Tag Archives: process

Productivity

Measure progress, not only the result

Let’s say you want to lose weight. Your goal is to weigh 5kg less in 3 months. You can measure your progress in two ways: either monitor your weight every day, or verify that you’re following your chosen plan to lose weight. These plan could be counting calories, exercising, or anything else you find effective. The first measurement is called a lag measurement, while the second one is a lead measurement. What is the difference between them and why should you use both of them? Keep reading to find out.

I want to stress from the beginning that both ways of measuring your progress are very valuable. The biggest difference between them is in what they tell you about your progress. lag

  • Lag measurement allows you to see how close you are to reaching your goal. In our example, it would be your weight. If you want to lose weight, you can weigh yourself every day/week and immediately see how far you are from your goal.
  • Lead measurement is all about making sure you are following your plan. When you define a goal, you should also prepare a plan for how to achieve it. (Check out post about SMART goals) The plan is a strategy for achieving your goal. The information you get from this type of measurement tells you if you are doing what you need to do in order to reach your goal.

 

I will give you an example to describe the difference even further. Let’s say your goal is to write a twenty-page article. You want to finish it in three weeks. You plan to do research for one week and then write the article for two weeks. You told yourself that you will write two pages a day.

  • Your lag measurement would just be checking to see if the article is ready or not, and how many more pages you have to write.
  • Your lead measurement would be checking every day to see if you are acting according to your plan. After one week, you can verify whether or not your research is done. If it is, you can continue with your plan. If not, you know you have to adjust your plan and write more pages a day in order to be ready by the deadline. The same thing goes with monitoring whether or not you are writing two pages a day. If in five days you’ve only written 3 pages, you immediately know that you have to write more than two pages each day in the following days.lead

If you only have lag measurements, you only know that you haven’t reached your goal yet. When you check if you are following your plan you know what the chances of reaching your goal are. You can adjust your plan if something goes in the wrong direction.

 

These are two simple examples to visualize lead and lag measurements. I use these methods in my most important projects. I cannot overstate the importance of knowing how I’m doing and what I have to do to reach my goals by a certain deadline.

Do you use both types of measurements? Do you think it’s worth doing so?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by KevanCC BY

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Communication

Why I wasn’t hired? Where I can improve?

I manage a team of more than twenty people and I personally recruited most of them. This means that I had to conduct hundreds of job interviews and say “thank you” to many candidates.

The recruitment process at Making Waves has a few steps which include meeting with the manager of the team that needs an employee as well as with a technical person. The manager is the owner of the process. This means that when I look for people for my department, I am the one who decides if we need another round of recruitment and who to hire.

At Making Waves we have a good routine of timely informing people about the status of the recruitment process. This also means informing candidates about the results of their interview within two weeks.

This is usually done over the phone by my colleague from the HR department. Sometimes candidates, who for some reason haven’t met our requirements, ask very important and interesting questions: Why I wasn’t hired? How I can improve my chances in the future?

I really like people who have the guts to ask these questions! It’s not easy to do. It takes some courage and you have to be open to harsh feedback about what you presented during recruitment. But by asking these questions you show that you care and that you want to improve. At the same time, you make me want to invite you back to check what you did with the feedback I gave you.

Whenever I’m asked these questions, I try to call the candidate and explain why I did not accept him or her as an employee. I give as many details as possible. Whether it was a lack of competence, too little experience, or bad English, I will be honest with them.

Only good things can come from asking these questions. You gain experience, you learn how to prepare for the next interview, you stand out from the other candidates who were withdrawn, and you raise your chances of being hired in the future!

Don’t be afraid – just ask. And if you don’t receive an answer? Well, it also says something about the company you wanted to work for ;)

Photo by  studio tdesCC BY

 

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