Extracted from The Effectiveness Guide: Discover the SECRET to Becoming More Effective Tomorrow Than You Are Today.
Have you ever wondered how to get ahead at work; how to always get the raise, get promoted, and get selected for further training and key assignments? And, you’re not alone. Your peers are having the same thoughts.
I’ll bet you thought that all you had to do was to be the best at what you do; the best doctor, the best lawyer, the best whatever? Unfortunately, this is only partially true.
To progress in your career, you must be the best at what you do and be perceived by your employer as a good Delegator.
Delegating is your ability to transfer your authority to another to empower him to act on your behalf in the conduct of a specific assignment, to get more done than you ever could on your own.
This article will focus on how to enhance your ability to delegate by using Preventive Actions, as I share what I’ve learned from being an Executive Coach for more than 20 years.
Use “Preventive Actions”
“I’m not perfect; no one is perfect.
Everyone makes mistakes.
I think you try to learn from those mistakes.”
– Derek Jeter
This section assumes that you’re the Project Lead for an important project.
Preventive Actions are actions planned 30-90 days in
advance of a project’s start to identify and resolve problems
early to enhance the success of a project.
Here are the most important Preventive Actions you can use to identify and resolve all Pre-Problems (mistakes, defects, shortfalls, omissions, and errors) before they become problems.
THE PLANNING PHASE
Conduct Initial Site/Venue Inspection: Visit the site to determine if it’s suitable (available, accessible, amenities, cost, and sustainable) to support the project’s requirements. Gather sufficient information (photos, dimensions, and sketch maps) to help select the best site/venue to create your Draft POA.
Create a Draft Plan of Action (POA): POA includes the Objective, Methods, Risk, Timetable, Resources Needed, and Unresolved Issues.
Identify Unresolved Issues: Questions, Unknowns, Issues, Concerns, Shortfalls, Obstacles, Problems that could slow or stop your progress.
Conduct a Risk Assessment: With the help of your team, assess the physical, security, financial, and operational risk associated with the project and how they can be mitigated?
Identify the Unintended Consequences & 2d/3d Order Effects: Outcomes not expected by a decision/action and how the decision/action affects others.
Conduct a Backbriefing: Briefing given by a Project Leader to his leader, as to his Plan of Action (POA) to accomplish the leader’s objective, to enhance mutual understanding and trust by an exchange of questions/answers to identify any unmet expectations/hidden surprises.
Provide Advanced Warning: Information to all Key Players (anyone who must take action for the project to be a success) of what is being planned so they have as much time to plan as possible.
Staff the POA: Process of collaborating and achieving consensus by circulating a document (POA) through all Key Players for their concurrence or non-concurrence with comments.
Conduct a Decision Briefing: Briefing you give to Decision Maker (The Bill Payer), with all Key Players present, to obtain final approval, as needed.
Create Contingency Plans: POA only executed in the event something bad happens that was anticipated like bad weather.
Conduct In-Progress Review (IPR 1): Synchronization meeting conducted by Project Leader with all Key Players present to collaborate, coordinate, and achieve consensus on the project.
THE PREPARATION PHASE
Prepare to take Immediate Action: A disciplined drill used to react to bad situations that could cause a work stoppage, property or equipment damage, a security breach, or physical injury.
Prepare an Unanticipated Situation Plan: Includes Priority Response System (a cell phone protocol that permits you to contact Key Players quickly), Pre-Stocking Site (location of much-needed supplies), and Quick Response Team (Team “standing by” with vehicles, cell phones, cash, and credit cards).
Provide Progress Briefings: Summary of a projects progress given to your leader telling the actual progress of your project in relation to the planned progress via presentation.
Provide Situation Reports: Verbal report to your leader telling the current situation; what you’re working on, when you anticipate being done, and your Unresolved Issues and changes.
Conduct a Final Site/Venue Inspection: Last visit to venue/site to determine if anything has changed since your initial inspection.
Conduct In-Progress Review (IPR 2): Meeting conducted 7-10 days before the start of the project to confirm all assigned tasks have been completed on the date planned. If so, the project moves to Phase 3, Execution.
THE EXECUTION PHASE
Conduct Pre-Staging: Involves the movement and storage of equipment and supplies to the site before the project, to make site set-up easier.
Conduct Rehearsals: Project Leader’s last chance to see, practice, or test things before the project starts to help him identify and correct mistakes before anyone else.
Conduct Site Set up: Conducted just before a project starts to configure the site as planned in POA. Having a site diagram (with extra copies) is a smart idea – showing where everything goes.
Project Starts: This is where Project Leader facilitates the actions of all Key Players to ensure the project achieves the desired objective. If problems, either execute Immediate Action or a Contingency Plan, to keep the project moving forward.
Conduct Site Clearing: Time after project to restore the site to its original configuration by removing equipment and supplies. The site needs to be cleared quickly to permit the next user to come in and stage their equipment.
THE ASSESSING PHASE
Assessing is a continuous process and is formalized during IPRs, Situation Reports, Progress Briefings, and an After-Action Review.
Conduct an After-Action Review (AAR): Professional discussion that focuses on what happened vs. what was supposed to happen, and asks: “What did we learn that can make us better next time/tomorrow?”
Conduct Project Close-out: Process of administering surveys, paying bills, sending letters, filing all supporting documents, and other final details.
I challenge you to share this information with others because the only way to truly own knowledge is to give it away – one of the great paradoxes in life.
If you fail to use these Preventive Actions when
planning any activity, do so at your peril.
You’ve been WARNED!
In my next post, I’ll focus on how you can become a better Planner than you were yesterday. Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you need more help, you can learn more HERE.