EOS® Rock Examples: Using Quarterly Rocks to Align Your Company in 2024

By Ted Skinner

dateThu, Mar 28, 2024 @ 09:15 AM

It is that time again. I am working with my clients to help create quarterly execution plans with their top Company quarterly rocks so they can Rhythm-systems-prioritiesaccomplish the goals they set out to achieve. Working with one of my newer clients recently, I noticed we spent much time covering how Company, Group, and Personal Rocks work together to increase their chances of success significantly. I realized that a few of our long-standing customers might have some of the same questions, but I wanted to avoid asking. I wanted to clarify how these pieces work together in your execution-ready quarterly plan. This blog includes EOS Traction quarterly rock examples to use as a template to create your priorities for the next 90 days. Business owners set a 1-year plan with their team and work with team leaders to develop processes for day-to-day operations to execute the plan by creating SMART Rocks.

Let's start with the highest level, Company Quarterly EOS® Rocks at the company level. These are the top 3-5 things most important for the Company to achieve during the upcoming 13-week Race. These extremely specific EOS rocks will move the Company forward in achieving annual goals or improving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), OKRs, and Metrics. For example, let's say one of the Company Rocks is to "Increase Revenue 10% from the previous quarter to a total of $10 million." This high-level strategic rock will require time, energy, and resources from multiple departments in the organization, like Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance, and Customer Service. Quarterly rocks are due in 90 days so that you can break a more extensive project down into more easily digestible projects with clear deliverables and timelines for your action plan.

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That's where the Team Rock comes in, often called departmental quarterly rocks. Although teams can be set up in many ways, for the sake of our example, these teams are all functional departments. Proper company planning will allow each department to consider its team's role in successfully supporting the Company's big rock. In this example, the Sales team knows they must increase the number of sales opportunities they're actively working on to increase Revenue. So, they set up a Group Priority to "Increase Outstanding Qualified Proposals." They believe that to increase Revenue by 10%, they must increase Qualified Proposals by 15%, so they set that as their Green goal. They know if they only increase their Qualified Proposals by 5%, they have a feeble chance of meeting their target, so they set that as their Red criteria. To stretch the A-players, they set a SuperGreen goal of 20% and impact the bottom line.

Team Rocks (or departmental rocks) that support a Company Rock (rocks are priorities), like this example, are linked together in the Rhythm strategy execution software for increased visibility, goal alignment, and accountability to help you run the EOS process created by Gino Wickman (or just about any business operating system you use). This linking allows the management team to get a bird's eye view of how their Company Priority is doing as they can see progress on all of the priorities linked to it with a simple click. Linking allows the management team to see if a Group Priority is off track, might need additional support, or is performing ahead of plan. When you establish your rocks with clear action items, you move the business towards its goals in every weekly level 10 meeting and create team alignment.

Let's go back to our example. In the subsequent Marketing Group planning session, they plan to support the Company Rock with an aggressive email marketing campaign to prospects already in their sales funnel. They work together to develop the appropriate Red-Yellow-Green criteria surrounding the amount of engagement they need on the email to increase sales activity. The Operations team realizes they must be prepared to ship 10% more products out the door with the same number of people. They create a rock for their group to use electronic shipping labels to save time and increase accuracy when filling orders. In Rhythm, it is easy for team leaders to see how each of the department's Group Rock line up to support the Company's #1 rock of Increasing Quarterly Revenue by 10% as targeted by the leadership team.

 EOS Rock Examples for Alignment

Now, each of those departments must determine the specific steps that individuals on the team will take to complete the group goals. This is where SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic) Personal Rocks come in. These are the actions that each team member commits to and is held accountable for to move the overall Group and Company Priorities forward. Individual Priorities for the sales team might include John's priority to increase the number of phone calls he makes to get the necessary opportunities to send proposals. Meanwhile, Jane on the sales team thinks she needs to make additional cold calls to get more proposals out the door to help increase Revenue. Each of these Individual Priorities supports the Sales Group's Priority to increase the number of proposals outstanding, supporting the Company's Priority of increasing Revenue.

Certain Individual Priorities or personal rocks can be linked directly to the Company Priority without the additional layer of a Group Priority. For example, the COO might create an Individual Priority to increase revenue directly by reducing the churn rate. The CEO believes he can contribute by directly reaching out to their top clients to uncover unmet needs. Specific individuals will execute these examples and do not need to be assigned to a Group. They can be linked directly to the Company Priority.

Rhythm software - priorities to align departments 

Aligning the energy in your Company around the Company's Priorities by cascading your Quarterly Plan will ensure that everyone is working on the most important things first. Typically, you set a rock during your quarterly planning session.

See how Rhythm Systems' strategic planning software runs Traction/EOS, Rhythm®, or any business methodology framework you prefer.

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Want to learn more about Quarterly Planning and Traction EOS quarterly rock examples? Check out these additional quarterly planning resources:

Value of Outside Facilitation with Business Coaches for Quarterly and Annual Planning

The Anatomy of a Great Quarterly Plan (Infographic)

Lean Quarterly Planning: How Complex Companies Drive Out Waste

10 Tips for a Successful Quarterly Planning Session (Video)

How to Choose the Right Priorities During Your Quarterly Planning Session

Tips to Help You Prepare to Facilitate Your Next One-Day Quarterly Planning Session

How Much Time Should I Allocate for My Quarterly Planning Session?

The Definitive Guide to Quarterly Planning

Rhythm Systems Quarterly Planning Resource Center

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Ted Skinner


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images