With most of my clients feverishly planning for Q3, the subject of what makes a good Company Priority is hot right now. Here are a few pitfalls I see, along with some best practices:
- Use a verb. Each Priority should contain a verb - an action - and be specific. For example, instead of a priority for "Staffing," the priority should say something like "Hire 3 key positions: X, Y, Z." Or, instead of "Marketing," a better choice is "Launch new marketing campaign and get 300 qualified leads."
- Avoid silos. A common pitfall is to end up with a list of Company Priorities that reflects one priority for each department. Plans like this set the stage for teams to start fighting for resources. The team needs to discuss, debate, and agree on higher level Company Priorities that reflect the business as a whole. If you use a verb and are specific, silos should be easy to avoid.
- Set Red Yellow Greens. Each Company Priority should have a clear owner, a due date and Red Yellow Green Criteria. It's important to be in agreement on the Company Priority Red Yellow Greens before the team starts working on their Personal Priorities. This will ensure the Personal Priorities represent enough team energy to achieve Green on each Company Priority.
- Status Weekly. The owner of each Company Priority should select a status color every week. They should status based on a forecast. For example, in Week 2, are we on track to achieve Green by our Due Date? If the answer is yes, the priority is Green.
- Adjust Weekly. If the Company Priority status color goes Yellow or Red in any given week, the Priority is not on track. In your Weekly Meeting, discuss Yellow and Red Priorities to make an adjustment plan. What can we do to get this back on track to Green?