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The problem of performance evaluation is a hydra-headed monster that affects business growth because of non-existence of evaluation process in many organizations. In organizations with an evaluation process in place, performance evaluation is not properly automated; they are usually inconclusive and incomplete due to biased, partial and inadequate handling of performance metrics. In order to achieve the goal of objectivity, credibility and trust in staff appraisal, a system that achieves unbiased, comprehensive and self-information gathering should be provided. This study, therefore, focused on developing an Agent-Based Performance Evaluation System towards addressing these deficiencies.

In developing the proposed system, the spiral model of the Software Development Life Cycle was adopted. The metrics that were used by the system to evaluate performance included attendance, staff’s responsiveness, punctuality and projects. The programming environment used for the development include Netbeans IDE, Hypertext Mark-up Language, MySQL, MySQL DB connector, Apache and PHPmyAdmin. The system/application was evaluated in a social context at T&K printing solutions, Lagos. The company via the Human Resource Manager utilized, tested and evaluated the system on four (4) employees. The evaluation was based on the system’s efficiency and user friendliness/usability.

A model of agent-based performance evaluation system for managing staff-work information and auto-Scoring based on organization’s predefined uniform company-wide appraisal score-weights was developed. An agent-based performance evaluation application was created as an instantiation of the model. The evaluation of the system revealed the manager’s appreciation for the system because employees were glad to have their strengths and weaknesses revealed to them as regards execution of particular projects.

In conclusion, the research found that a proper appraisal of employees can serve as a motivating factor encouraging commitment towards the growth of any organization. It is, therefore, recommended that prompt and unbiased performance appraisal system be deployed by organizations.

Keywords: Performance Evaluation, Agent, Appraisal, Performance Metrics, Auto-Scoring.

Word Count: 303



Content                                                                                                                               Page

Title Page                                                                                                                                i

Certification                                                                                                                            iv

Dedication                                                                                                                              v

Acknowledgments                                                                                                                  vi

Abstract                                                                                                                                  vii

Table of Contents                                                                                                                   ix

List of Tables                                                                                                                          xi

List of Figures                                                                                                                         xii



1.1       Background to the Study                                                                                               1

1.2 Statement of the Problem                                                                                                 2

  • Objective of the Study                                                                                     3
  • Methodology                                                                                                                   3
  • Scope of the Study 4
  • Significance of the Study 4





2.2 Uses of Appraisal Systems                                                                                               7

  • Types of Appraisal 9

2.4 Performance Appraisal Objectives                                                                                    10

2.5 Elements of Performance Appraisal                                                                                 12

2.6 Most Serious Performance Appraisal Problems                                                                12

2.7 Different Techniques of Performance Appraisal                                                              13

2.8  Software Agents                                                                                                              18

Content                                                                                                                                   Page

2.9  Review of Existing Related Performance Evaluation Systems                                       19

  • Performance Appraisal Models 24

2.11 Summary                                                                                                                         27



3.0 Introduction                                                                                                                      28

3.1 Proposed System                                                                                                              28

3.2 Adopted Software Development Model                                                                          29

3.3 Entity Relational Diagram of the System                                                                         31

3.4 Use Case Diagrams                                                                                                           32

3.5 Development tools                                                                                                            34



4.0  Introduction                                                                                                                      37

4.1 System implementation                                                                                                     37

4.2 Architecture of the Proposed System                                                                               38

4.2.1 Description of the component of the proposed system                                                 38

4.3  Activity flow diagram                                                                                                     44

  • System testing 45

4.5 Application Graphical Interfaces                                                                                      45

4.6 Application Platform                                                                                                        59

4.6.1 Software Requirement                                                                                                   60 The User Software Requirements                                                                               60 Hardware Requirement                                                                                               60

4.7 System Evaluation                                                                                                            60

Content                                                                                                                                   Page


5.0       Introduction                                                                                                                62

5.1       Summary                                                                                                                     62

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                                  63

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                                      63

5.4       Contribution to Knowledge                                                                                        63

5.5       Suggestion for Further Studies                                                                                   64

References                                                                                                                              65

Appendix                                                                                                                                70


Table                                                                                                             Page

