Outcomes - That's What You Need to Focus on

Written by Alan Fairweather

Continued from page 1

I've had salespeople say - "Oh, I'll deliver that torepparttar customer, it's on my way." Customer service people will say - "I'll go and talk to distribution or finance department about that." You have to keep asking yourselfrepparttar 119432 question, "Is what they're doing helping me to achieve my outcomes?" Ifrepparttar 119433 answer is "no" then don't let them do it.

Make it clear to your team whatrepparttar 119434 outcomes are and don't concern yourself too much about how they get there. Now that doesn't mean that you encourage a salesman to get a sale at any cost, or a chef to use inferior ingredients. And you obviously don't want a maintenance engineer cutting corners that could jeopardise safety.

However it does mean usingrepparttar 119435 thinking part of your brain and not listening to your inbuilt programs. Your people may not do a jobrepparttar 119436 way you would do it but that doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong.

I've often listened to a salesperson speaking to a customer and found myself thinking - "That's notrepparttar 119437 way I'd do it." The temptation then, is to jump intorepparttar 119438 conversation or speak torepparttar 119439 salesperson afterwards. However I've learned to keep my mouth shut, because many timesrepparttar 119440 salesperson closedrepparttar 119441 business,repparttar 119442 customer was happy and it probably was better than I would do it.

I checked into a hotel recently and as I signedrepparttar 119443 paperworkrepparttar 119444 bubbly receptionist complimented me on my cologne. She asked what kind it was so that she might buy some for her boyfriend.

Now I know this hotel chain and this isn't part ofrepparttar 119445 welcoming speech. I also know that some managers would discourage this level of familiarity between staff and customers. But I'll tell you something - as a customer, I loved it, she certainly brightened my day. Her response was far better than some ofrepparttar 119446 stuffy robotic greetings you get from most receptionists atrepparttar 119447 major hotel chains. This receptionist had made me a happy customer and if I owned this hotel that's an outcome I would want.

The successful manager definesrepparttar 119448 outcomes torepparttar 119449 team members and then lets each person find their way of getting there. That doesn't mean you walk away or have no idea what's going on. You need to be constantly out there withrepparttar 119450 team, watching and listening and supporting what they're doing.

I believe that two characteristics of successful business owners and managers are -

1.They getrepparttar 119451 job done and 2.They do it inrepparttar 119452 easiest and least stressful way.

I'm just pointing this out, because to try and control your team's activities and get them to do thingsrepparttar 119453 way you want them done, is extremely stressful. It can also mean that you de-motivaterepparttar 119454 team and then it'll be much harder to achieve your outcomes.

Discover how you can generate more business by motivating your team! Alan Fairweather is the author of "How to get More Sales by Motivating Your Team" This book is packed with practical things you can do to get the best out of your people . Click here now http://www.howtogetmoresales.com

Issue Management Methodology for Tracking Project Issues

Written by Grant Murray

Continued from page 1

3.3.1 Issue Status

A decision is made aboutrepparttar next state ofrepparttar 119431 issue. (The previous state was "new".) The next status ofrepparttar 119432 issue reflectsrepparttar 119433 nature and timing ofrepparttar 119434 action to addressrepparttar 119435 issue. It is one ofrepparttar 119436 following:

  • open: immediate action will be taken to addressrepparttar 119437 issue
  • deferred: action will be deferred until some future time
  • referred: action will be taken by some other group, probably becauserepparttar 119438 issue is beyondrepparttar 119439 current scope
  • cancelled: no action will be taken now or inrepparttar 119440 future

3.3.2 Categorizerepparttar 119441 issue

A first attempt at categorizingrepparttar 119442 issue was made when it was first recorded. But, now duringrepparttar 119443 initial reviewrepparttar 119444 category can be refined.

The proper issue category is helpful when prioritizingrepparttar 119445 resources required to address issues. It is especially useful for reporting purposes.

Action item: Discuss withrepparttar 119446 team how best to categorizerepparttar 119447 issues you expect to get, and documentrepparttar 119448 categories that will be used.

3.3.3 Rankrepparttar 119449 issue severity

The severity reflectsrepparttar 119450 importance of gettingrepparttar 119451 issue resolved. Obviously, you want to direct resources atrepparttar 119452 most important issues beforerepparttar 119453 lesser ones.

Action item: Choose a small set of severity codes that have a clear ranking. For example: Trivial, Standard, Important, Critical. Some people prefer: Low, Medium, High, Very High.

3.3.4 Assignment

Fromrepparttar 119454 start,repparttar 119455 next person to take action onrepparttar 119456 issue must be assigned torepparttar 119457 issue and notified. Issue Tracker[http://Issue-Tracker.GLM2.com/] will automatically notifyrepparttar 119458 person assigned torepparttar 119459 issue via email.

