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How to keep the software current and updated every week

Your dashboards must be updated prior to the weekly team meeting so that ALL data is current and accurate. For example:. 

This is an area where I see many companies struggle. They try to run meetings, yet much of their data is either out of date, missing, or inaccurate. 

I strongly urge clients that your dashboard must always “tell the truth” about exactly where your company is at - especially as you go into your weekly team meeting. 

Unfortunately, if you don’t have the latest Metric scores, or if your Projects and Tasks have not been updated to reflect the current reality, the manager:

  • can’t see which areas are performing well, and which areas require your attention
  • can’t see which people are performing well, and who needs your help and support
  • can’t have meaningful discussions about performance
  • can’t make well informed decisions 

Also, if your dashboard software is not kept up to date it greatly loses its power to motivate your people. Keeping the data current and making this performance visible is a proven factor for management success. 

To ensure you are fully prepared to run a great meeting, I recommend you implement the following meeting “rules”.

Updating Tasks: 

Everyone must update their own Tasks prior to the weekly meeting. They check off Tasks that have been completed, and add new Tasks to show their team leader that they are using their own good judgement to prioritize their work for the coming week. 

Overdue Tasks need to be explained by the Task owner, with a revised due date and commitment.

Additional Tasks can be added as appropriate by the team leader during the meeting.  

Everyone must have at least 1 Task entered each week to show the team what specific thing they will complete before the week is over - “The 1 Thing” they will get done that will have the biggest impact on their area of the business. 

Updating Projects: 

Project Goal owners must update the status of Projects they are accountable for every week prior to the meeting  - and be prepared to debate the % complete and color status.  

Don’t delude yourselves. If there is even the slightest chance that a Project is falling behind schedule and is unlikely to be 100% completed by the Project due date, make sure the Project color status shows “yellow” or “red” to let everyone in the team know that extra attention is required to get things back on track.

Every Project should have at least 1 Task listed underneath it to show the next step.

Updating Metrics (Key Performance Indicators):  

I learned a big secret to successful business execution many years ago, namely that, “If everyone is accountable, then no one is”.  

The secret to getting things done is what is we call “single point accountability”. One person needs to make sure the thing gets done, and if that thing is not done, we only need to speak to one person to find out what is happening, and for them to take accountability to sort it out.

In my experience, the best way to ensure Metric data is kept up to date on your dashboard is to have one person (a “Data Champion”) take accountability for ensuring all Metrics in the system are current and accurate.  

Whether they personally update all the numbers themselves, or they ensure others to do it, or (ideally) there are automatic data integrations in place, the Data Champion is accountable to make sure all the Metrics in your dashboard are current and accurate prior to the weekly team meeting. “No missing data” becomes part of their weekly job description.

Agree a time, e.g. “10am on a Monday” by when the Data Champion must ensure that all the Metric scores in the dashboard are current and accurate from the week prior. 

That way at 10.01am anyone can log in and see exactly how the team performed last week. Everyone can see which parts of the business are performing well, and which parts need attention. Everyone can see which individuals are performing well, and who needs help and support.

The manager must hold the Data Champion firmly accountable for making sure this is done every week, and the Data Champion must be given the authority to do whatever it takes to make sure the data is kept current.

Summary.

Without current accurate data, you cannot run an effective meeting. You are wasting your time, as well as wasting the time of those attending. 

How well does your team keep Metrics, Projects and Tasks updated?

What changes do you need to make?

For more information, see our management training courses to learn our best practices for setting up and managing Metrics, Projects and Tasks.

Stephen Lynch

Head of Strategy and Consulting

 

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