Whether you are a first time leader or experienced one, chances are that each day you struggle with information overload. Struggle to spot the most useful methods, techniques and knowledge. Especially when leading a team of talented individuals, you are forced to constantly figure out new ways to amplify your team’s success and become even greater than you were yesterday.
Before building great companies, we need great employees. Therefore, keeping up with your team and keeping them happy, should be on top of your list. What is more, according to Quantum Workplace’s report mistrust in leadership is the No. 1 reason employees choose to leave current roles. So, don’t jump into blaming others.
For a sake of a experiment typing “Team Leadership” in Google search, gives you alone over 472 000 000 results. So, how to navigate in this pool of information? How to spot the management techniques that are worth experimenting with?
The answer is easy – learn from others. Although it might be difficult to learn from others mistakes, it is possible to get valuable insights from their learning experience. For example, Mark Fernandes has talked about own experience with Values-Based Leadership and the exponential effect it has made in people’s lives. His train of thoughts makes you want to try it out.
Yet another possibility is to investigate successful enterprises. For example, what is the one common thing between Skype, Ebay and startup accelerator Seedcamp? They have rolled out one simple but efficient management technique called PPP – progress, plans, problems.
Progress, Plans, Problems is a management technique for recurring status reporting. The core idea behind the method is simple. During a specified period (daily, weekly, monthly) each team-member reports about 3-5 key achievements, future plans and obstacles.
Why is it so valuable? First of all, in addition to team-leaders in Skype and Ebay, it has helped thousands of others from SMEs to Fortune500 companies. The key to success is that it’s easy to implement and saves hours from useless meetings. PPP methodology solves the one common problem in team leadership by keeping the whole team up-to-date with current information. And as said by Cleve Gibbon “PPP reports communicate three essential facts that are both informal and informative. They are rich in stuff and low in fluff.”
While bringing this process into your team, it is important to remind everyone that the goal is to bring everyone on the same page regarding what’s happening in the team. In order to achieve that everyone needs to concentrate on most important items and not overwhelm others with too many details. That said, each and individual team member should list key items under each of the three P-s:
- Progress – key accomplishments that got done during the reporting period. It should give a straightforward answer to the question what have you done?
- Plans – this should contain key plans for the period ahead. These are the goals, objectives, items that need to be finished either within a day, week or month. This is the answer to the question what are you going to do next?
- Problems – these are the items you can’t finish, for whatsoever reason. This is an important part of any report. This is the part that signals the whole team of upcoming challenges. But if it’s done properly, there is still time to act.
Overall, the process is easy and enjoyable, for both the managers and the employees, since it keeps everyone in the loop.
(About the Author: Külli is the marketing director of Weekdone, a start-up that builds team collaboration and employee progress reporting tools based on popular management methodologies like PPP and OKR. She is always on the lookout of new ways to achieve more by doing less. You can connect with her and the Weekdone team on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.)