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Assessing Progress with Purpose

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Assessing Progress with Purpose blog graphic-james-pagano

We may feel a sense of uncertainty from time to time when it comes to knowing how well our team is performing with projects and goals. Finding that balance and determining what constitutes enough oversight without crossing over into micromanagement is an ongoing, ever changing and situational leadership dilemma. And like many things pertaining to effective leadership, there are just too many subjective components to assign a one size fits all approach. With that in mind, let’s consider one approach in terms of assessing your team’s project progress that may offer a little help.

It Starts with a Project Framework

Let’s start with a framework for your projects so that everyone involved has clarity of key metrics and the roadmap for a successful outcome. Bear in mind that a simple, yet effective project framework will prove best. As an example, for each project you and your team have identified, develop five key supporting components for each. Here’s the framework:

Project Title

  • Strategy: the “how”

  • Tasks: the “what”

  • Milestones: the “when”

  • Participants: the “who”

  • Resources: the “tools”

Staying Aligned

Once your framework is in place for each project, you’ll need a way to remain aligned, assess progress and monitor accountability. This is where consistent project progress meetings are vital for success, and act as a means for visibility, accountability and team development. Schedule these meetings at an appropriate cadence (subject to project scope, logistics and other factors). Most often these discussions should happen weekly, with an understanding that if something becomes urgently misaligned between scheduled meetings, an impromptu discussion will be warranted to address that specific project’s pressing need.

start-with-a quick roundtable with your team and assign ratings to your projects

At each project progress meeting, your agenda should be purposefully focused on reviewing all five-line items under each project. Start with a quick roundtable with your team, allowing each participant to assign a rating of green, yellow or red to each of the five components under each project. It’s important to collect everyone’s perspective on all components under each project header. This part of your meeting is a rapid exercise to simply assess a status rating for each component from each participant.

If everyone rates a line item as green, that component is deemed on track, and only limited, if any discussion is warranted (short of any celebration and/or contributor acknowledgment, of course).

If anyone identifies a component as yellow or red, appropriate time should be carved out in order to address each call-out through open discussion. The intended goal of these discussions is to determine an agreed upon course-of-action for next steps pertaining to the specific components with low ratings. Keep in mind, the bulk of your time at these meetings should be spent focused on the identified yellow and red issues, with a collective approach for getting things back on track.

Green: On track. Stay the course.

Yellow: Some misalignment. Adjust plan and implement.

Red: Not on track. Create or recreate plan and implement.

Project progress meetings that follow this format can provide the necessary time and balance you need for team and project oversight. At the same time, these engagements also provide your team a platform to contribute toward significant initiatives. Perhaps this approach may prove a way for you to assess progress…with purpose.

Need further assistance organizing a facilitated strategic planning process to help identify meaningful objectives and projects for you and your team? Strategic planning and implementation of key initiatives is vital to any business of any size. This is one area of my expertise, and I’m here to help. Let’s connect for a conversation.



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