Here’s the scenario I laid out in Part 1 of Facilitating Success: It’s been two months since a planning session when the executive team enthusiastically agreed on new strategic initiatives, and you’ve seen no evidence of progress. To get things moving, I laid out the strategy of creating motivation by making each team’s success visible to the whole executive team.

The next part of Facilitating Success is using smarter tools designed specifically to make success easier to report. The elements of these smart tools will be familiar to project managers, but I believe the trick is to design them with a “success orientation.” This means that the content of the tools focuses on and, therefore, helps to generate the outcomes you seek.

Create Clarity Up Front

People need to know what success looks like to reach it. So, from the beginning of the project, the implementation plan needs to include a clear measure for each milestone.

  • Example Milestone – Complete quality improvement assessment of xyz process to identify and eliminate unnecessary steps.
  • Example Measures – (1) Number of steps eliminated from process. (2) Amount of time saved in process with steps eliminated (in days). (3) Money saved with improved process (in dollars, reported quarterly).

Report Results Every Time

In a standard work plan update, it’s easy to hide a lack of progress using a status like “in progress” or “on target.” Instead, I create a smarter reporting template that requires tangible outcomes to be reported every time. Since the measures were established up front, this part is easy to complete with meaningful information.

  • Milestone – Complete quality improvement assessment of xyz process…
  • Actions Taken – Completed mapping for 75% of xyz process.
  • Update on Measures – 112 steps identified so far. Tentatively identified 28 steps to eliminate; if confirmed these will reduce production time by 5 days.

Now, think back to part 1, where I described boosting motivation by making the successes of the priority initiatives visible at executive meetings. When giving a status report using a smarter reporting tool, it becomes easier to make the specifics of your successful implementation visible. This, too, will generate more motivation and energy around the new strategic plan and initiatives.

In my next post on “Facilitating Success,” I’ll talk about the value of transforming the status report from an update on tasks into a genuine dialogue among peers.

#facilitatesuccess #strategicdesign #smartstrategies #smarttools