Sep 03, 2015

Framework for thinking about performance

The vector performance could be broken into four principal components:

  • Technical skill – Roughly defined as "fluency with tools," or "ability to select and apply tools to the task at hand." Examples include coding in a computing language, driving a car, playing a sport, applying a statistical test to a dataset, executing a chemistry experiment, etc.
  • Expressiveness – Roughly defined as "ability to communicate work progress and goals to others." Encompasses the domains of written and verbal communication, which means this is possibly a subset of technical skill, but it seems important enough to be separated out as a distinct part.
  • Project management – Roughly defined as "ability to triage tasks," or "ability to organize a set of tasks in order of priority and execute on this ordering." Examples include email inbox management, making to-do lists and schedules, dividing a block of time between two competing tasks.
  • Vision – Roughly defined as "ability to decide what to do next." Examples include designing a marketing strategy, thinking X moves ahead in a game of chess, anticipating the actions of a political opponent and creating a response.

There is a lot of overlap and interplay between these components, and the divides between are fuzzy.

This is the current framework I'm using to think about my skill set. I think I'm strong on technical skill (and technical skill acquisition), project management and written expressiveness. I think I'm weak on verbal expressiveness and vision.

[rereads: 2, edits: changed _code_ tags to _i_ tags. I thought the _code_ tags would look cool, but I was wrong. Also, I wrote this in < 20 minutes, which I'm proud about and thought I'd share]