On Track

Staying on track as a team is critical to achievement of overall outcomes and requires regular monitoring. However this monitoring needs to go beyond simply checking our to do lists, but to the heart of managing our energy towards our work and continually reassessing and reviewing realistic team goals and outcomes.

Checking in with ourselves and each other to be honest if we are really moving at the right pace or attending to the right level of quality for our customer can be missed in the “busyness”.

Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The point is to realise that you can often focus your effort on the 20% that makes a difference, instead of the 80% that doesn’t.    

This can be combined with how we use our strengths and how much energy we put into our work.  As humans we know that even if all our motivations align we might have an “off day” so we can only create the conditions to work well and achieve flow ourselves or collectively with our team.  Allowing for variance in staying on track and setting realistic timelines in our plans is more human and sustainable long term. Constantly “driving high performance” eventually leads to burnout without downtime, deep work and rest.

Staying on track together is as much about allowing for the natural ebb and flow of our whole lives as it is about meeting the goals we set ourselves and expectations for the organisation overall.

How can we better stay on track:

– Recognise that timelines change, they are not set in stone and flexibility can work both ways if things go more smoothly or if challenges arise we can move the goal posts and welcome the flex it offers

– Keep communication open so people are able to support if workloads rise and fall and start to become unrealistic for one person, no one needs to be wholly responsible

– Check in on what is urgent vs important and ensure you plot out time for both

– Consider how different working patterns might suit people if working virtually or hybrid in terms of hours and how this could work to the teams favour for example someone working later hours might fit with an international client in a different time zone for a while