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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Technology Services

BTS HelpDesk: 503-823-5199

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1111, Portland, OR 97204

PMGM - Performance & Objectives FAQ




Why are we using a calendar year instead of using the fiscal year?  

In designing this new process, we looked at a fiscal year, a calendar year, as well as a custom fixed twelve-month schedule for our review cycle.

There were definite pros and cons for each approach, but the calendar year was found to be easiest to follow and allowed for key conversations to take place outside of high vacation usage periods as well as other competing operational priorities.


What happens if an employee who is in a pilot bureau moves into a bureau that is not in the pilot project?


If a participant moves out of a bureau participating in this pilot they will follow the performance review process in place within their new bureau.  


What happens if an employee who is not in a pilot bureau moves into a bureau that is in the pilot project? 


New hires or City employees who move into a pilot bureau on or before October 1, 2019 will be eligible for a prorated merit increase in January of the following year.

New hires who join the City or transfer into a pilot bureau on or after October 2, 2019 will not be eligible for a merit increase in January. These employees would be eligible for a full merit increase the following January plus an additional proration for their initial calendar years’ service.


What happens if an employee in a pilot bureau changes manager during the calendar year? 


Pilot participants who change managers but remain in a pilot bureau during the year will be eligible for an unreduced merit award and will require that the current manager and the previous manager coordinate on an overall rating during the Align phase (Oct – Dec).

If the change occurs after the Assess phase (Jan – Mar), objectives from the prior position will remain on the performance form. An appropriate status can be selected, and comments can be added to reflect that the objective is no longer a current expectation in their new role.


What if I already have objectives in process?


While objective setting for each new calendar year will take place during the Assess phase (Jan – Mar), objectives are not static and will likely roll over into new calendar years. As you and your manager define Service and People objectives in the system, you may already have objectives or goals in progress that will transfer directly into this new process. Throughout the year, the check-in process is an opportunity to update progress on each objective, add new objectives, as well as modify the status of existing objectives (on-track, behind, completed, postponed, or cancelled).


What is a calibration meeting?


Calibration meetings takes place after the employee and manager assessment phase. In this meeting, managers discuss how to apply a similar performance standard for all employees and help eliminate

any potential manager bias. For example, prior to using performance review calibrations, all employees working for one manager may receive “outstanding” ratings while employees working for another manager may receive a wide variety of ratings for the same job. The reviews between the two teams would need to be calibrated to take into account the different reviewing styles and get a better idea of who is really doing well and who is not. Ultimately, calibration establishes a common and well understood definition of performance across the City.


Who can see my objectives in SuccessFactors?


An employee and their manager can see both Service and People objectives for that employee. View access is also available to the employee’s 2nd level manager, who can see the objectives but cannot edit them. Bureau HR Business Partners will have access to performance review forms during the calibration process, and to ensure adequate system support, certain individuals will be granted administrator status in the system to help route forms and make corrections as necessary. 

Finally, employees will have view access to their direct managers Service objectives to ensure alignment. Employees will not have access to their manager’s People objectives.


Can I access SuccessFactors’ Performance and Development Review software from my phone?


Yes, you can download the SuccessFactors App to your City issued mobile device.

In accordance with HRAR 4.08, all work related electronic communications should occur on City devices, so personal mobile phones should not be used.

Applications are available in Google Play and in the Apple App Store.

Setup instructions are available on the CityLearner homepage under the “Mobile Application” tile. 


When will we get training on how to use the SuccessFactors software?


We will be providing information on system training in January. However, over the course of this pilot you can expect just-in-time training on each phase of the performance cycle.


Are performance reviews subject to public disclosure?


Generally speaking, employee evaluation information is considered to be personal in nature and would be exempt from public disclosure under the exemption in the public records law for “information of a personal nature.” (ORS 192.355(2)).

However, this exemption, like most public records exemptions, is subject to a “public interest” exception when it is determined that the public interest in disclosure in the particular instance requires disclosure.

It is also clear that the methodology used for completing evaluations, as opposed to information in the evaluations themselves, will almost always be subject to public release. 


What do I need to be doing right now?


Right now, we are asking all pilot participants to wrap up existing anniversary-based reviews with their manager, to start thinking about what good service and people objectives would be for them, and to be on the lookout for more information on system training in January.




Question Answer
What does “Cascade” under the “Actions tab do?

Both Cascade and Group objectives allow a manager to place objectives on a direct report’s Objective Plan.  The Group Objective allows a manager to send updates to the entire team and delete an objective in a single delete action.  Cascade requires a manager to individually edit the objective and requires an individual delete action on each of their direct report’s objective.

What is the difference between “Mass Assign” and “Launch Team Objective?”  

