Goals Need Defining Criteria to Communicate Successfully
When planning and executing a project, how effective communications are when delegating assignments successfully is a key to the manager’s success. In a recent article in a Blog by John Spense titled Meetings do NOT = Results! (3/28/11), an important question for all managers was posed related to projects.
“Have we identified, clear, specific, measurable, quantifiable goals and objectives that will specifically indicate that the appropriate progress is being made?”
It may appear axiomatic that any experienced manager would follow this criteria, particularly effective communication. The reality is much different. The practical matter is that this process is over-looked or falls short of a level of excellence. Assumptions are made that members of the team will certainly understand what needs to be done. The typical thought process is that “I will supervise progress and assure the project assignment is kept on track. Right? Wrong!
Mistakes managers make in delegating assignments
Here are the most common things that can go wrong.
- The “clear” criteria is always in the eye of the beholder. Certainly, the manager may see the objective clearly but the members of the business unit may not. The top manager, who creates a truly clear objective statement will cut across the experience diversity of the team so all will understand.
Most project objectives are not specific enough. the same “experience diversity” noted above will be at play here as well. An Objective with concise but complete specifications will help all members of the team understand and commit to the Goal. Projects that are not quantifiable and measurable are too ambiguous. This does not support effective communication.
- If you can’t measure you can’t track progress pure and simple. At times, certain projects are not as easy to quantify, but with a bit of effort and creativity, some quantifiable measures will be developed. This is effective delegation 101 but often not followed.
- Assessing the extent to which expected progress is being made is absolutely mission critical. This can not be left to chance. The Project Plan needs to have specific check-points along the time line for completion. Status reports are expected at these check-points. Any slippage in execution can be identified and handled. Adjustments can be made to the plan in order to keep the project on track.
The clear path to managing the criteria question is based on attention to detail and thoroughness of preparation. To consistently execute as a precision, high-performance business unit requires the manager to present fool-proof delegation assignments. The ability to develop a project plan that completely defines goals in a detailed and measurable way will absolutely improve execution and goal achievement.
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