PerformanceHub Update

New in this release: Interim Review Enhancements

  • The interim name (e.g. Mid-Year Review) is now referenced throughout PerformanceHub (no more references to a generic ‘interim’ which sometimes confused people).
  • You can now define your own instructional text for each interim. For example, you might want to remind people what they should be talking about during their interim meeting, or if you have more than one interim per year, what they should focus on in the 1st one vs the 2nd one.
  • You can now define your own prompt text that is shown to a user before they have entered any text.
  • There is a new Objectives option that says the due date for objectives should default to the next interim review, rather than the end of the period. If you want employees to set six-monthly objectives, for example, then adding a Mid-Year interim review and enabling this option will do the trick.
  • We’ve also made it easier to define interims (no more messing around with start and deadline dates clashing)
  • And finally, interims are automatically created when you create a new review period based on the ones you had set-up in the previous one.

Along with the changes we made a little while ago (ability to delete and add interims on a per employee basis) we think that you’ll be rocking your interim reviews from now on.

Also in this release

User Experience Enhancements:

  • More intelligent default period selection when you are currently ‘between periods’ (ie, have a gap between the old one ending and the new one starting).
  • The calendar pop-up will now not be mangled by Google Translate
  • Interims now show when each participant completed their section
  • If an interim review has been closed centrally, then when people are looking at appraisals later in the review period, incomplete interims are shown with less prominence
  • HR now get a reminder email 1 week before an interim is about to start just in case you want to adjust the dates
  • The employee’s Location is now added to the Appraisals Summary report
  • We’ve added objective weights and ratings to the Objectives Details report

Bug Fixes:

  • Probation reviews for past employees were not showing in the probation reviews manager table in some circumstances
  • If a past employee re-joins, their appraisals will be re-animated in the correct state
  • Long day names (e.g. Wednesday) could sometime spill out of their container and look messy
  • If someone is marked as being on Family or Long-term leave and they had HR Admin rights, you couldn’t remove admin rights from them
  • When creating a new review period, employees is certain states and with a 2nd line manager were not getting new appraisals set with the right status.

Cogendo Achieve ISO 27001 Certification

Today we’re proud to announce that Cogendo has been certified for compliance with the ISO 27001 information security standard.

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security management. It specifies a set of best practices and controls for information management.


This means that as an organisation we have:

  • Examined our information security risks.
  • Designed a set of security controls to mitigate these risks.
  • Put in place a documented Information Security Management System (ISMS) that not only ensures that we’re doing the right things today, but that we’ll continue to do them, and monitor our performance.
  • Conducted an internal audit of the above to test for conformity.
  • Undertaken two audits conducted by an ISO-accredited independent certification body to test for conformity.


But it doesn’t end there! Although our certificate is valid for three years, we will have annual surveillance audits, where the certification body ensures that we are maintaining our good practices, and have processes in place to ensure that we’re continually improving our ISMS. After three years we’ll go through another full audit, to earn a certificate for another three years.


How Does This Affect Cogendo?

We have always taken data security and privacy very seriously at Cogendo, so formalising our existing practices was the natural thing to do. Now Cogendo has formally adopted a broad set of security best practices, this certification confirms our ongoing commitment to the security, confidentiality, and high availability of our services.


It’s important to understand that ISO 27001 isn’t just a ‘one-off’ audit, but an ongoing and monitored process of continuous improvement, review, and engagement with security standards and processes.


What Does This Mean for Our Customers?

You have an assurance that we are operating in a professional manner that highly values security and is compliant with an internationally recognised standard, which has been audited by an accredited third party. This certification also provides additional clarity and assurance to you when evaluating the quality, breadth, and strength of our security practices.


If you have any questions about ISO 27001, our certification, and our Information Security Management System (ISMS), please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Data Protection Officer, at

Cogendo is now a Crown Commercial Service supplier

Cogendo is pleased to announce that PerformanceHub is now available through the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) – G6 Digital Marketplace.

If you are in the public sector and are interested in introducing an online performance management system, then you will find us in the G6 Digital Marketplace.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has brought together Government’s central commercial capability into a single organisation, amalgamating Government Procurement Service with other commercial teams from the Cabinet Office and central government departments.

