man lost in a complex maze | don’t know if your Rocks are on-track

Don’t Know If Your Rocks Are On-track?

Mike Kotsis EOS - Entrepreneurial Operating System

At the time this article goes live, most companies are halfway through Q1. If you’re not halfway done with your Rocks, you have some catch-up work to do. If you don’t know whether you’re on-track or off-track, you have a bigger issue to figure out.

Most of the time, you know exactly where you are in your progress towards completing your Rocks. In general, your Rocks are pretty straightforward and it doesn’t take a “rock-et” scientist to calculate your weekly progress for your Level 10 Meetings™. But not every Rock is that simple.

Every once in a while, you find yourself owning a Rock that feels larger than life. Not only is it a challenge to plan out your progress, you have no clear understanding whether you’re on-track or off-track. These Rocks are dangerous, because you can be off-track and not realize it until too late.

But there’s a helpful EOS® tool that can get you squared away. I recently had a client with a hairy Rock, and this is how we got the Rock under control.

The Getting What You Want Tool

The Rock was to get an updated website approved by the leadership team. At first, it seemed like any other Rock, but soon it became evident that this was a major project to manage. There were simultaneous moving parts, and many people were involved at various times and stages. It was an enormous project, and the Rock owner was feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about how to plan and track progress through the quarter.

To get the Rock under control, we turned to the Getting What You Want Tool (GWYW Tool). The GWYW Tool helps you plan out your progress and set milestones by beginning at the end. Here’s how we did it.

On the far right side of a whiteboard, we wrote the end goal of the Rock: “Website Approved by Leadership Team, Jan. 18.” That was the final destination, and the one milestone that was a given.

From there, we worked backwards to determine all of the steps towards completing the Rock. What would be the step we need to complete just before approval? A website review. What do we need to do to get to website review? And so forth. Once we knew all of the steps, we went back and assigned due dates for each one.

The process involved erasing and rewriting a lot of steps, but ultimately we got them clear. By the end of the exercise, the GWYW Tool helped the Rock owner understand who owned what and when each deliverable needed to happen. Now they were able to go into their Level 10 Meeting each week and confidently say whether the Rock was on-track or off-track.

Get What You Want from Your Rocks!

Use the Getting What You Want Tool whenever you’re unclear what steps you need to do to make sure your Rocks are on-track. Like my client did, work backwards from the end result of the Rock to determine the steps leading up to it.

You shouldn’t need to use this tool for every single Rock. In fact, it would be an impure use of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® for any leader to mandate the use of this tool. Typically, it’s most beneficial when you have Rocks that involve multiple people and you’re having trouble thinking through all the steps that need to happen. The GWYW Tool helps you pull the right resources and the right people at the right time—so that when you’re in your Level 10 Meeting, you can report on your Rock with confidence.

If your leadership team struggles to report on your quarterly Rocks, start using the GWYW Tool. You’ll see a noticeable improvement in realistically knowing if your Rocks are on-track or off-track—and you’ll have a better time completing them on time.

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