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4 Tips for Starting Your Next 13-Week Race

By Jessica Wishart

    Mon, Jun 22, 2015 @ 09:00 AM Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

    We are about a week away from the end of the quarter, and you can see the finish line for your 13-week 13week-race-finish-linerace™! At this time, there are always things to button up and prepare for as we head into our next 13-week race.

    Here are some quick tips for finishing up this quarter and hitting the ground running for the next one:

    • Cross the Finish Line. With one week left to finish strong, which priorities need a final push to get done? Focus energy on completing any remaining Action Items for this quarter, and be sure to capture anything that can’t get done for next quarter. Don’t leave any priorities inches away from the finish line.
    • Tag in if Needed. If you are on track or finished early with your priorities for the quarter, tag in for a teammate who needs a little help to execute those last few details for his or her priorities. Remember that you’re in it together, so if you have bandwidth, help your team achieve the plan rather then moving on to your next project.
    • Prepare for Your Next Race. Before the end of this quarter, take a look at your priorities and KPIs for next quarter that you determined with your team in planning. Spend some time buttoning up the details so that you can hit the ground running with strong execution in Week 1:
      • Ensure you have documented Red-Yellow-Green success criteria for each of your priorities. Review this with your team so that you are aligned on what success looks like. You don’t want to start running toward the wrong goal.
      • Begin documenting the milestone Action Items that will have to happen in order to achieve your priority. You may not know all of the steps involved at this point in the process, but taking time to think through the specifics of what you are going to do by when will help you know if your priority and success criteria are realistic and achievable. Taking the time to plan the details of how you will get your priorities done will help you stay accountable and on track to win the race.
      • Be sure that your KPIs are all still relevant for next quarter, and update the Red-Yellow-Green success criteria on them. Again, share the success criteria with your team to ensure alignment.
    • Celebrate. Remember to take time to celebrate the victories and bright spots from this quarter before moving on to the next one. If you have the discipline to execute strongly to win your 13-Week Race, reward yourself and your team. Our team usually celebrates with chocolate or ice cream, but feel free to be creative and pick something that will motivate you and your team to keep running toward your annual and long-term goals.

    Remember that the only way to have a great company is to execute on a great strategy every 3-5 years, and the only way to do that is to execute on a great annual plan, and the only way to do that is to execute four strong 13-week races. Make every week count, even these last few, as you work to build a great company!

     

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    Photo credit: Flickr User meridican, CC license

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