It is all too easy to get bogged down with tasks that don’t align with your top priorities.
I recently read an article by Chris Fussell discussing lessons learned from his time working for the military’s Joint Special Operations Task Force. In the article Chris discusses the challenges today’s military faces in driving effective communication and high productivity levels.
There are many parallels between productivity and communication challenges military teams face and those of product teams. Before we get into the similarities I want to share Chris’s tips.
Five Productivity Tips
- Efficiency is not the same thing as effectiveness. Focus on effectiveness.
- There is a difference between doing things right and doing right things. Acting upon right things increases your effectiveness.
- The rhythm of communication and the quality of each interaction matter, the more frequent and face-to-face the better.
- Organizations and teams should value purpose over habit. It is all too easy to fall into habits that have little or no value.
- It is critical that teams align their day-to-day activities with company strategy. Without alignment your team’s effectiveness is diluted.
Interestingly, some of Chris’s tips also show up in our market research on product teams. For instance, this year we discovered in our regression analysis that the frequency of stand up meetings, face-to-face team meetings, matters. Teams that conduct stand ups daily are more likely to perform at a high level.
We have also substantiated through our statistical analysis that only 37% of product teams believe that their daily activities are aligned with company strategy. In other words, two-thirds of teams suffer from not knowing how their daily activities align to the strategies and objective that senior leadership is striving to achieve!
These five tips from Chris are equally useful whether you are in the military or on a product team. Effective communication starts from the top but teams also have the responsibility to fill in the gaps and lead by example. The more tightly strategy and tactical execution are aligned – the better your chances of success.
How productive is your team?
Source: Fortune, June 21st, 2015 Chris Fussell, The Biggest Career Lesson This Navy SEAL Learned in Iraq
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