You walk in and instead of confidently starting on your prioritized “to-do” list, you start responding to emails, fielding help-desk tickets from customers, taking phone calls, and diving into whatever is pressing on your attention at that moment.
You’ll never be in control of your project if you always feel like a slave to the urgency of a crisis.
This is known as a “Fire-of-the-Day” management style.
Whatever seems to be burning down today is where your attention goes.
Here’s the tell-tale symptom:
If you’re exhausted at the end of every workday, but you can’t really describe what you did, you’re experiencing this one.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have no control over your own project.
One way to get a grip on the reins and get buy-in from your team is to create Critical Productivity Indicators (CPIs) that are measurable, actionable, and don’t mean they’ll “get the axe” if they mess up.
When your team is clear about what “success” means, you’re going to see a lot more collaboration and confidence on “progress report day.”
What are CPIs? Below are some I’ve developed for organizations. All together, they form a Productivity Index, a composite score used to gauge how healthy a team is.
Steal this and run with it.
2 Minute Action:
Look at the list below. What’s the most important, pressing issue for your team? Only pick one.
Take 1 minute and define the question.
Take the next minute and create a few answers.
You don’t have to solve this right now, but having a good question in your head will let you see your work differently today.
It’s up to you to carve out the time to develop solutions.
- Activity – How much work is being done?
- Prioritization – What kind of work is being done?
- Efficiency – How much work is redundant or wasted?
- Productivity – How much useful output is generated by your team?
- Potential – How much productive work you could be doing?
- Visibility – How clear your team is on their responsibilities?
- Reinforcers – What is motivating consistent, high-quality work behavior?
- Standards – What goals, targets, or benchmarks are in place?
- Capacity – Does your team have all the skills necessary?
- Alignment – Is everyone clear on the mission and priorities?
- Proximal Zone – Where does your team fall in Vygotsky’s Proximal Zones, and the anxiety-boredom spectrum?
- Sentiment – Does your team believe in the mission and are they invested in success?