CCS is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office and operates as a trading fund under the Government Trading Funds Act 1973. Their remit is to work with both departments and organisations across the whole of the public sector to ensure maximum value is extracted from every commercial relationship and improve the quality of service delivery.

The CCS goal is to become the “go-to” place for expert commercial and procurement services.

With both service delivery and advisory capability, services include contract management and supplier performance management to ensure that the Government acts as a true, single customer; freeing up individual organisations to focus their procurement expertise on what is unique to them.

New Release: PerformanceHub V3

We have some news we’re very excited to share with you.

Over the last few months, we have been analysing usage patterns and collecting user feedback to help us re-think PerformanceHub’s look and feel.

After weeks of tireless effort, this weekend we will release PerformanceHub 3, so here’s a sneak preview…

Overview of the changes

  • All screens have been simplified, removing visual distractions
  • The navigation is now oriented around major work items: Objectives and Appraisals
  • Improved the names of the stages in the objective lifecycle, and now give better in-line directions.
  • Simplified the dashboard so it only shows things you need to do, in a simpler format
  • Separated out HR and Admin functions from the main user interface
  • Given it a new home – (the old one will redirect you automatically)

Some more details

User interface redesign and the new navigation bar

We have simplified the interface, allowing your employees to concentrate on what’s important, whilst giving them on-screen direction as to what they need to do next to keep the process moving. The old navigation bar had a My tab to distinguish between your objectives and appraisals, and if you were a manager, your team’s. However, over 70% of users aren’t managers, so the My tab was a distraction.

The new navigation bar doesn’t have sub-tabs. The new navigation bar is provides quick access to the 3 main areas of interest: Objectives, Appraisals and Company information. Managers now switch between their objectives/appraisals and their team’s using the sidebar. For the 70% of an organisation who aren’t managers, they don’t get a sidebar, simplifying screens further.

Take a look at a screen shot of objectives for a manager with both direct reports and matrixed reports:

PerformanceHub Objectives tab screenshot

Reduced visual clutter

Many screens now look less cluttered, and some of you will be pleased to see that we’ve made the text bigger!

Take a look at the objectives list in the screen above, it’s much cleaner, allowing you to focus on what’s important. Don’t worry, you can still drill into an objective to see the details and perform actions, like this:

PerformanceHub Objectives capture screenshot

See how we have separated out the objective details from the objective’s review information. To switch between the two, use the tabs at the bottom of the information screen. PerformanceHub will automatically open the objective’s details on the most appropriate tab.

We’ve also replaced the traffic light with a new ‘timer’ icon which now only shows in red and amber situations. Why a timer icon and not just a red or amber badge? Well, we wanted to help people with certain types of colourblindness differentiate between red and amber items.

PerformanceHub Objectives list screenshot

Improved objectives lifecycle and in-line direction

Based on user feedback, we removed the need to tell PerformanceHub that you have completed an objective in order to review it. Now, you simply say “Ready for Review”. We found that some users were getting confused over the objective state “Complete”. It was intended to show that the objective work was complete, but not reviewed yet. Some people thought that it meant no more actions were required, even though the review itself wasn’t complete. Also, there’s the situation where an objective’s work may not be complete, but it must still be reviewed. Marking objectives as complete in those situations wasn’t the obvious thing to do.

The new objective lifecycle goes like this:

PerformanceHub Objectives progression

PerformanceHub will tell you where an objective is in the lifecycle, and if required, tell you what you need to do next to progress it, like this:

PerformanceHub Objectives review screenshot

See how the state on the top right is saying “In review: give rating” and the information box gives more details as to what is required.

Dashboard updates

Based on user feedback, we have removed ‘checkboxes’ from the dashboard and now only show items that require your attention. Buttons are colour coded to show urgency and clicking on the button will take you to the most appropriate screen.

PerformanceHub old dashboard tab screenshot

HR and Admin Screens:

HR and the CEO get a special dashboard screen with direct access to reports, like this:

PerformanceHub HR Dash tab screenshot

Finally, we have placed Admin and HR access into the drop-down menu on the top right and reorganised some of the content. Anything related to how PerformanceHub works is now under “Configuration” and any HR actions relating to employees are under “Employees.

PerformanceHub More actions screenshot

Once you are in one of these screens, the navigation bar changes colour from blue to green, so you can differentiate between “HR” tasks and your own tasks as an employee or manager.

