February is Over…Time to Get Real!

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As part of describing OpenView’s management system rhythm, last month I posted on our approach for checking on, reflecting on, and reviewing January results against the quarterly plan.

The idea of the plan is to maximize the probability of success of your business development strategies and you business growth strategies by creating goal clarity.

The idea of the monthly meeting is to check/reflect/review as a management team each month to optimize the adjustments to the plan at the senior management level (as well as other appropriate levels depending on the number of layers of management in your organization). The approach for the monthly meeting is to color code each quarterly initiative (green if the initiative will get done on time, yellow if it will get done on time but there are some issues, and red if the initiative will not get done without some major help) and then to review only the initiatives that are color coded red each month.

The January end (beginning of February) review point for the quarterly goals gave managers the opportunities to review progress once January was over. If you did something like this last month, you probably had very few red items to discuss, as one month into the quarter everyone was still looking at the initiatives through rose colored glasses (or are they green colored glasses?).

Now that February is over, it is time to review the quarterly initiatives again. This time I suspect the review will be more real and you will have more “red” initiatives. Your team only has 4 weeks left in the quarter to get its initiatives completed and, if you are like most teams that hold themselves accountable, you probably also have some people stressing out about their progress.

Again, the agenda is to go through the list of red items and to try to figure out how to make adjustments that put your company in the best shape possible by the end of the month and quarter. This might involve eliminating some goals, adjusting other goals, or adjusting resources so that you can get more accomplished (all are valid and depend on your company’s specific situation).

You should be able to manage this agenda without much operational support, but asking your CFO or other operational support owner to run the process will probably make the process better.

The key is that February is over and it is time to get real on what you are really going to accomplish this quarter!