You don’t get something, when you measure nothing

I spent the week getting deep into the business controls in place – budgets, approvals, workflows and business processes.

As I did that, I realized that many of the issues that I am facing today is because things I assigned in the past didn’t get done.

And so, as I was working on the tactical things, I pulled myself back to strategic view – and asked my self, why?  Why didn’t all these things happen that I need to happen.  They where assigned and even on a list.   Why didn’t I get the results I expected.

And so, the answer I crystalized in this simple 5 points note – which now hangs right next to me on the wall.

imageSo, Lets look at the 5 items:

  1. Plan – Yes – I have planned things – pass
  2. Schedule – Yes – I have schedule the tasks– pass
  3. Assign – Yes – I have assigned the tasks – pass
  4. Monitor – No – I didn’t monitor the tasks and projects – fail
  5. Reward – Yes – I rewarded and punished – pass

Now you will probably say – Paul, this is Management 101 – if you don’t measure, you don’t get anything.   And its true.  So, if I look at my breakdown of where things don’t quite work, its in the monitoring of “Getting things done”.

Now, the ironic thing is that a system I assigned to “track and monitor”, didn’t get done, and guess why – because it wasn’t tracked and monitored.    Ironic isn’t it.   So, one argument to this, is that ‘you have the wrong people’.   I would disagree with that. 

In the many years now that I have seen this – at the end of the day, the people you have are generally, 99.99% good.  Their skill sets may not allow them to self manage, self motivate, take initiative etc. 

They are still great employees but their skills may only reside in one area.   And so, it is up to management, to assist those individuals. 

So,  the 5 steps apply to pretty much anything.   Other areas where things didn’t get delivered as expected, where a result of 1 or more steps in the 5 step process.   In this process, you have to get 100% (5 out of 5) right, otherwise the results are not a fraction of the above but a  big fat 0 if any of the steps above fail.

Now, I could make a huge amount of excuses for myself as to why I didn’t deliver on #4.   After all – that is part of my job.   The bottom line, is that my strength is in all of the above with exception of #4.   Monitoring is a detailed oriented task – and I am not detailed oriented – I know that. So, a big fat reminder for me, that #4 is an area I have to especially pay attention to.