Targeting for Speed

"It is about Speed to Value." — Highlight from today's newsletter

I love the challenge of archery, especially outdoors where one has to compensate for the changing conditions of the wind akin to the changing conditions a business has to deal with. Hitting the bullseye is a joy!

Many organizations have a goal of speed. They must go faster. A question I often ask is "faster to...where?" The answer has to be "it is about Speed to Value." That must be the center of the target.

Like in archery, the better you get with your targeting system, the more likely you will be in hitting the center of the target. Here is the Alan Willett Targeting System for Speed.

  • Focus first on the Minimum Valuable Product (MVP). The focus here is on the word minimum. Once you have that minimum value (or wow) defined, the leader must constantly focus on making sure everyone is focused on the center of that target. Too often groups drift out to add just one more thing. It might only be one day's worth of effort. Those days add up to SLOW. The leader's job is to maintain focus on the center. Thus, we must constantly make the priorities clear and visible.
  • Put the right people with the right skills in the position to be successful. You are the leader. The fastest way to speed is not with the biggest group of people. It is relentless pursuit of making sure the most skilled, most focused people are in the right place with dedicated time to pursue those clear priorities for the MVP.
  • Enable the right people to put in maximum effort, thinking, and action towards the goal. The goal is speed to the center of the target, to the value you want to provide customers. Thus you want the people working on this project to be consistently thinking about the smartest, fastest, quality methods to score a bullseye of speed and value.

In archery, the feedback system is immediate and visible. It is clear how close I came to the center of the target. This enables me to adjust both my targeting system and my own skill in using it.

How well is your targeting system working? How do you know?

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,
ALAN WILLETT