4 Things to Remember When Planning for the First Quarter of the Year

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With the right mindset and proper tools, you can start making plans for the new year and make 2017 a great terrific year for you and your team!

Here’s an example of how measuring your goals can lead to better success:

Starz saved more than $500,000 since implementing Tempo to manage time against projects. Find out more from other customers by reading these success stories!

Here are 4 Things to keep in mind when planning for your first quarter of the new year:

1. Reflect on the previous year and learn from mistakes

Before kickstarting the planning process for the new quarter, it’s important to reflect on your previous milestones.

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

One good way to reflect on the past is to do a retrospective. A retrospective is where a team reflects on the past and then decides what changes they want to make in the future.

Ask yourself and your team these following questions.

  • What worked for us last quarter?
  • What did not work for us last quarter?
  • What actions can we take to improve our processes going forward?

Retrospectives are team-driven, and team members should decide together how the meetings will be run and how decisions will be made about improvements.

This exercise can help teams iterate on their work and reach their goals. After all, aren’t we always striving to be better at what we do?

2. Set goals with your team

Goal setting is an important and often undervalued part of the planning process. If you want to reach some milestone, it’s important to set smaller goals on how you’re going to reach the big picture.

For example, you can use Tempo Timesheets to identify trends and plan for upcoming projects to increase visibility and customer retention. Say, now that you have identified a few potential flagship projects, how are you going to ensure that they don’t go off the rails?

The key is to set realistic goals based on the data (See point #1) you have in hand. Make sure you have adequate resources to reach your goals. Setting unrealistic goals can result in de-motivation as well as unhappy team members.

3. Visualize your plans

Whether it’s with post-it notes on a whiteboard, on a piece of paper, or with Jira resource management software like Tempo Planner, it’s important to keep transparency with your team and everyone on the same page.

Let’s take a look at your goals based on the SMART system. Although SMART has a slightly different variations here’s a common definition for it.

  • Specific: Are your goals clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project?
  • Measurable: Are the goals obtainable and how far away completion is?
  • Agreed Upon: Have all stakeholders come to an agreement as to what the goals should be?
  • Realistic: Are they within the availability of resources, knowledge and time?
  • Time-Based: Do you have enough time to achieve the goals?

Plans change frequently and unexpected things that can alter your long-term plans will most likely occur too. Flexibility is a vital key in making your plans successful .

Using tools such as Tempo to make your plans visible and accessible to all stakeholders increases your chances of reaching your goals. After all, it’s easier to get moving when everyone is on the same page!

4. Measure your success

It isn’t enough to just set goals for you team. If you’re going to set a goal to increase sales, retention, output, or whatever that is essential to your organization, you need to able to measure them too.

With clear data and overview, you can improve what you have measured

Here are some examples:

  • Having team dashboards set-up  
  • Weekly meetings with your team
  • Retrospectives to measure events/projects
  • List up everything you want to achieve within a checklist and check off a task when it’s finished.

Ahhh, that feeling of checking something of that you’ve completed can be so satisfying!

Start your 2017 in an awesome way

The holidays are a time where most of us take some time off to spend with family and friends. But it’s also a time of new beginnings. The year 2017 brings us new challenges and opportunities. So why not start the new year off with a bang?      

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