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Rhythm Blog | Jessica Wishart

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

Manufacturing KPI Dashboard: 25 KPI Examples (Updated for 2020)

Jessica Wishart Tue, Jun 30, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

Because Rhythm strategy execution software acts as a framework for pulling together into one single system many improvement initiatives and management tools that are popular among manufacturing companies, many of our most successful clients come from the manufacturing industry. One area that our clients come to us for help with is determining the right manufacturing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for their manufacturing metrics dashboard to drive performance.  Some production managers are not sure where to start, and many are measuring so many things that their manufacturing metrics are just noise, not driving action or change to drive your operating efficiency and product planning KPIs and KRA (key results areas.)

Download our free KPI Guide to help you drive results with KPIs.

Manufacturing KPI Examples

Effective Goal Setting 101: How to Write Effective Goals [Infographic]

Jessica Wishart Tue, Jun 30, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Successful SMART goal (priority) setting is an essential skill for both personal and professional success. If you aren’t setting goals, you’re likely not making progress. However, research by the University of Scranton found that 92% of people who set New Year's resolutions never achieve them.

Business goals don't fare much better; 67% of great strategies fail due to poor execution. Writing an effective goal will increase your chances of successfully achieving that goal, or quarterly rock. Fortunately, goal-setting is a skill that you can learn and improve. Setting goals and priorities is essential to running a great company so it is worth the time and effort to improve this skill.

Here are 6 Easy Steps to Writing Effective Goals and Priorities:

Work From Home Expert Tips: 23 Tips for Remote Work

Jessica Wishart Fri, Jun 26, 2020 @ 02:55 PM

As the COVID-19 news unfolds and more people are staying in (check out www.cdc.gov/covid-19 for the latest accurate information), some of us could be spending more time at home than we had planned this spring. While I am lucky enough to have the kind of job that I can do from home, I’ve never figured out how to do it well. On the odd snow day or sick day that I’ve attempted over the years, I’ve always felt that working from home is far less productive and more tiring than being in the office where it’s easier to focus.

The 5Cs of Communication: How to Use Them in Crisis Communication

Jessica Wishart Fri, Jun 26, 2020 @ 01:56 PM

If you are like me, your inbox is full of COVID-19 response letters from every vendor, doctor, airline, restaurant or business of any kind you’ve interacted with. These external communications serve their purpose, but not nearly as essential as your internal response.

No matter what business you are in, if you are the CEO or an executive leader, you're thinking about how your business is responding to (and being affected by) COVID-19. Your people are worried; everyone is worried. At the very least, your job is to lead them through this anxious and uncertain time, and it's also to prepare for the worst, just in case.  This is why we always recommend using the 5c's of communication framework to ensure that everyone has all of the information that they need.

7 Signs Your Remote Team's Health is Suffering

Jessica Wishart Fri, Jun 26, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

For many managers, leading a remote team is something new. After a few months, you’ve probably worked out many of the technical issues and settled into a rhythm of remote work. As many companies go back to the office, some team members may remain remote due to childcare issues, caring for family members, pre-existing medical conditions that increase their risk, or myriad other reasons. Some companies may continue remote working for the foreseeable future. As you navigate shifting team dynamics, how do you know if your team health is as strong as it should be?

In a Remote Work Report released by HubSpot in 2019, lack of social connection (29%) and communicating with co-workers (29%) were the two biggest challenges faced by remote workers. If you can’t see your co-workers and interact with them in the office, how do you know your team is experiencing these problems?

Virtual Strategic Planning Meetings: 7 Tips for a Great Strategic Planning Session

Jessica Wishart Fri, Jun 26, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

If you are like many of our clients, you may be considering adjusting travel plans for your team in the midst of the concern surrounding COVID-19. This will obviously have a big impact on most businesses, which makes it more important than ever to prioritize your team’s quarterly planning meeting. You’ll need to spend time thinking about the impacts to your team and your business, so even if you are canceling travel, don’t cancel your session!  This is likely to be the most important virtual strategy session in the history of your company - even if you can't meet face to face.  You need to be agile to respond to the ever changing market conditions.  

How the Best Remote Teams Fight Zoom Fatigue

Jessica Wishart Wed, Jun 24, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

According to CNBC, since the onset of COVID-19, Zoom use has surged to over 300 million daily participants. Microsoft Teams has more than 75 million daily active users. and Rhythm client Connex International's business has dramatically expanded as they help companies connect, collaborate, and expand their business. Other video conferencing platforms have surged as well. For many people, all of the in-person interactions—team meetings, project work, strategic planning sessions, one-on-ones, daily huddles, coffee breaks, happy hours, and even personal social gatherings—have been replaced by video conferencing.

While many teams are heading back to the office, increased usage of video conferencing platforms in the workplace is likely here to stay. As different people cope with their health risks, childcare and eldercare challenges, and the need for more flexibility to work from home, remote work will likely only increase as we move forward from here.

7 Essential Skills for the Future

Jessica Wishart Tue, Jun 23, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

A little peek behind the proverbial curtain for you: I have a digital notebook (I use Evernote) where I capture blog ideas as they come to me. I periodically review that list to see what topic ideas I may be able to research and write out as a full post. I had an idea in January to write about the need to invest in workplace training to help upskill team members for the future of work.

I wrote the following draft of a first sentence: "Maybe 2020 isn’t quite the future we imagined.” Looking back on that now, I can confidently say most of us never predicted a global pandemic, economic upheaval, and social unrest—and we are only through the first half of the year.

What Typical Performance Reviews Miss

Jessica Wishart Fri, Jun 19, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

Let’s imagine you are going into your quarterly performance review, armed with all the great results you’ve achieved over the last 90 days. You’ve tackled a few big projects and collect the data to show your results. You’ve rated yourself on the skills and competencies listed in your job description, and you’ve even identified a few areas for growth, since you know that’s going to be part of the conversation, too.

What a lot of HR systems that track performance reviews fail to connect the dots on is how your individual performance or projects or results impact the company’s business performance. At the end of the day, if you are wonderful and working so hard and getting great results, but your efforts and energy don’t move the company forward on its key results, then how valuable are your contributions?

3 Year Strategic Plan Examples

Jessica Wishart Tue, Jun 2, 2020 @ 11:25 AM

Many companies I work with have an Annual Plan and some foundational strategic elements, like Core Values, Core Purpose and Mission/Vision/BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). However, these companies often don’t take time to define goals on the 3-5 year time horizon. This is an important step, because these 3-5 Year Plans form your base camps on the way to achieving your longer-term strategy. They allow you to brainstorm big ideas that will help you grow beyond just this year.

Working on your 3-5 Year Strategic Plan is a best practice during your 2-day annual planning session, but what should the outcome of that time look like? What do you need to accomplish in that time?