Continually asking for things, being promised them, and not getting results is one of the most frustrating situations that leaders experience.
Identifying and pursuing the wildly important thing to completion helps to increase team output, de-prioritize starting new things in favor of finishing existing ones, and learn faster. When teams try to do more than their natural capacity, when they attempt to work on multiple critical projects in parallel or multi-task with the false hope that key dates or measures of quality won’t be negatively impacted, poor results inevitably follow.
- Know your wildly important thing. Discuss it with sponsors, peers, and teams to ensure consensus.
- For teams operating at natural capacity, requests to add work, by default, need to be declined unless they come with a proposal to de-prioritize current committed work.
- Adopt the mantra “Stop Starting, Start Finishing”. Repeat this in every meeting, and whenever a new thing is proposed