I was asked this by one of my colleagues in Poland. They really wanted to know precisely what format plan to use. The answer was: A plan that is used.
I was put on the spot, and as I scrambled for an answer it occurred to me that the best plans that I have written came in different formats. It didn’t matter if the plan was an eighty page document, a one page text description, a 100 line formally completed GANTT chart or a simple time-line on a PowerPoint slide with six milestones spread over 3 years, the plans that were the best were those which were successfully implemented. If my plans used the best tools but they were not implemented then they were not good plans.
So, don’t about the template, think about the practicality, and the ability of the “plan” to motivate a group of people to execute.
This week we used the 4 Disciplines of Execution tool to develop a laser like focus over the coming year on the single biggest goal that teams have to achieve.
However, coming up with the right goals for teams was not easy. When I worked in the commercial world the target was clear and constantly reinforced: maximize return on the investment of the shareholder. Everything that we did had to be traceable back to that point.
If you have leadership responsibility for a team or organization here are a few questions that you can use to see if you are setting yourself the best Wildly Important Goals:
- What is the one thing that, at the end of the year we have to have seen happen, even if all the other things don’t happen as we might hope?
- What is the raison d’etre for your team? Does your Wildly Important Goal relate directly to the reason for existence of the team or the part of the organization for which the team is directly responsible?
- What is the Vision for the organization as it directly relates to me or my team?
This was not an easy exercise this week, but I hope that these questions help you identify the most important goals for your team.