How should we compensate IT Staff?

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Currently, most IT professionals are salaried and their compensation is not linked to productivity or results.  If we could link pay to productivity, one could assume that people would be more accountable.  Linking pay to productivity solves some problems and creates new ones. Currently, pay is influenced by many factors (personality, relationships) that have nothing to do with productivity. In many cases, productivity is not a factor.

Challenges: How do we define productivity so it cannot be mis-used? (e.g. counting lines of code would cause people to write larger programs). What if there is a lull in the work and a person has no assignments? How do we measure the productivity of creative processes such as design?

One possible solution: When people accept assignments, they should accept responsibility for the completion date, estimate, quality, and process compliance. If they have an issue with any of these, they should resolve the issues at the beginning of the assignment. Once the assignment and conditions are accepted, the person needs to meet or exceed the criteria to receive a bonus. This would make people more accountable for their work and help keep projects on budget and on-schedule.  It would also help to overcome the subjective criteria that seems to reward people based on personality and relationships.

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