Don't dilute core messages with a myriad of goals
Many teams take great pains to create goals at the beginning of each month or quarter – only to dilute what teams can do to focus on them by introducing them alongside other sets of priorities, terms, or policies. Not surprisingly, team members find it hard to sort through what really matters to their function or company. In the worst cases, too many goals isn't just distracting – it is paralyzing to actually make movement on any given priority.
To create tight narratives and clear lines of action, limit the number of objectives and metrics you focus on impacting at a given time. At the same time, leaders can help their teams focus further by consistently explaining how their goals support the broader function or company strategy. In research from MIT, only half of team leads reported their own managers doing this regularly; and of the rest, only 37% said their boss framed their activities in terms of the company's goals, and 12% said their boss struggled to explain why their priorities mattered.
Team meetings, 1x1s, and all-hands meetings can be useful ways to communicate and over-communicate the impact of a few select, focused goals each week or month and why they matter. Rally's metric collections are designed to help teammates automate how these metrics are gathered and prepared, so that individuals can focus on understanding the substance of why and which numbers have changed instead of chasing down updates.
Here are a few tips on making the most out of meetings where metrics are regularly discussed: