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Setting SMART and Meaningful Goals

Setting SMART and Meaningful Goals
So we tie the goals of Menlo to the goals of our clients, in what are we trying to achieve for them and on behalf of their users. We start to break those goals down into smaller and smaller pieces until we finally get it down to these little hand written index cards that are selected by our clients in a planning session every single week. Where we’re deciding, what are the intermediate goals to get to the long term goal that we’re trying to accomplish on behalf of them for the project they’re paying us to do. Those little handwritten index cards become the individual goals for every team member, every pair. We put them up on the wall for all to see.
So there’s a lack of ambiguity in our space. I think removing ambiguity is one of the best ways to get to motivation. It’s one of the best ways to clarify goals for the team. By having a work plan up on the wall, and have it be a sane work plan that fits in a normal work week, where you’re not just completely overloading people with 200% of their average work week in workload and you never know exactly what to pick. We pick a sane workload that people can actually work on and feel like each goal by goal that they’re accomplishing conforms really well to the idea of the progress principle. That is, I got something done today.
I can actually feel like I got something done that was meaningful. Something selected by our client that’s important for them. And then we tie it all back to a show and tell. An exhibition we do once a week with our clients. Where after the work is done the client will then show us our work back to the team that did the work so the team can reconnect to the actual things they accomplished for the week and they can see it in the eyes of the client that what we did was actually meaningful, was actually purposeful for where they’re trying to get their project.
And if it wasn’t, if for some reason we miss the mark or we misinterpreted what they were asking to do we’re gonna find out less than five days after we did the work. I think one of the most demotivating things we can do for a team, is to set goals that are so far away from us, that we get lost in the milieu of all the activities, and then we forget why we come in to work everyday, we forget why we’re working on the thing we’re working on. But, by pulling in these regular weekly reviews with our client and attaching it directly to the work that was accomplished that week.
It’s very clear why the goals I had are the goals I had. Why it matters to the customer, why it matters to the overarching goal that we’re trying to accomplish in the whole project.
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