There are seven days left this year. There is still plenty that you can do starting today! I am creating a 7-step goal tracker to help you optimize your time and maximize your output. Below are the December time management series articles:
Happy December, there’s still plenty to do:
Three Things to Do with Three Weeks Left:
Two Things to Do with Two Weeks Left:
Ten Things to Do in Ten Days
Time is your most precious commodity. It is essential to effectively track your time, resources and progress. Below are the seven steps towards to creating a goal tracker.
- Determine what are your definitions of success and progress
These two definitions are indispensable towards creating the goal tracker. Your success definition is what your outcome will be. Your success definition answers the question of what you want to accomplish. Your progress definition is your quality policy. When you measure progress at each milestone, has your product met the quality standard to go to the next phase? If that product does not meet the quality standard then progress has not been met. You cannot advance forward.
- Know your resources and people
You have to make sure that you have all of the people and resources needed to execute. If anything is missing, then you must create a contingency plan.
- Add milestones
The milestones are the beginning of creating the tracker. You need to start filling out the schedule. The milestones are the points where you evaluate if the product or work in its current form has met the quality policy.
- Write down change management procedures.
A change management plan is necessary because the one thing that is certain is uncertainty. Usually, people create the goal tracker first. However, I think that accepting that change is always going to happen, creating the change management plan first is imperative. For instance, a change management plan tells you how to respond when a product does not meet the quality policy. Some of the things that this plan answers are how do we incorporate changes? When and where do we flag them? Who can approve changes? Creating the change management plan gives you a ready-made answer.
- Use 3-point estimation to create contingency plans.
I am introducing a project management concept. The three-point estimate takes the most optimistic (MO), most likely (ML) and most pessimistic (MP) and divide them. Here is the formula:
MO+ 4(ML)+ MP
This formula gives you the most likely goals tracker. Another reason why I introduce most optimistic and most pessimistic is because of change. What if you are advancing ahead of schedule, how do you respond to this? The most optimistic schedule will help you. Remember, that only thing that is certain is uncertainty.
- Monitor the progress.
Once you create your tracker and start working on your goal, you need to monitor progress and make adjustments accordingly. Consult the change management plan if necessary.
- Have a lessons learned section.
A lessons learned section details what has gone right and wrong during this time period. It is very important to assessment what has just happened because you can rely on it in the future. Don’t reinvent the wheel every time. A lessons learned section helps you with this.
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