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How’s Your Quarterly Plan Coming Along? Pay Attention This Week!

By Patrick Thean

    Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 09:00 AM Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

    Are you ready for weeks 4, 5 and 6? With more than 100,000+ priorities planned and executed in Rhythm, we’ve begun to apply Rhythm research to help take our execution game up a notch! Every quarter is a 13-Week Race. Our research tells us that priorities often turn Red or Yellow during weeks 4, 5, or 6 of your 13-Week Race. Why does this happen? Our data does not tell us why. It just tells us that it happens quite often.Stop_Light

    Here are some possible reasons why things may go Red during this three week span:

    • When we agreed to the priorities at the start of the quarter, we thought we knew how to execute them. We statused them Green for the first 4 weeks. Then the first month ended, and we realized that we had not started on it, and don’t really know how to tackle it, so we status it Red.
    • We were not actively engaged for the first few weeks of the quarter. Then we woke up when the first month ended. "Yeoch! I only have 8 weeks left to get this done... And I need at least 10 weeks to do this!"
    • We delayed starting, and now the other priorities have taken over our lives. We need more resources and help.

    Here are three Action Starters to help you get out of the Weeks 4, 5, 6 Blues:

    • Action Starter #1: If you cannot see it, you can’t achieve it. Write down what success looks like for each of your priorities. Describe success using Red Yellow Green.
      • RedMinimum level of acceptable performance. Another way to think of this is your pride level. You must perform above this level.
      • Yellow: Between Red and Green
      • Green: This is the goal. Describe what success looks like.
      • SuperGreen: Your stretch goal
    • Action Starter #2: What are your top 3 milestones for each priority for the rest of the quarter? Write down at least 3 milestones. This will significantly improve your probability of success.
    • Action Starter #3: Use your weekly meeting. Focus on asking for Actions for each priority that now has a Red status. Red is the catalyst for discussion and working as a team for solutions.

    Here’s the bonus tip. Take a little more time during your quarterly planning session next time around and write down the success criteria and key milestones for every priority. This way you can avoid the Week 4, 5, 6 blues altogether!

     

    Executive Summary from Patrick Thean's book Rhythm

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