I’ve struggled to move this project forward since I returned from half term break. Too many urgent things got in the way. And I knew I needed to, because this week as ICT DMT away day: when we could get enough time together to agree the priorities for next week, as we’d promised. So it was with some trepidation that I re-opened the spreadsheet to find out where we had got to and what needed to be done to establish the priorities.
The good news was that despite my inattentiveness (or even perhaps because of) the team had done a great job in articulating a much clearer set of objectives and even, on some projects, committing to key results over the next quarter. That made much easier the task of pulling together a summary for DMT and some recommendations for our priorities.
There were three obvious insights that I had on reviewing our draft objectives:
- There are too many for us to reasonably deliver all of them this year
- There aren’t simple choices to be made around what to do and not do – because the objectives aren’t evenly distributed across the teams
- Many of our objectives still encompass team-level activities rather than cross-service activities
So my hypotheses for DMT are:
- We can make choices about the amount of effort we’re going to place on some things if we’re willing to step back from things that we’ve long wanted to do
- We can commit to fewer objectives if we identify goals that we can work together to achieve. This won’t necessarily mean less work, but more cross team work may mean we can balance the workload better
- We can form objectives at a service, team and personal level and this can help us put the outcome at the heart of what we’re doing – provided we’ve all got visibility of these so that we have an equal amount of information when we’re talking about priorities
If the project is successful, it will enable DMT to make clear commitments to some priorities, give a steer on some things that are less important. But it’s also triggered a set of reflections for what the exercise has taught us – not least, the wisdom of never doing an exercise quite like this again. But that’s for next week.