It’s February, the year is firing on all cylinders, and while you may have set your organisation’s, team’s or personal goals, you know that you need to start monitoring milestones and tracking progress before it all falls flat. If you haven’t set goals, check out our previous article here. While it’s easy to agree why progress and milestones must be tracked for success, there are numerous debates raging on how that should be done.
Here at Kaleidoscope, we work on a year-long timeline where we break our goals down into quarterly milestones and then further into smaller, more manageable tasks that we monitor every month.
So you’ve set goals and even broken them down into manageable tasks with deadlines, now, how do you track them?
Goal-tracking tools can be tedious or even daunting, but we believe the benefits substantially outweigh the drawbacks and once you’re set up, you’ll never look back. Using a progress tracking tool will enhance your team or organisation’s efficiency. These powerful tools provide a centralised, structured platform where goals and progress can be clearly visualised and managed. The transparency they provide fosters a culture of motivation and accountability amongst your team, encouraging effort and collaboration. Our experience shows that without a doubt using a goal-tracking tool enhances efficiency, transparency and motivation in your organisation. We can enhance this further by pairing this with your dedicated Way of Work, but more on that later.
The world of project management, task management and progress tracking tooling is vast, and can actually be quite overwhelming. We’ve spent a lot of time closely examining and testing different tools and features to determine the following top features you need to consider to derive maximum effectiveness. Visibility is paramount, clear visualisation of goals, timelines and associated tasks will encourage progress. As with most tools, we are all eager to find one that is easy to use and which allows you to concentrate on your goals rather than grappling with technology. There is a degree of customisation that is essential in the tool because over time, goals shift and need to be adapted and updated, but also you want a tool that aligns with your work, preferences and teams. Collaboration features are equally important, facilitating team involvement and simultaneous contributions to goal progress. Lastly, a favourable cost-to-value ratio is important, but bear in mind there are many powerful free tools available. While perhaps not at the top of the list, other features offer value; reminders and notifications, date-specific features, dashboards and reporting.
Our go-to is Jira, originally developed for software development environments, now widely used in well-known agile teams and organisations. Jira is not only robust, easily scalable and user-friendly, but it offers a high level of customisation, with the concise visualisation we require, such as a 12-month timeline that can be filtered into quarters and months. Here at Kaleidoscope, we use Jira’s timeline to map out our annual goals and allocate timelines for achieving them. We then distil those further into smaller tasks that we focus on monthly, which is plotted in a more detailed view. We find that Jira works effectively for our team, but most importantly it fits seamlessly into how we work.
Quote from Angé “I absolutely love the timeline view. It’s really powerful when it comes to high-level strategy planning, prioritisation and resource allocation. Seeing things visually, staggered over a year works!”
Setting goals, mapping them out with a tool like Jira is empowering, but how do you ensure that work stays on track to achieving them and staying in touch with your team? Enter Kaleidoscope’s Way Of Work. We have worked hard streamlining our own workflow to ensure that we are operating at optimal efficiency for our team, so forgive us if we seem a little bit biased. We believe in tailoring a Way of Work into our organisation and team’s needs. By incorporating progress tracking into our bi-weekly meetings we have a chance to rapidly add updates and assistance if we see any blockers. Monthly, as a team, we check progress and close off what we can. Quarterly, we meet up to review the quarter, plan for the next one and evaluate our goals. We are always bolstered by the progress we have made.
All in all the process is to set goals, find a tool that works best for you, then implement it into your organisation together with the right Way of Work, and keep refining, building, testing and iterating until you are comfortable with the way it’s working for you and your team.
Here at Kaleidoscope we have found what works for us, the goal was to prioritise easy-to-use features such as boards, timeline, reports and automation that provide us with agility and flexibility by distilling our projects into manageable pieces of work. Help our team to stay on track and focused on our segmented workflow to deliver projects more efficiently all the while, easily keeping an eye on the bigger project picture.
In conclusion, navigating the complexities of goal-setting and progress tracking is a critical journey for any organisation or team. The key is not just in setting goals, but in finding the right tools and methodologies that seamlessly align with your team's dynamics, ensuring steady progress and the achievement of milestones.
Join the conversation on our socials and let us know what tools you find helpful for achieving goals in your organisation.