This Week in PCM : Monitoring Your Plan

06022016 Monitoring Your Plan

When the original plan is not working, people automatically ditch it and go to Plan B. That would be premature because you do not have any measurements to evaluate performance. It is essential to know what is wrong with your original plan and how you can fix it before going onto plan B. You need to have some metrics that will let you know when your original plan is not working. This article will help you develop the metrics necessary to measure performance. Below is an example:

Example: You are in charge of an air conditioning system. The machine is supposed to stay at 65 degrees. If it registers 67 degrees or higher seven times, then pull it from operations and fix it. If after reinstalling the machine, it still malfunctions then you pull it and go with another air conditioning machine. This second machine is your plan B.

Here are my steps for monitoring your plan before going to Plan B:

What is your metric?

You cannot properly diagnosis a problem without knowing what specifically is wrong. Having a metric sets the baseline for monitoring performance.

What is the number or percentage that would force a review?

You have to have a threshold to measure against. For those who do not know, the definition of a threshold is ‘the point at which something begins or changes.’ Your threshold is the margin or spread where certain deviations are acceptable. When the plan operates outside of this threshold, then there is cause for concern.

What situation would happen for you to go with plan B?

In essence, what is the tipping point? What is the exact point where you ditch your monitoring plan and delve into plan B. Your tipping points are outside your threshold. List this point because you need to know when to transition. If you don’t list the tipping point’s criteria, then you won’t transition in time.

Hopefully these three things will guide you towards better decision-making in developing a monitoring plan and knowing when to move to Plan B.

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This Week in Positive Change Management : 60-Day Check Up

02242016 60-day Check-Up

We are nearing the end of the first 60 days of this new cycle and it is high time to evaluate our progress. It is important to see how well you are performing. Whether or not you are doing well, this 60-day mark is always a great time to look back. However, if you are underperforming, then this is a great time to reexamine your performance. Here are 10 things to consider:

Perform all of your responsibilities

This is number 1 for a reason. Not only perform all of your responsibilities, do your best job. No slacking just because the tasks are not new anymore. Also if you are stuck, ask for help.

Learn the culture

Culture is very important to any organization. Absorb it like a sponge. Watch for the nonverbal which are more powerful than the verbal communication.

Meet with your management to gather feedback

Meet with your boss to make sure that you have clear and concise instructions.  This year is different from last year and you need to know what is expected of your right now in the beginning. If anything goes wrong, bring it up now. Don’t let it fester. The question you should ask is ‘ what is your definition of success?’ These meetings also signal to your boss, that you are proactive and in control of your career. Remember, it is your responsibility to advance your career.

Invest in some easy wins

Document all of these early wins. These go beyond bolstering your self-esteem. You can bring them with you during your meetings with the boss. Furthermore, they will serve as inputs for your first quarterly review. Documenting your wins shows your boss precisely what you are contributing.

Review the efficiency of company processes and procedures

If you have a solution to the problem, write it down before pitching it. Oftentimes, people mention their new ideas during meetings but don’t do the legwork to execute them. Formally writing down your solution, makes you more credible because he has something to work with.

Continue to build relationships with your colleagues

Don’t stop networking just because people are returning from the holidays and just getting back into the flow of work. A new cycle means new opportunities.

Visit other departments

Get out of the bubble and see how other departments operate. This would also be a great time to network and meet the new hires. You can also see if these other departments have needs and gaps to fulfill. Maybe another department is doing something better that you can incorporate into your routine. You will never know if you stay in the same fishbowl.

Evaluate boss and colleague feedback

Feedback is critical towards your immediate and future success. Taking the emotion out of the situation is my first recommendation. We are new and want to be accepted so job when someone says something critical, we become defensive. The reality is that your boss and coworkers are trying to help you do your job better.

Continue to evolve in your new role

I add the word evolve in there because you are wiser now than in the very beginning. Write down how you have evolved over these two months and what you expect to accomplish by the 90-day mark.

Continue to attend training

Even though you think have mastered everything, still keep learning. Training also presents you with a chance to expand your internal network by meeting new employees.

Reviewing these 10 things will help you better determine where you are during these first 60 days.


