ARGOS FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

ARGOS 360 is comprehensive support for multirater performance feedback efforts. ARGOS is a customized process that wraps itself around the competencies, behaviors or values that are critical to success in your environment. ARGOS allows organizations to easily, accurately and quickly implement 360 feedback programs for development, appraisal or succession planning.

ARGOS is an extremely flexible process thatís customized to suit your organizationís needs. Turnaround is very quick and multiple access methods (Internet, phone, paper) are accommodated. ARGOS includes many unique features designed for managing feedback projects, including large-scale projects.

Registration

Most ARGOS projects start with a Registration step where raters are identified. This information is entered by the client or the ERC staff.

Invitations

The ARGOS system cross-references the rater information and produces customized e-mail invitations and/or paper rater kits. Because of the cross-referencing, someone rating five others will receive only one integrated invitation or rater kit.

Ratings Entry

Participants enter their ratings by Internet, telephone or on paper. If the project uses e-mail invitations, raters simply click on the links in the invitation to go directly to the online assessment tool. If the project involves paper rater kits, these include all the necessary instructions and materials.

Tracking

During the rating period, ERC monitors surveys in process and stays in touch with the clientís project manager. The ratings window can be extended if necessary.

Reporting

ERC produces individual feedback or appraisal reports. Group reports are available for organizational decision making.

(andÖ What if I want to use the Internet, but not all my raters have access?)

Yes, ARGOS on the Internet is a very popular option, but only one of several options.

The ARGOS system allows participants to submit ratings using the Internet, telephone or paper -- or any combination of the three! All ratings are posted directly to the same database in an integrated process. This multi-channel capability is a unique ARGOS feature. So you can offer an automated process, while still accommodating those without access to technology.

Yes. Using IVR (interactive voice response) respondents can enter ratings by telephone. ARGOS uses a process called "speed entry" that prompts participants to enter a series of ratings from a completed worksheet. Raters are not required to listen to the full text of the question over the phone.


Feedback reports are clear and straightforward, balancing numeric and visual information. Reports are customized to meet client needs, and may include:

Ratings Tables

Ratings Graphs

Distribution Grids

Competency Summary (competencies ranked high to low)

Highest/Lowest Items

Gap Analysis (greatest differences between self and others)

Responses to open ended questions.

To receive a sample feedback reportÖ[email us]

With ARGOS 360 you can offer large-scale feedback programs, while minimizing administrative overhead. ARGOS is offered primarily on an outsourced, service bureau basis. Thereís no hardware or software to buy, install or maintain. ERC houses and operates the ARGOS system, providing all the support needed for data collection, tracking of reviews in process, and report production. Clients find that the service bureau approach enables them to quickly and easily roll out programs of all sizes, including those involving hundreds of locations and thousands of raters. With ARGOS you get a beautiful program -- we do all the work.

ARGOS can accommodate up to 6 rater groups (Peers, Direct Reports, Customers, etc.), and up to 99 raters in each rater group. That should be more than enough for any 360 feedback project!

Yes. With ARGOS you can ask open ended questions after each competency category or at the end of the assessment. Internet users type in comments of any length. Those responding by phone record their comments, which are transcribed by the ERC staff. In paper processes, handwritten comments are transcribed by ERC. The ARGOS Team can help you consider alternatives such as whether to use open ended questions, how many to ask, and how to word the questions.

The ARGOS system offers sophisticated tracking at every stage of the assessment process. A full range of tracking reports are available by fax or online. Reports are updated in real time, reflecting all ratings entered up to that moment in time. For e-mail projects, ARGOS provides reminder messages to participants who have not yet completed their ratings.

Yes. ARGOS offers an extensive series of group rollup and analysis reports, including demographic reports and reports by department or location. These can be used for making decisions around training needs, organizational development and succession planning.

Yes! The ARGOS process is highly flexible with many parameters that are customizable. In addition to using your organizationís competencies or values, the introductory text in invitations and reports is customized to reflect the positioning of your program. You choose the number and names of rater perspectives, which rating scale to use, which report features to activate, etc, etc. Materials can be imprinted with your organizationís logo and text can be customized if desired.

Yes. ERC offers MBTI assessments on the Internet. These can be integrated with the ARGOS process so that participants receive only one email invitation. They click on one link in the email to enter their 360 ratings and on another link to do their MBTI assessment. The MBTI is also offered on its own.

ERC offers a full range of customizable support tools to make your 360 program a success. To market your program internally and encourage participation, ERC can provide participant brochures and scripted rollout presentations. Other available support materials include: development action guides (paper or Internet-based); one-on-one coaching, group training, "Class-in-a-Box" facilitator materials; and follow up surveys

Since the ARGOS process is highly flexible and each project is customized, pricing is on a project basis. Fees depend on factors such as: the technology chosen (Internet, phone, paper), number of raters, reporting complexity, total volume and batch size. Special options, such as spell-checking or custom binding and imprinting, will also be reflected in the price. There will generally be a one-time setup fee, as well as an all-inclusive fee per person assessed. The setup fee covers project management, creation of database structures, programming and testing, customization of messages and parameters and implementation of the clientís competency model within the ARGOS environment.

With the outsourced service-bureau approach there is no hardware or software to buy, no computer programming required on your part, and no capital expenditures. All costs are clearly stated, staff costs are minimized and there are no hidden support costs.

Assessment and feedback programs support and reinforce a performance oriented culture, one backed up with measurement and accountability. An effective feedback program allows each of your employees to improve his/her individual performance, productivity and contribution to the organization. On a group level, feedback data can help you make more effective decisions about spending training dollars and development resources. One client completely re-allocated their training budget after reviewing the results of their feedback process.

None. Since ARGOS is offered on an outsourced, service bureau basis, thereís no hardware or software to buy, install or maintain. ERC houses and operates the ARGOS system at its facility.

No. The ERC account management staff monitors the status and stays in close touch with client project managers at every stage of the feedback project. In addition, ERC maintains a dedicated ARGOS helpdesk to assist raters who have questions or need replacements for lost rater kits.

Each hyperlink in the ARGOS e-mail invitation provides raters with three different codes that identify their organization, themselves, and the manager being reviewed. All three items must correlate and match the ARGOS internal cross-reference matrix, guaranteeing 100% accurate application of data. Once a set of access codes has been used the system will not allow them to be used again. In addition to security access codes, Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) is used to ensure that data is encrypted and all transactions are secure.

Completely.