How To Get More Relevant Work Done

relevance-300x259This thoughtLEADERS post couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. If there’s one common thread that most companies suffer from, it’s lack of agility to do the right things.

How much of your team’s work is irrelevant or a waste of time/efficiency?

And the survey says:

– Less than 5%: 15.5%
– 6% to 15%: 33.04%
– 16% to 25%: 31.14%
– 26% or more: 20.32%

More than 50% of those polled believe they’re wasting more than 15% of their team’s time on irrelevant work. More than 20% said it’s 25% or more of their time. Imagine how much more of the right work could get done if that irrelevant stuff went away.

Don’t call it stupid stuff

That’s just wrong! It’s easy to say in hindsight, but it’s not motivating for your team, and it definitely doesn’t help them engage any better when it’s leadership has failed to implement the right rhythm into their process planning & execution.

Most often, the reason irrelevant work is getting done can be attributed to:

– No focus / wrong focus in the organization
– Ineffective cascade planning and or capacity planning
– Lacking agile business planning and or practices

The solution is NOT always doing less stuff, but doing more of the right & relevant stuff.

Doing the Right Stuff

Too many organizations still embark on projects that are highly relevant during the planning stages, but less than 50% relevant by the time the project is launched. Our markets change too fast today! In order to stay relevant we have to borrow from Agile Software Development & be more iterative in our planning AND execution, not just software development.

When was the last time you paused during your execution process to quickly pulsecheck the relevance of what you’re working on. Great companies set a relevance score for any initiative under consideration. Whether it’s revenue impact, market share or any other key result you expect from your project or initiative, it’s a best practice to reflect (at least) on a monthly basis & review / adjust the expected (quantifiable) deliverable. Often the environment around you has changed enough during the build or execution lifetime of a project, that you’d be better served to complete it and or release it at +75% relevance before it gets any worse. Don’t stick with things just for the sake of completion, but rather for the sake of relevance.

Stay Relevant / Be Agile

Set a relevance score for everything you’re about to embark on, establish rhythmic reviews of that relevance and execute in an iterative manner so as to trigger a release or stop action on anything that goes below your minimum relevance tolerance. You’re better served getting what you can from an initiative while it’s still relevant, or moving onto something that is more relevant, than wasting valuable resources working on things that have become irrelevant or underperform in comparison to the investment made.


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