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New Positive Change with Carla Airing This Friday


As previously announced on, this week’s Positive Change with Carla will air on a special day. It will air Friday instead of Thursday. The new episode ‘Evaluating Your Annual Personal Career Brand Performance’ will delve into how to use your most recent performance rating to map out this year’s work performance strategy.

Check out the Blogtalkradio Positive Change with Carla episode link here:

Evaluating Your Personal Brand Annual Performance


Evaluating your annual personal career brand performance is essential. If you want to realize positive change in your personal and professional lives, you must take a hard look at how you’ve performed this year. Here are 5 things that you should use to evaluate your annual personal brand performance. They are: stickiness, retention, responsiveness to change, tactical planning and strategic planning.


Stickiness is how well people remember you. Let’s ask a question: do people remember you for something? It can interpersonal skills, programming, project management, HR or marketing? Is there a trait that whenever someone mentions your name, that person immediately says ‘blank’? If so, then you’ve achieved stickiness.

Now let me ask a deeper question: have you attained subject matter expert status in your discipline? defines subject matter expert as ‘individual who exhibits the highest level of expertise in performing a specialized job, task, or skill within the organization.’ Becoming a subject matter expert is the highest level of stickiness. When you’re at this level, whenever someone asks for an expert, they think of you. You are exploiting your core competency when you are a subject matter expert. If you have achieved this status, document the process then list the 3-5 steps towards maintaining your subject matter expert for next year. It is one thing to get there. It is another thing to maintain your status. You want to increase your stickiness in the New Year.


Retention is indispensable towards leveraging your personal career brand. You retain people based on  delivering high quality work. Ask yourself this question: have people continually returned to you for a particular thing? Retention is the next step after stickiness. Once you’ve reeled them in, do they stay? Evaluate if you are retaining your clientele. If there are less people coming to you to solve their problems, then you should reexamine your personal career brand. Furthermore, if you are retaining more people then take these lessons learned and use them as inputs for next year’s plan.

Responsiveness to change

Change is inevitable. It is the only constant; and, your personal brand must be responsiveness towards it. Ask yourself how flexible are you? Rigidity hurts your career brand. Don’t fear changing your plan because you are not the same person on January 1st as you will be on December 31st. Your personal career brand must incorporate the latest industry changes in order to stay relevant next year.

Tactical planning

Tactical planning is short-term planning that supports strategic (long-term) planning. It’s used for non-annual planning (quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily). With tactical planning, you have to evaluate how your personal brand has performed this year. Has everything you planned for resulted in above-average performance? Has your brand gained more momentum with each successive quarter? Which things have worked for you? Conversely, which things haven’t gone accordingly to plan? When you dissect underperformance, has these things been corrected during the next quarter? If you cannot improve, then drop it this year. Answering all of these questions are crucial towards measuring the effectiveness of your tactical planning. If your tactical planning has exceeded your expectations, then document 3-5 steps per your time metric (quarter, month, week, day) to improve your personal career brand for next year. These steps will be the inputs for your strategic planning.

Strategic planning

Strategic planning is long-term. It is the high-level planning that you do when you start the year. The first objectives that you’ve drafted serve as a guide throughout the year. The tactical planning objectives support the strategic planning ones. The question you should ask yourself is has this year’s strategic planning positioned you towards a better New Year? If it hasn’t then what steps are you taking towards guaranteeing that you’ll sidestep the pitfalls? If it has, then document 3-5 steps per your time metric (quarter, month, week, day) to strategically improve your personal career brand for next year?

You will use these variables to examine the effectiveness. If you are underperforming or ineffective in any of these places, then you can correct these problems now instead of letting them follow you into the New Year.


Use Fed’s Rate Hike as Fuel to Positively Ask for More

12162015 Marriner_S._Eccles_Federal_Reserve_Board_Building

Many people think that the Federal Reserve’s increasing interest rates for the first time since 2006 is a bad thing because it would induce inflation. I, however, think that this is a prime time to be proactive instead of reactive. I think that this is good time to position yourself for a raise. The interest rate hike is eating your paycheck and you will need more money to stay afloat. In addition, this rate increase has come at a wonderful time: the end of the year because you can take everything in your annual review, highlight the good parts and repositioning yourself to ask for a raise next year. There is positive in almost everything. Use this Federal Reserve rate increase to demand more out of yourself and your paycheck.