I wrote the CEO Checklist for being locked and loaded for the year back in January. If you were (more or less) locked and loaded at that point, then getting locked and loaded for Q2 should be straightforward (and the list is the same for Q3 and Q4 as well). If you want extraordinary execution, get to the point where you can check all the boxes!
Here is the checklist to help make sure that you are locked and loaded for the quarter:
O 1. Each department/team has checked their results for the previous quarter against its SMART Goals, KPIs, and budgets and understands where they succeeded and failed.
O 2. Each department/team has reflected on the quarter and has answered the following questions* over a full 1-2 hour conversation for each of the main initiatives and for the general results of the department/team:
- what was expected to happen?
- what actually occurred?
- what went well, and why?
- what can be improved and how?
O 3. Each department/team has reviewed their annual goals and has proposed the next set of priority quarterly initiatives with SMART Goals. In addition, the team has proposed changes to the annual goals, if appropriate.
O 4. The Senior team and board have reviewed each teams goals against the annual goals for the company, appropriately adjusted each department/team’s priority goals and is committed to the final goals for the quarter. In addition, the senior team and board have reviewed the annual goals, KPIs and budget for the next quarter and have made adjustments to them, if appropriate.
O 5. Quarterly goals have been broken down by departments/teams into initiatives and projects for the quarter, the department/teams have committed to nailing the goals, and they are off to the races.
O 6. Each individual knows their goals for the quarter and year, they are aligned with our company goals, and each individual knows how their performance impacts the company performance.
O 7. There has been company-wide communication of the results from the prior quarter and plans for the following quarter so that everyone in the company has a sense of what happened and what is supposed to happen (ideally with as broad a group as possible presenting in these meetings over time)
If you have nailed these seven items, you should be well on your way to a successful quarter!
* these questions come from After Action Reviews that were developed by the U.S. Military and have spread to the private sector because of their usefulness to the process of continuous improvement. Agile developers have a practice, reflection, that is very similar to the After Action Review process for the same reasons.