As we grow our practices, it’s vitally important that we are in complete control of our team and consistently hold them accountable.
And at the same time, when we’re busy growing our practices it’s very easy for this to spiral out of control.
I hear this problem all the time…
“Rudi, I’m just too busy to remember to hold my team accountable and to follow up with them”
And what this means is that:
– Work starts drifting
– Clients become unhappy
– And ultimately it does have an impact on our profits
So I want to share with you a concept which I know will help. And if you put this concept in place you will:
– Take more control of your team and
– Bring in lots of accountability so that things get done on time, every time.
And the result of this? Higher productivity and increased profits.
I want you to imagine an octopus with eight tentacles. And I also want you to imagine that everything you or a member of your team does is part of a project (no matter how big or small).
So for example, if you need to order in cake for somebody’s birthday on Friday, that’s a project. In the same way that setting out an implementation plan for Xero is a project.
So every tentacle on this octopus is a project. And your job is to ultimately remove yourself from all of these projects and remain inside the body of the octopus – from where you can control the tentacles (in other words, you are the ultimate project manager).
In order for this to work, every tentacle must have a project manager (not you) who is responsible for that project and is someone that you can hold accountable. And every project needs at the very least a minimum of a 5-step implementation plan for that project (unless it really is “Buy a cake” which may not have 5 steps to the project…). Once there is a person responsible and that person has a plan to follow, then you can bring accountability.
What this means is that as you can then start extracting yourself from these tentacles and moving into the body of the octopus which means that you will have more time to hold your project managers accountable, and follow up with them.
Please note, these projects can be internal (what our team does) or external (e.g. having a website built). It doesn’t matter. The key to remember is that when you start taking on the mentality of “I am the ultimate project manager inside the body of the octopus, and I’m extracting myself from all of the tentacles” you will start taking control of your world.
Who What When
I won’t get into great detail about this – you can read my full post about how to use the who what when triangle here.
The point is that in order for you to hold your project managers accountable, you need to delegate to them effectively using this tool. For every tentacle make sure that there is; a WHO (e.g. who is your project manager), a WHAT (what their project consists of) and a WHEN (the deadline by which the project should be completed).
If you have these 3 things in place I promise you that you will start gaining control very quickly.
Ask yourself this question – “Right now, how many projects/tentacles am I stuck in that I should be extracting myself from as soon as possible?”
And once you know the answer to that, ask yourself – “How much is the time that I am personally wasting in these projects affecting my productivity and profitability?”
If the answers to those two questions have made your palms start to sweat, it’s clear that you need to start taking action.
Identify the projects, nominate your project managers, and slowly start extracting yourself.