Without regular reviews of progress towards strategic goals, most people will get swamped by the urgent. You’d think that goals that are defined as strategically important would automatically be reviewed. Experience tells me that this is not so. In fact, the opposite can occur. When people are swamped by the urgent, taking time to remind oneself that what is truly important is not happening can be embarrassing, and avoided.
Sean Covey in 4 Disciplines of Execution recommends weekly reviews of lead measurements. I think that lag measurements (or the desired outcomes or goals) should also be reviewed, just in case the lead measurements are not leading to the correct lag effects.
Covey recommends frequent, but short, reviews of progress. I agree. This keeps the goals in the front of the minds of those people who would otherwise be swamped by the urgent. I can remember many projects when we were developing telecoms products that did not have regular reviews. I don’t remember them being consistently delivered on time. This is Project Management 101, and I’ve paid for not following it before.
This principle applies to any project. During 2 hour meetings we review progress against an agenda to see if we are still on track to do what we wanted to do during the time allocated. Similarly, we should regularly review macro progress to macro level goals over the life cycle of the strategy to achieve that goal.
I have concluded that daily or weekly 15 or 30 minute stand-up meetings in the short-term can save a lot of crisis management and war-room meetings in the long-term.