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By Darryl Stewart
How good leaders keep projects on track

How good leaders keep projects on track

Do you have an initiative that is lagging? It seems like it should work, but you just can’t seem to get it moving in the right direction?

In their book The Four Disciplines of Execution, authors Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, and Jim Huling propose a roadmap grounded in four key practices:

  1. Focus on the wildly important
  2. Act on the lead measures
  3. Keep a compelling scoreboard
  4. Create a cadence of accountability

I agree wholeheartedly with these disciplines and highly recommend this book. There are also YouTube videos like this one that outline the four disciplines in only a few minutes. For the best chance of success, I recommend that you implement all four disciplines. However, it is the first and last disciplines that I find most important yet the most neglected. They are simple, easy to understand, but often completely ignored.

Many projects drag on indefinitely either because they are not important enough to be projects in the first place, or because no one is being held regularly accountable for the project’s progress and results. Both conditions are the fault of the leader. It is our duty as leaders to keep people and teams focused on the most important things and to make sure that people make and keep commitments.

A simple start down this path is to reduce the number of things you expect your team to get done while increasing your expectations of them in the areas that remain. Put in place a weekly five-minute, stand-up project meeting where each person on the team reports on their progress from the week before and outlines their commitments for the week ahead. I like to stand because there is pressure to end the meeting and stay focused on the topic at hand.

These simple steps can work wonders to improve your team’s results and provide a feeling of accomplishment for all involved.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.