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Does Your Quarterly Plan Wish to Go to the Moon?

By Liz McBride

    Tue, Aug 11, 2015 @ 09:00 AM Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

    We are officially in the swing of Q3! Did you have a nice vacation? Are you picking up slack for your tan-Quarterly_Plan_to_the_moonworshiping co-workers as we speak? Sometimes it takes us a few weeks to feel settled into a quarter. 

    My client, Igor, inspired me today. While others may have been spending July loading up cars with beach chairs and umbrellas, Igor facilitated 23 weekly adjustment meetings for various regions and departments. If that wasn’t inspiring enough, he shared with me his passion for making sure every region’s quarterly plans were actual plans. If you are feeling as though your quarter is not as tightened up as it should be, take a page from what Igor tells the teams:

    “No one will kill you if you don’t have your RYG success criteria in there in weeks 1-2...but, until your success criteria is clearly defined, you don’t have a plan.
     
    You have a wish, like I wish to go to the moon!
     
    My brother is a car mechanic. He should be able to read your priority, look at the success criteria and know whether or not to status it green or yellow.
     
    By this date, we will be successful if we achieve this and this….”

    Consider Igor’s words of wisdom, and look at your Rhythm dashboard to see if your plan is simply a wish to go to the moon. You know your plan is a wish if...

    • Some of your priorities lack a verb that gives you a clear sense of what you plan to do with this particular priority by end of the 13-week race.

    T minus 10

    • You are statusing weekly with no success criteria completed to know what really makes something yellow or red.

    10-9-8-7...

    • There are few Comments made on red or yellow statused items about WHY they are red and WHAT ideas the priority owner and team came up with to get them back to green. 

    3-2-1...and we have liftoff! 

    Weeks 4-6 are critical weeks to make adjustments in yellow or red KPIs and priorities to move them back to green. Gather your rested, ready and tan team around you and:

    • Brainstorm ways to get back to green. Help each other gain clarity on the priority and get unstuck.
    • Check whether or not your leading indicator is working. If your results KPI is red but the leading indicator that should notify you if something is not right is on track, then you may need to find a different leading indicator.
    • Consider whether or not you need an Adjustment Meeting to come up with a Plan B.

    If you reached liftoff above, your first step is to make sure your plan is, well, a plan. Imagine inviting Igor’s brother over to run diagnostics. Would he know what to status, or does your quarterly plan need a tune up?

    p.s. Looking forward to Q4, Igor may not kill you if you don’t have success criteria in weeks 1-2, but the beach will be long behind me by then, so I just might...

     

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    Photo Credit: Flickr User NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, CC license

     

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