2.1: Uses of Appraisal System (Source:  Davis, 1993)                                                          7

2.2: Summary of Advantages and Disadvantages of the Appraisal Techniques                   17

2.3: Fuzzy Set definition (Source: Arbaiy & Suradi, 2007)                                                   22

4.1: Staff-response rate per email                                                                                           40

4.2: Metrics and Weight definition                                                                                         41

4.3: Metrics and Weight definition with the relevant components                                        43


Figure                                                                                                          Page

2.1 – A Model of Performance Evaluation System                                                                 11

2.2 – The working interface when staff member login to system Jian-wei, 2014)                  20

2.3 – The working interface of the customized paper structure for appraisal                                     of employees                                                                                                               21

2.4 – Fuzzy Inference Structure                                                                                              22

2.5 – A model of performance appraisal system                                                                     25

2.6 – A Model of the Performance Appraisal Process                                                            26

3.1 – Original diagram of Spiral model                                                                                   29

3.2 – Entity-Relation Diagram                                                                                                            32

3.3- Use Case Diagram for Employee                                                                                    33

3.4- Use Case Diagram for Supervisor                                                                                   33

3.5- Use Case Diagram for HR Manager                                                                                34

4.1 – Architecture of the RTE Performance Evaluation System                                             38

4.2 – Activity Flow Diagram of the application                                                                     44

4.3 – Login Page                                                                                                                      45

4.4 – Work Details Page                                                                                                          46

4.5 – Add New Project                                                                                                           47

4.6 – Employee Login Page                                                                                                     48

4.7 – Rate Project Page                                                                                                           49

4.8 – Project Marked as Completed                                                                                        50

4.9 – Reassigning Project Page                                                                                                51

4.10 – Employee Portal                                                                                                           52

4.11 – Employee Profile page                                                                                                  53

4.12 – Employee Project page                                                                                                 54

4.13 – Employee Read Message Page                                                                                     54

4.14 – Employee Send Message Page                                                                                     55

4.15 – Rating Result Page                                                                                                       56

Figure                                                                                                                                    Page

4.16 – Employee Attendance Page                                                                                         57

4.17 – Employee Attendance Page                                                                                         58

4.18 – Employee Attendance Page                                                                                         58

4.19 – Employee Attendance Page                                                                                         59



1.1  Background to the Study

Largely, the need for evaluation is to reward high performing employees, recognize areas for improvement of staff as well as organizations, and provide recommendation in case of un-reconcilable negligence of staff (Shamsuzzoha, 2013) Though these reasons should make any organization want to adopt evaluation system, most organizations that perform evaluations disrupt the system with too many human interpretations or bias. Others run away from implementing these performance systems due to cost Performance evaluations are usually not as effective as they should be because some organization’s performance process lack credibility; no clarity in the aspect of job being evaluated, no standards against which performance is measured (Cintron, 2011). Performance Evaluation is bias, manual, vague and incomplete in most Organizations (Daoanis, 2012). Most Organizations do not have intelligent systems to appraise their staff thereby adopting manual process which injects subjectivity into staff appraisal (Kateřina, 2013). A recent investigation of major U.S organizations revealed that 40% of managers admitted to forging or controlling performance data because it was clear to them that the evaluation served no valuable purpose in the way it was managed in their Organization (Gordon, 2016).

Appraisal system should track targets, accomplishments and projects of each employee, otherwise, a staff is appraised based on human judgments and traits. Employee is then evaluated by finding a score that best characterizes his or her level of performance for every quality rather than the competence and accomplishment of tasks. A need for automation of the process is indicated. Employee performance is essentially identified with employment obligations, which are expected from a worker, and how well those obligations were accomplished. Managers assess their employees’ performance on a yearly or quarterly basis, keeping in mind the end goal, to help them recognize and recommend areas for improvement (Shaout et al., 2014). The cogent components of an effective appraisal and performance system should include regular feedbacks aimed at providing employees with feedbacks expounding employee’s strengths and improvement areas, to deduce appropriate support plans and to help in decision making on issues such as compensations and recommendations (Chris, 2011). Thus, performance evaluation (PE) is key in enhancing the quality of work input, in inspiring staff and making them more engaged. PE additionally introduces a foundation for increment in monthly remuneration and guides an organization in the development of its employee succession and promotion plans (Shaout et al., 2014).

