Strategic goal-oriented executives get very frustrated when their teams don’t execute fast enough. You can see it SO clearly — the goal, the prize, the beautiful innovation, why does it take so long?
Conversely, the team gets frustrated when there isn’t enough time to execute before the leader shifts to the next brilliant idea. Why doesn’t the leader get real about the time it takes to make the dream into reality?
If this sounds familiar, getting to the goal starts with clear, honest communication.
Standard project management would suggest:
- Set the goal or desired outcome.
- Create a due date.
- Lay out the steps and list the resources needed to achieve the timeline.
- Get agreement on the plan.
- Then execute.
- Have agreed upon checkin/update meetings to stay on plan.
Sounds great, right? Don’t stop here.
You need an answer to the following questions.
- Is the desired result possible?
- Are the steps to achieve it clear to all those involved?
- Do we have too many priorities?
- Are we rigorously assigning resources?
- Is it clear who is ultimately responsible for the result?
- When is okay to ask for help or more direction?
- How are we tracking progress?
- What happens if we get behind the timeline?
- Mission creep tends to happen. What are the consequences of delay? Maybe, it will be a better product but it will be 3 months late. Is that okay? How will customers react?
This is tricky. You may reach the goal, but find that the customer is unhappy because it doesn’t have the bells and whistles they need. Has the team prepared for this?
Most of all, you need to avoid blame and frustration as much as possible. It demoralizes everyone. This week, assess how you can have more successful implementations. It all starts with communication and planning. As the old saying goes, measure twice, cut once.
Image courtesy of http://deafrica.org/fundamentals-of-project-planning-and-management/