We realise that a change like this can be a little daunting, but your employees will instantly recognise how to use the new system based on their experiences of the old.

As ever, your feedback is a powerful motivator, so please let us know what you think of these changes, especially once you have used them for a few days. As a note, we’re not resting easy on this, we have plenty more ideas in the pipeline in our quest to make PerformanceHub the most intuitive performance management tool on the market.

Latest PerformanceHub Release

We’ve just released a new version of PerformanceHub. The highlights are:


  1. A new interactive appraisals dashboard, which is available for all managers
  2. 30+ user-inspired usability enhancements
  3. Speed improvements


Interactive appraisals dashboard
The new appraisals dashboard is available to all managers from the Dashboard tab. Users with HR permissions also get a special “CEO’s view” so they can look at the entire company. The dashboard shows you where appraisals are in the process for your team. Depending on how big your team is, it will also show you information about your direct reports’ teams, and the deeper organisation under you (ie, if your direct reports have 2nd line reports of their own). You can drill into anyone listed in the dashboard to see the dashboard from that person’s point of view. This is a great way to get into the details and find managers who may be bottlenecking the process.


Once we’ve had feedback on the new appraisals dashboard, we’ll update the objectives dashboard to make it interactive in the same way. So let us know what you think, please!


Usability enhancements
We have been working closely with our customers to get usability feedback. As a result, we have made over 30 small changes to help users understand what they need to do when, and make PerformanceHub easier to use. We will be releasing more of these changes over time, so let us know if you can think of any ways we could make your life with PerformanceHub easier.


Speed improvements
No one likes a slow website, so we keep an eye on how responsive PerformanceHub is. PerformanceHub is by no means slow, but there are always ways to improve things. This release has the first set of speed improvements, there will be more coming soon.


More features are on the way soon, so keep an eye out for the next update.

It’s the little things…..

We’ve not posted any updates for a while, but that doesn’t mean we’ve been idle. In fact, we’ve been through an intense round of updates driven by feedback from our users. Here are the highlights:
Easy reviews:
Managers can now progress objective reviews for their whole team at the press of a button making the process a lot easier
Easy appraisal close:
HR can now close an appraisal and the associated objectives are automatically closed saving HR even more time
Encourage objective linkage:
HR can enable a feature to encourage managers to link objectives together by alerting them to orphaned objectives in their dashboard. Managers can now link objectives straight from their dashboard and also using the cascade button
Enforced browser control:
We don’t let people log in if they are using really old versions of Internet Explorer and we will warn people if they are using a browser that maybe slow or have security issues
Better dashboard:
We have added more dashboard nags, improved the wording of many and stopped some from appearing if there was nothing the user could action to get rid of it
Performance improvements:
Some HR screens were a bit slow to load for large organisations. We’ve made progress here and have plans to make more
Bug fixes:
Yeah, we have them too, but when we find them we squish them.

Browser Tech and Google’s Stand.

I must say, we were pleased to read Google’s announcement that they will no longer support legacy browsers for certain service features. Google’s vice president of engineering, Venkat Panchapakesan, wrote in a blog post: “Older browsers just don’t have the chops to provide you with the same high-quality experience.”

This is great news for us. Without the backing of the big boys like Google, the world just won’t move on.  Our development cycles are extended by about 20% to ensure we work on older browsers and in most cases we have to write special code to cope with legacy bugs (that perpetuate into newer browsers for ‘compatibility’ reasons). It’s all very tedious.

We want to give our users the best experience possible. We also want to move our products forward quickly and smoothly, but these aspirations are impeded by outdated tech that is oh-so-simple to update.

This reminds me of my Vodafone days when mobile data was growing up fast. We would spend both an age and a fortune trying to ensure that services worked with legacy devices. Usually, this necessitated a reduction in functionality of new services we were trying to launch. In the end, we’d launch a product that didn’t work very well on older devices or work as well as it could on newer ones.  The irony was that the kind of people who owned the older devices neither wanted or cared about funky new services in the first place, so it just hurt the people that did.

Back to Cogendo and we’re also liking Google’s Chrome browser. From a compatibility stand-point it seems to be rock solid. It also, in our opinion at least, seems to be leading the way in functionality, security and speed. We also like Chrome’s fast, incremental updates. Does this make us fringe and alienate us from our own customers….? Not nowadays we think.