To make team reviews, come to Intelligent Consensus
- By Larry Stevens
- May 26, 1997
Its 360-degree feedback, or multirater, methodology has two big advantages over the
conventional assessment process. First, an evaluation probably will be more accurate
because it isn't based on a single person's opinion. Second, the employee is more likely
to take seriously an evaluation by several peers.
Intelligent Consensus is in use at the Energy and Education departments and the U.S.
Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Ala. It provides a relatively easy
template to select respondents, collect data and produce reports.
The program comes with a people database and a criteria database that have questions
that can be placed in a survey. To create a survey, you click on the names of the
evaluators and then select the criteria.
The program outputs a copy of the survey for each evaluator on disk or paper or to
e-mail. Each rater responds to the questions using a numeric scale and optional freeform
text. Once all the data is collected, the program creates a report with a composite rating
for each criterion.
Intelligent Consensus gives you a lot of control over the survey and the report. You
can identify people by categories, making it easier to select different types of raters.
You can define factors, which are groups of related criteria, and you can specify the
weight each criterion or each respondent type will have in the overall score.
The graphical interface is attractive, and functions are easy to access with buttons
and pull-down menus. But there's no walk-through help for setup or for creating the
The documentation is inadequate. Details about how to perform each activity are
complete, but nowhere are all the steps spelled out concisely. This program would benefit
from a quick-start section in the manual or on screen.
Another problem is that, although the manual explains how to do things, it often
doesn't point out why you'd want to do them.
Under the heading Set Weight for Respondent Type, you read, "Weights are
multipliers that can be assigned to respondent types, affecting how much the composite
score is influenced." But there's no explanation for why you would assign varying
Intelligent Consensus is a client-server package for organizations with 100 to 10,000
employees, who receive feedback from others. The software is priced on a per-subject
Insight Profiles, a non-networked version, is for organizations with up to 300 users
and is priced at $99 for the first user and $50 for each additional user.