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ASK THE CAPITALIST: How Can I Do a 9-Box on a Budget?

Hi Kris -
Thank you for hosting a great webinar.
It was great. I laughed, I cried, and I learned a lot!
I was wondering if you had any suggestions on low cost or low tech solutions for starting the 9 Box process for smaller companies? We are about 160 people, so not really small but we are tight on cash and I need to make a case for the value of the system before I can usually get approval for budget and I wanted to try to figure out how I can make this happen.
We are currently using ADP and it’s clunky but does the job especially for payroll.
Just wondering if you know of any lighter solutions or ways that companies have hacked this together before!
Thanks, JD
JD - 
Your situation isn't unusual.  You've got big plans and want to apply the best tools you can find, but like many sharp HR pros, you've got a limited budget.
Here's what I would tell you - You've got 160 employees, which means if you want to do a Performance vs Potential 9-Box and the Talent Review that should always accompany it, you're small enough to do the 9-Box manually, with an assist from Excel. 
You might not need any fancy technology.
Here's how to get at the 9 box via Excel:
1. Come up with a listing of all your performance ratings, and then adjust them by percentile 0-100 for use in creating your 9-Box.
2. Next, you've got to run a similar process with the concept of Potential.  Pick one of the 4 ways I talked about doing that in the webinar, then use excel to normalize those ratings of potential on the same 0-100 concept I mentioned with performance.
3. Finally, watch this video on creating a X/Y Scatterplot in Excel.
If you do a good enough job figuring out how to transition your performance/potential data to a 0-100 scale, you're going to end up with a decent 9-Box out of Excel.  You might have to draw you grid lines, but you can handle that.
Let me know how the bootstrapping goes.  Video below:


Jonathan Hughes

I would love to know how you do step 1

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