Where am I?
It’s quite easy to lose track of where you are in terms of achieving your objectives and not even realise it. Yes, you made sure your objectives are SMART but did you make a mistake in terms of the ‘T’ – time-based, time-bound or timely? Because you wanted them to be achievable, you may well have allowed quite a while before they would be measurable. So, days and weeks and even months pass until you finally realise you’re well off track.
A ‘strat nav’
What you need is a near constant reminder that you’re heading in the correct direction to achieve your objectives. More accurately, you want something that indicates when you’re made a wrong turn – a ‘strat nav’, if you like. To make it work, the ‘T’ element of your objectives needs to be divided into smaller parts or periods. You may have rightly decided that to introduce online appointment booking and automatic mobile phone and email reminders will take all of six months. But if three months in you finally learn the software you’d been promised is not available, the objective could become impossible to achieve.
Each of your objectives should have ‘road signs’ – indicators of the correct route and of ‘no entry’ turnings. So if the online appointment needs to be installed within a month and it is, you’re on track and can continue straight on at the junction. If it isn’t, you need to turn left (chase up the supplier one last time) or right (investigate alternative suppliers) or even make a U-turn and start again with the objective.
Several route finding programmes will estimate how long your planned journey is and the length of time it will take. It accounts for speed limits and, in some cases, traffic conditions. You need to programme your strat nav to do this. Different elements of an objective will take more or less time and should be identified as such. You need to know where delays could occur and where time can be made up.
The straight and narrow
Finally, your objectives should include, if only in outline, a plan for getting back on track should you veer away. Can you call on extra resource? Delay another project? Extend the final deadline without causing problems? Hmmm, such a plan should also be ‘R’ – realistic!
Author Nicki Rowland
Posted by Gemma