflict for the next month-and-a-half or so. Catch up with you all after!

    April 3, 2014

    • Sanjiv A.

      Sorry to miss you, and see you when you get back!

      April 3, 2014

  • MeL


    March 29, 2014

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