Last year I took a course on linear programming and spread sheet modeling (ETM540). This course we really good and provides some very powerful tools for many areas. I used LP for calculating focal adjustments and performance merit increases (raises). I've posted a paper to help other engineering managers with the difficult task of figuring out how much of a raise to give team members while staying within budget and recognizing top performance. This approach removes the subjectivity which can sometimes influence traditional approaches.
The paper can be viewed here.