Performance reviews take time...
Oh boy, I wanted to fix some automation bugs today, but could not as I had to update my "commitments" for my performance review. And I need to go home and do my laundry.
Reviews at MS have changed as we officially become a "large company". Earlier we did not spend time worrying about commitments and what not - you simply listed the work you did and and got graded based on that. That was the whole review. My personal goal was as simple as "work hard(er), make money, have fun" (it was implied, I did not have to write it). Now we need to be mature corporate citizens and define goals accordingly.
Fortunately Microsoft has not reached the stage where you put in arbit goals like "I plan to proactively leverage my synergies to optimize my throughput all while valueing diversity" (I think this was Wally's [(c) Scott Adams, www.dilbert.com] goal), our goals still are precise, actionable and measurable, and I think I know that we have to evolve as a company, but part of me still feels nostalgic for the days when I could write my review in a couple of hours and there was very little MBA-speak involved.
I miss the dot-com era.