DATE: January 15, 20––
TO: Michael Bond
CC: David Johansen, Kathy Richardson
FROM: Barbara Howard
SUBJECT: My contributions to Silicon Valley, Inc.
I have completed in-depth discussions with the people you recommended, and I would like to summarize what I've heard and realized, my beliefs about what I need to do, and evidence of constructive actions taken since my poor performance review. Please consider these factors in the decision whether outplacement is appropriate.
Issues for improvement noted by manufacturing managers:
Excessive analysis or "perfecting," leading to low productivity.
Errors in prioritizing goals and conflicting inputs.
Inadequate communication with team members and supervisor.
My realizations and convictions following recent interviews:
In 20––, my contribution to Silicon Valley, Inc. was not acceptable either to me or to you. I need to:
Take the initiative to identify changes which will make a tangible difference in the product line;
Be tenacious in causing these effects to be realized in a minimal time period;
Create closer linkage with our team and management to achieve a consensus about priorities and my agenda;
Focus my 15 years of experience on judging the shortest path to effective results; and
Avoid unnecessary diversions from the key commitments.
January 15, 20––
What I have addressed and changed since my last review:
An example of productivity and avoiding "perfecting" is four completed Engineering Change Order releases of all KKD, Checkout, and Product Acceptance procedures of SEMI and T-Systems, as the products have evolved through trials, controlled release, and first production. These were on time, easier to use, and have credibility with the Checkout Technicians because they were heavily involved in the development. There were few errors noted in recent audit.
Toward improving communication and prioritizing, I initiated "On-Target" objective tracking, as well as weekly "defect resolution" meetings with Checkout and team engineers/designers. Defect diagnosis and elimination, training, and cooperation are the goals.
In the area of responsiveness to varied inputs, my role as Product Engineer for review and classification of all SEMI-2 Engineering Change Orders has been executed with quick turn-around times and concise recommendations to originators.
There is no doubt of my error in failing to confront the issues of my review more widely. Whereas I consulted only Jim Thomas, Bill Randolph, and certain SEMI-2 team members, I would have done better to work with you and the managers recently interviewed. However, the issues have been addressed in earnest over the last six months and I feel that substantive corrections have already begun. Based on recent candid feedback from my teammates and manager, I feel comfortable in recommending their opinions to you as evidence of improved contribution.
My ability to change certain behaviors:
Some course corrections have occurred, Mike, but we both know that behavioral changes are evolutionary and progress slowly, if they happen at all. However, I'd like to offer some evidence of meaningful change which came unexpectedly in the recent interviews. In discussing some positive attributes, a number of managers used words like "personable," "well-liked," or "easy to get along with." This was good news to me because a key Area-For-Improvement in my early years at Silicon Valley, Inc. was "interpersonal skills." I'm suggesting that this behavior has been altered enough to be no longer an issue.
In summary, Mike, I believe that my level of contribution has improved visibly this year and that most members of my team would agree. I hope you will consider recent performance in your decision.
Wishing you well,