Q: How much time should I spend measuring and communicating my progress?
A: Surprisingly, not much! Capturing and reporting your numbers should only take 30 minutes each month, tops! BUT, creating the narrative surrounding your numbers and strategy takes more time and is much more valuable to your strategic management process.
Great question! Here are a few of the best answers from our Strategy Collaborative Q&A Session!
Finding the right balance is crucial when measuring and communicating strategy and progress. Let’s delve into the insights shared during our Strategy Collaborative Q&A Session to understand better when to communicate your progress and who owns the goals.
Measuring your progress shouldn’t take a ton of time.
Capturing your performance for the prior month is a relatively simple process. The right amount of time spent on measuring, tracking, and communicating progress shouldn’t take an individual goal owner any more than 15-30 minutes a month.
A few key questions to ask at this time would be:
- What’s the priority for the upcoming 30 days?
- Do we have any concerns about our upcoming goals?
- Are there any obstacles we need to address?
- Who or what are our dependencies?
The focus should be on capturing performance for the previous month. The main objective of these monthly or quarterly reviews is to collect data on what was achieved, prioritize upcoming goals, and address any concerns or obstacles that need to be communicated. This time is primarily dedicated to gathering the necessary information for further discussions.
Most of your time is spent creating the narrative around the progress and communicating the strategy.
While communicating your progress and reporting on your numbers should only take a small portion of your time, the investment really comes in communicating your strategy and creating a narrative of your progress and its significance of it. The numbers and progress are primarily used to shift the conversation to where are we going next?
Communicating your strategy needs to be a thoughtful investment in time. More time should be spent on, “What is it I want to surface as it relates to what I am uniquely contributing to?”
Try using a communication matrix.
Developing a Communication Matrix that outlines the audiences, both internal and external, and the purpose for each communication is helpful. The Communication Matrix can serve as a valuable tool to guide and streamline your communication efforts. Applying this matrix to your organization, which may only require around 30 minutes, can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your communication strategy.
Being deliberate in your communication ensures that the right messages reach the right stakeholders at the right time, aligning everyone’s efforts and fostering a shared understanding of organizational goals. This allows you to convey the progress and priorities of your organization effectively.
Capturing and reporting organizational strategy performance should not be one person’s responsibility.
It is a distributed responsibility. It’s delegated, cascading from leadership to management and frontline teams. People in the organization need to know where they fit and how they uniquely contribute to moving the needle on organizational performance.
By involving everyone in the process, you foster a sense of ownership and engagement, ensuring that performance is consistently tracked and communicated at all levels.
Your numbers should tell a story, not merely be repeated as an administrative duty.
Measuring and tracking performance should go beyond administrative duties. It’s about knowing your numbers, reflecting on what’s working and what’s not, and identifying areas for improvement.
Rather than viewing it as a mere reporting task, consider it an opportunity to analyze data, identify trends, and make informed decisions. When individuals clearly understand their numbers and their impact on the organization’s overall performance, they can actively contribute to achieving strategic goals.