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“Do the things we plan actually happen?”

This simple question gives a reasonable at-a-glance assessment of your team’s effectiveness.

It diagnoses:

  • If anyone is making clear plans at all;
  • If you have a realistic understanding of what you can achieve with the resources that you have (or think you can get);
  • If you have the technical competence to get things right and the managerial discipline to make sure that they happen consistently in the face of the chaos and friction of the real world…
  • … including the slack you need to make things happen when team members get sick, or when someone drops the ball.

If the answer is “Mostly no,” you need to get better or go home.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...