Develop an execution ready plan for your quarter, each and every quarter! This will help you to have a successful quarter each and every quarter. The secret is to visualize your quarter like it's a 13-week race.
An execution ready plan over your 13 week quarter needs three things:
- SMART Priorities (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, with a Timeframe)
- Milestones to help you visualize your execution
- The right people and resources with the right amount of dedicated energy to help achieve the team’s plan
Why a 13-Week Race?
Every quarter has thirteen weeks. It goes by fast and before you know it, the quarter is over. Then the year is over, and you are left wondering, “Did we accomplish what we set out to achieve?” Here is how you make the thirteen weeks meaningful and significant. Think of your 13 week quarter like a marathon. If you were running a marathon, you would map out the route keeping your abilities in mind. You would know where your energy ebbs and flows, where you might have challenges and plan to get past those challenges. Your company’s or team’s execution plan for the quarter deserves nothing less than that.
How to Plan Your 13-Week Race
Take each of your priorities and do the following:
- Make it SMART by providing a deadline and Red-Yellow-Green success criteria. Green is your goal, Red is an unacceptable level of performance, Yellow is between Red and Green, and SuperGreen is your stretch goal.
- Now visualize your execution by having three to five milestones.
- Assign people to these milestones and make sure that they have time on their plans assigned to help drive these milestones and this priority.
Tip: Less is more.
Stop at three priorities. If you take on more priorities, you might find that you are not as focused, and not able to complete them. Having too many priorities can also cause a bottleneck for your own time and resources, causing you to be busier but less productive.
3 Critical Milestones
And finally, our research shows that when you can visualize the execution of your priorities with the major milestones, you are much more likely to achieve your plan. If you are not able to come up with at least three critical milestones, that is an indicator that you don’t know how to achieve this priority. Don’t stress. The quarter has not started yet. Ask your team for help to brainstorm and discuss how to execute this priority. By figuring this out before the quarter begins, you have just saved the quarter! It’s a 13-week race. Treat it like a marathon and visualize running your 13-week race!
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