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By Matthew Boyle

Like beauty, productivity is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. An employee may think she’s a real go-getter only to learn months later, when the annual bonus and performance review are discussed, that she’s nothing special.

Replicon’s new ProMax software tool hopes to change that. Alberta-based Replicon, makers of time-sheet management software for companies like Kraft and Hewlett-Packard, launched ProMax as an add-on to its time-sheet product last November to give managers–and employees–instant access not only to billable hours across multiple projects but also productivity rates for individuals and entire departments.

When employees load the Web-based time-sheet manager to enter or check their hours worked, two small barometers display their productivity (expressed as a percentage of a predetermined bonus target) and that of their team or department. A green barometer means that the employee (or team) is above the target, yellow indicates he’s doing okay, while red means he’s not pulling his weight–and it’s time to log some OT.

Jeremy Simon, senior project director at IT security firm Remington Associates, based in Schaumburg, Ill., has used ProMax for almost three months now and says the productivity information has allowed him to do reviews of his 20 engineers every quarter rather than annually. “It’s the best thing we’ve ever done for the company,” he says. And compared with similar software packages that cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000, Simon says, ProMax was a steal at $6,360.

One of Simon’s engineers, Dan Samaan, says that while ProMax hasn’t made him more productive per se, he does like knowing where he stands–for better or worse. When we spoke to him, he was in the red at 23%. “It’s been a bad week,” he admits. Which reminds us: ProMax can also be used to determine who gets the ax come layoff time. But at least now no one can say he didn’t see it coming.

SOURCE: Fortune.com

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