Several appraisal methods, such as graphic rating scale method, forced choice distribution method, behavioural check list method and so on, were used for employee performance appraisal. New methods like Management by Objectives (MBO) and assessment centres have been suggested (Shaout et al., 2014). The need for an efficient performance evaluation system cannot be overemphasized. Review of existing performance evaluation frameworks and systems revealed subjectivity concerns as performance scoring still remains based on human judgementImpraise (Daoanis, 2012), talentpeak (Cintron, 2011), Performly (Lawler, 2012), PeopleGoal (Katerina, 2013), Namely (Boachie-Mensah, 2012), Tessello (Bretz, 1992), and Fego (Kondrasuk, 2011), ClearCompany (Mayhew, 2016), BambooHR (Capterra, 2015) among others, computer-based applications designed to handle employee appraisals are still subject to human biases because the employer/manager have to play some roles in the appraisal process; giving the score, checking the feedback report, sending the feedback report to be sent to the employee, and so on. The need to rid biasness and quit robbing employees of their promotion calls for an intelligent based performance evaluation system.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem of performance evaluation is a hydra-headed monster which includes non-existence of the process in many organizations.  Organizations that put checks and balances into their operations are few. Those who do, spend hours of valuable man-power trying to manually arrive at the staff performance evaluation. When these are done, various data are exposed to personal bias. At other times the performance evaluation are inconclusive and incomplete as there is no clarity of performance metrics. In order to achieve the goal of objectivity, credibility and trust in staff appraisal, a system that achieves unbiased, comprehensive and self-information gathering should be provided.

Computer-based performance evaluation systems in literature have been limited by lack of sufficient automation and lack of consideration of  some relevant evaluation metrics. The search for ideal performance evaluation system remains elusive making it a viable research area.

There is, therefore, the need for a computer-based performance evaluation system that will be staff-centric, task-centric and environment-centric, which this study will focus upon.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to develop an agent-based Perfomance evaluation model.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. propose a model of agent-based performance evaluation system for managing staff-work information and auto-scoring based on organization’s predefined uniform company-wide appraisal score-weights;
  2. develop a prototype of the proposed model, and
  3. evaluate the prototype.


  • Methodology

The tasks undertaken in order to accomplish this research are as follows:

  1. Extensive literature review on the subject matter was carried out.
  2. A model for agent-based performance evaluation system for managing staff-work information and auto-Scoring, based on organization’s predefined uniform company-wide appraisal score-weights was developed.
  • An application, based on the proposed model, was developed to instantiate the model following the Spiral Software Development Life Cycle. The metrics that were used by the system to evaluate performance include attendance, staff’s responsiveness, punctuality and projects. Netbeans IDE, Hypertext Markup language (HTML), MySQL, MySQL DB connector, Apache and PHPmyAdmin constitute the programming environment.
  1. The application was evaluated using an organization as a Case-Study.
    • Scope of the Study

The proposed system only targets employee appraisal and does not extend to other areas of the employee career that are not directly linked to the employees’ performance evaluation. The variables that were of interest in the study, therefore, are those that clearly define the employee in terms of performance.


  • Significance of the Study

As the world innovates in technology, computing assumes everywhere and anywhere paradigm, enabling improved service delivery, and supporting seamless productivity. With new organizations joining the ecosystem of products and services management, it is imperative and highly significant to automate staff performance using unbiased and complete model. Such performance approach must put flexibility in centre stage, thereby allowing organizations achieve transparent performance rating for members of staff.

The proposed approach would enable automated appraisal scores for every staff. A manager or project team head can provide weight values to agreed appraisal metrics. Management can detect staff’s attitude to work automatically through intelligent approaches such as Staff-Computer Inactivity Time and Staff-Email response time, among others. An appraisal administrator can view non-editable appraisal scores at will. The system also allows management provide informed judgements and decisions based on the appraisal outputs.

This approach would go a long way in enhancing work-experiences, staff outputs and overall company achievement as they can share and learn from genuine and unbiased appraisal reportage.


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