Mass Assign is used when assigning a group objective and that group objective ends up on the manager’s and the direct report’s Objectives.  Team Objectives are launched to the team, but they do not remain on the manager’s objectives.

What actions trigger an email notification to the Manager or employee that something has been done in the system? 

We have limited notifications to two main email notices.  The first is Document Routing Notification (when the performance form is launched, and steps are completed a notification will be sent when the document goes to the next step).  The second is Step Over Due Notification (an email will be sent to a user when a document in his/her inbox passed the route step due day).

For a Manager to approve all of the objectives under service or people, do they simply click on “Approved” on the top left corner, or is there something else they have to do? 

Managers will need to click “Approved” for both the Service Objectives and the People Objectives for each of their direct reports.  This approval is not permanent and can be changed to “Unapproved” if they want to give the employee an opportunity to make additional edits in the objectives plan.  The manager can make edits while the form is in the “Approved” state.  Once Performance Forms are launched on April 1st, the manager will want to make sure that the Objectives are “Approved” so they show up on the Performance Form.  Additional Objectives can be added by manager and employee to the Performance Form as the year progresses rather than going back to the Objectives form.

Where in the system, will Managers enter their scores at the end of the year?  

That will also be within the Performance Form that will be launched on April 1st.

Is there a maximum # of objectives that can be entered in the system?

There is no maximum number of objectives just a minimum of 3 for each category of Service and People. Employees and their Manager’s should consider that too many objectives dilute the value of any one objective in calculating the employee’s overall rating. Therefore, we recommend 3-5 as a good range. 

What about employees that are hired or promoted into a non-rep position in one of the pilot groups – will they be part of this pilot? 

New hires or City employees who move into a pilot bureau on or before October 1, 2019 will be eligible for a prorated merit increase in January of the following year.

New hires who join the City on or after October 2, 2019 will not be eligible for a merit increase in January. These employees would be eligible for a full merit increase the following January plus an additional proration for their initial calendar years’ service.

Under “Visibility”, what does “Public” mean?  

All objectives in our system are considered public. We have turned off the system capability to create private objectives, which are only visible to the employee and not their manager.

After the objectives are “approved”, what specifically can be edited? 

In the Edit Objective window, the Status can be updated with one of the dropdown choices (Not Started; On Track; Behind; Completed; Postponed; Cancelled).  Within the Milestones, the Target Date, Milestone Verbiage, and Actual Date are all editable.  Additionally, multiple milestones can be added to a single objective, their order can be changed, and they can be deleted.  These fields are also editable within the Performance Form when it is launched in the next phase (Refine Phase).

A manager can edit both approved and unapproved objectives.  Employees can create and edit the language of unapproved objectives only.  A manager and employee should sit down and discuss objectives prior to manager approving the objective.  However, if necessary, a manager can edit the objective or unapproved an objective to allow an employee to make edits and then the manager will need to approve that objective again.

When and why should I delete an objective?

It is recommended to minimize the use of delete with Objectives.  Ideally, deleting an objective would only occur is it was somehow a duplicate or a mistake.

If the objective was agreed upon and then something changes (budget, projects change, etc), then, change the status to “cancelled” or “postponed”.  The Objective can exist without the employee being rated against it in the evaluation.  Alternatively, if the employee was very productive in efforts that are cancelled or postponed, they can be evaluated on those efforts and acknowledged for that work even with changing priorities.  The system will have the history of the work activity and it can be rolled into the next years objective plan if it is merely postponed.

What is the “reporting” function? I checked a few manager accounts while in the trainings and they didn’t have anything in that dropdown. 

Currently, the reporting functionality is limited to HRBPs, and the SF Performance Team.  As we learn more about the functionality of the reporting tool, we will increase user access if applicable.

If a manager fails to approve the objectives, what happens on April 1st?  

A form is created irrespective of the number of objectives or the objectives being unapproved. The system does not prevent us from creating a form.

Also, on April 1st the form will be created in mass. We have not yet given option to managers to create form in production as we planned to turn on this capability after we do the mass launch.

(Manager) What if my new direct report does not show up under me in SuccessFactors?

Timing is everything.  When a new direct report is hired, the action must be completed in SAP and then uploaded into SF (SuccessFactors).  The uploads are currently scheduled for midnight between Sunday night and Monday mornings.  If you are seeing your direct report in the MSS (Manager Self Service) Portal, then within a week or so, you should see their information as your direct report in SF.

(Employee) What if I go into my Objective plan and I no longer have an “Add Objective” Button?

First check to see if your Service Objective is Approved or your People Objective is Approved.  If they are approved, then you cannot add a new objective.  You may need to ask your manager to change the status of the respective Service or People Objective to Unapproved.