Ifrepparttar 119460 issue description is incomplete,repparttar 119461 issue can be assigned torepparttar 119462 appropriate party to gatherrepparttar 119463 information necessary to makerepparttar 119464 issue description clear.

Assign a person and not a group. Experience has shown that assigning issues to individuals leads to greater accountability than assigning issues to groups. An individual can be confronted about lack of progress, it is much harder to confront a group of people. A group can be represented by a group leader, so you can assign an issue torepparttar 119465 group leader who will take action to reassignrepparttar 119466 issue to correct group member who will actually addressrepparttar 119467 issue.

3.3.5 Ownership

It should be possible to decide which stakeholder isrepparttar 119468 owner ofrepparttar 119469 issue. Having an issue owner is a way of recording who is accountable forrepparttar 119470 issue's resolution.

Owners must reviewrepparttar 119471 issues they own for progress to resolution. Ifrepparttar 119472 progress is not sufficientrepparttar 119473 issue manager should be told so thatrepparttar 119474 situation can be remedied.

3.4 Taking Action

The process to address an issue iterates overrepparttar 119475 following sub-steps untilrepparttar 119476 issue is resolved.

  • The person assigned torepparttar 119477 issue, takes action to addressrepparttar 119478 issue.
  • The person assigned torepparttar 119479 issue, documentsrepparttar 119480 action taken as an issue event inrepparttar 119481 central repository. An issue event hasrepparttar 119482 person's name,repparttar 119483 date and a description ofrepparttar 119484 action taken.
  • Some issue processes require an approval step before further action can be taken. This approval should takerepparttar 119485 form of signing off on a proposal. While paper based signatures are acceptable, an automated system is better. Issue events in Issue Tracker[http://Issue-Tracker.GLM2.com/] can by used to sign off, since a user is required to log in to identify themselves, this is as good as a paper signature.
  • If there is documentation to supportrepparttar 119486 action taken, like a cost-benefit analysis of a proposed system change,repparttar 119487 supporting files are attached torepparttar 119488 issue.
  • The process of finding a solution may help refinerepparttar 119489 issue description. This refinement should be reflected in updates torepparttar 119490 issue description and title, as well as attaching further supporting files. It may also require thatrepparttar 119491 issue be re-categorized.
  • Ifrepparttar 119492 next iteration isrepparttar 119493 responsibility of another personrepparttar 119494 issue is reassigned.
  • Ifrepparttar 119495 issue is resolved in this iteration,repparttar 119496 status is updated to reflectrepparttar 119497 fact thatrepparttar 119498 issue is inactive.

Notice thatrepparttar 119499 action taken may involve reassigningrepparttar 119500 issue, changing status, refiningrepparttar 119501 issue description, changingrepparttar 119502 category ofrepparttar 119503 issue. All of these changes should be recorded inrepparttar 119504 central repository. Changing of status, category and severity are automatically logged for you in an automated system like Issue Tracker[http://Issue-Tracker.GLM2.com/].

3.5 Ongoing Oversight

Consistent and continuous evaluation of issues byrepparttar 119505 issue manager andrepparttar 119506 team must take place to bringrepparttar 119507 issues to resolution. This can take place through a periodic review of all active issues inrepparttar 119508 central repository withrepparttar 119509 team and a separate review withrepparttar 119510 stakeholders.

Escalate issues as needed by re-assigning or by changing issue ownership.

Report and communicate progress on all issues to upper management and torepparttar 119511 team, subscriptions can be used by upper management andrepparttar 119512 team to follow progress on individual issues. This reporting can be integrated into project status reporting.

Analyze issue progress and adapt actions. The central repository should be able to provide feedback on how efficientlyrepparttar 119513 issues are proceeding from creation to resolution. If it is taking too long to resolve important issues, thenrepparttar 119514 issue manager must find ways to improverepparttar 119515 turn-around time.

4. Finally

The following are a few further action items

Action item: Distribute copies of this issue management methodology to team members and stakeholders so that everyone knows how and why issues are managed.

Action item: Adapt and scale this issue management methodology to suit you project's scale and quirks.

Action item: Create your central repository, and get started today.

This issue management methodology has evolved over many years. It evolved from experience on projects with budgets from $500,000 to $50,000,000 which had a total number of issues ranging from a few hundred issues to many thousands. In halfrepparttar 119516 casesrepparttar 119517 project team was physically dispersed in several countries.

Grant Murray is project manager and enterprise application architect specializing in technical project leadership strategy. Email [email@grantmurray.com] for questions or comments regarding this article, or if you require project management consulting. Issue Tracker

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