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31 Questions to Turbocharge Q2

Here's how to ensure you hit the ground running in Q2 and maximize the chance of success in all of your projects.
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We've seen previously the importance of reviewing ongoing projects and initiatives at the end of the first quarter, primarily in order to establish which are Green (clearly successful), which are Red (clearly unsuccessful), and which are Orange (stalled or unsure).

Here are 31 questions which together will ensure you hit the ground running in Q2 and maximize the chance of success in all of your projects:

For each green (successful) initiative:

1. Why is this initiative successful?

2. What are the core skills that the success of this initiative tells us we are good at?

3. Can we build on our success by multiplying or cloning those skills elsewhere in the organization?

4. Is our success in this initiative because of the performance of a specific person or group of people?

5. If so, are we vulnerable to those people taking their core skills elsewhere, or do we have mentoring, coaching and succession planning in place to protect us?

6. What needs to happen to maintain our success with this initiative?

7. Specifically, what should my role be in leading and/or managing this initiative through the rest of the year?

8. Have I clearly communicated my Q2 expectations for this initiative to all concerned?

For each red (failed) initiative:

9. Why has this initiative failed?

10. What are the core skills that the failure of this Red initiative tell us we are not good at? (Remember : core skills can be missing in the goal-setting area, as well as in goal-achieving.)

11. What specific, actionable steps are we going to take to develop those missing core skills?

12. Is our failure in this initiatives clearly and unarguably a result of underperformance by a specific person or group of people?

13. If so, what specific, measurable, time bound steps will I take to remedy that underperformance?

14. Why not cease this initiative immediately, and reallocate our limited resources elsewhere?

15. If there is an unarguable reason to continue with this initiative, what leadership and management of this initiative will I engage in during Q2?

16. What needs to happen in Q2 to move this initiative to Green? (Be as specific and time-bound as possible. List clear metrics, and identify who will be responsible for delivering on those metrics).

17. Have I clearly communicated my Q2 expectations for this initiative to all concerned?

For each orange (stalled) Initiative:

18. Why has this initiative stalled?

19. What are the core skills that need to be enhanced to move this intuitive into Green? (Again: remember core skills can be missing in the goal-setting area, as well as in goal-achieving.)

20. What specific, actionable steps are we going to take to enhance those underperforming core skills?

21. Is this initiative stalled clearly and unarguably a result of underperformance by a specific person or group of people?

22. If so, what specific, measurable, time bound steps will I take to remedy that underperformance?

23. Would our resources be better used by canceling this Orange initiative and seeking greater success from one or more of our Green initiatives?

24. If not, what needs to happen in Q2 to move this initiative to Green? (Be as specific and time bound as possible. List clear metrics and who will be responsible for delivering on those metrics).

25. Have I clearly communicated my Q2 expectations for this initiative to all concerned?

For all initiatives:

26. Reviewing my responses above, what are the learning points for me personally, as a manager and leader?

27. What could I have done to achieve more success in Q1, specifically with regard to Red and Orange initiatives?

28. What should I personally do more of in Q2?

29. What should I do less of in Q2? 30. What should I do differently in Q2?

31. What should I continue to do the same in Q2?

Last updated: Mar 25, 2013

LES MCKEOWN | Columnist

Les McKeown is the president and CEO of Predictable Success, a leading adviser on accelerated business growth. He has started more than 40 companies and was the founding partner of an incubation consulting company.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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