Building a Quarterly Award: Process Control and Measurement

Welcome back to my 12 Week Year article series. I’m going through my highlights of The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington and thinking “out loud” as I build a CGO of the Quarter package for the 1st quarter of 2021. This week we’re looking into Process Control and Measurement.

I’m going to cheat a bit this week and just post just my highlights from the chapters on Process Control and Keeping Score. One thing to note is the lag and lead measures is also mentioned in a book by John Doer titled Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs. I’ve tried to implement Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in the past but haven’t had much luck. It’s still something I’m learning more about.

Process Control

  • New actions are almost always uncomfortable. That’s one of the things that makes change so difficult. It’s one thing to identify the actions needed to create a better result; it’s a whole other thing to consistently do them. Without structural and environmental support, follow-through becomes a constant exercise of willpower. Relying on willpower occasionally can work, but as studies have shown, willpower has a fatigue factor, and as we’ve all experienced, sometimes we have the willpower and sometimes we don’t.
  • Process control uses tools and events to create support structures that can augment, and in some cases take the place of, willpower.
  • The weekly plan is a powerful tool that translates the 12 week plan into daily and weekly action. The weekly plan is the instrument that organizes and focuses your week.
  • The only way you will reach your 12 week goals is by taking action on your plan each day. The weekly plan and the Weekly Accountability Meeting are two steps in a three-step process called the weekly routine.
  • The weekly routine consists of three simple, yet powerful steps:
    1. Score your week
  • Putting your plan to paper eliminates ambiguity and creates transparency.
  • Make no mistake, you will be more successful if you work from a written weekly plan and meet regularly with a group of your peers!
  • The weekly plan does not contain everything you do in your job, just the strategic items from your 12 week plan. You should have a separate sheet with to-do items and callbacks, Do not dilute your plan by adding all the lower-level activities do in the course of your day. Keep the weekly plan that you for only strategic items and commitments.
  • Check in with your weekly plan first thing each morning, once or twice throughout the day, and before you go home.

Keeping Score

  • The lag indicators are the end results, and your 12 week goals are the ultimate lagging indicators. If you are tracking progress towards your goals, then you are tracking lag indicators.
  • Lead indicators are the things that happen early in the execution process.
  • In general, the more frequent a measure is, the more useful it is.
  • Even so, you will be well served to identify a certain set of lead indicators that you can track monthly, weekly, or daily.
  • …embrace measurement and not to shy away from it.
  • …focus more on the actions than the results. Remember, you have greater control over your actions than you do your outcomes. Your outcomes are driven by your actions.
  • Focus on making progress. The goal is to raise your level of execution each week. A weekly score that is increasing is a positive sign that bodes well for succeeding with your goals.
  • A score of 65 percent might be an improvement in activity from the past 12 weeks. Even at 65 percent most people will see an improvement in their results. The question you need to ask yourself is this: “Is an execution score of 65 percent enough to accomplish my 12 week goals?”

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