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Everyone talks about goals, but how do we get there?

I don't know any team that doesn't want to be successful. Goal management systems have become established to make success transparent. They can be used to synchronize team goals and measure progress. That's why I can only recommend that every team and every organization define goals clearly and measure them continuously. But is that enough?

The way is essential

Goals are landmarks. They set the direction. They help identify how fast you are moving towards the goal. But how is a team supposed to know how fast it could ideally move? And how do you find the causes when things falter? Goal management is only one side of the coin on the road to success. The other side is enablement to achieve goals.

Every team and every company has unused potential. Those who recognize and use this potential can significantly increase the success of their teams and organizations.

What is enablement?

Enablememt is the continuous empowerment to improve performance. The capability of a team or organization is a result of what one can do and what one wants to do. Wherever ability and will are limited, conflicts, blockages and problems arise.

Enablement is not about must do. In the short term, performance can be increased by raising the targets and thus "squeezing" more out of the team. However, if the willing and the arbility do not match the must, performance will drop significantly over time.

The goal of enablement is to be able to contribute according to one's abilities and will, and for the organization to provide optimal support in this regard. If people and teams do what they can and want to do, they will be successful with joy and commitment. This means the other way around: If I know where my deficits lie, I can increase my success.

How can I enable my team and my organization?

In order to enable teams and organizations, I need to know the target state, i.e. the condition in which everything would function optimally. This leads us to the question of what success means for me, my team or my company.

We use success factors for this purpose. They describe what enables teams and organizations to work at their best. Success factors are very individual. Each company and team can define its own. But there are best practices and standards that help to find your own success factors. Also, some methodologies define success factors, such as the SAFe framework for managing scaled agile projects.

How can I enable my team and my organization?

In order to enable teams and organizations, I need to know the target state, i.e. the condition in which everything would function optimally. This leads us to the question of what success means for me, my team or my company.

We use success factors for this purpose. They describe what enables teams and organizations to work at their best. Success factors are very individual. Each company and team can define its own. But there are best practices and standards that help to find your own success factors. Also, some methodologies define success factors, such as the SAFe framework for managing scaled agile projects.

Define success factors

A success factor is an essential aspect of the desired condition in the company, organization or project. It is formulated as a description of the target state. Examples of success factors are:

  • We understand our customers (success factor from the customer-centric way of working).
  • We work cross-functionally and integrated (success factor from the agile manifesto)
  • We see ourselves as a learning organization (success factor from the SAFe framework).

To simplify the definition of the success factors, we have created templates. These are based on best practices and standards and describe the success factors for a specific purpose in each case. One example is the SPACE Project analysis template. It defines 17 success factors that teams can use to create efficient and targeted customer solutions. Other templates define the success factors of an agile corporate culture or work according to a specific methodology.

For better clarity, the success factors can be organized into groups. Each group also describes a desired target state. A complete template with all success factors then looks like the following:

collaboration

We work cross-functionally and self-organized.

Team building: We work cross-functionally and integrated.

Communication: We focus on individuals and interaction.

Organization: We are self-organized and reflect our actions.

flexibility

We respond to changes.

Changes: We are open to change.

Targets: We pursue strategic goals.

Learning: We are continuously learning.

productivity

We continuously deliver valuable solutions.

Customer focus:We create customer-focused and valuable solutions.

Reliability: We deliver continuously and reliably. 

Quality: Our results are excellent and qualitative.

mentality

We act in a responsible and self-determined manner.

Motivation: We are motivated and treat each other with respect.

Responsibility: We act responsibly and with focus.

Enablement: We can do what we need to do.

Find my success factors

Success factors represent the values and rules according to which teams and organizations want to work successfully. They must therefore be supported by everyone involved from management to the teams. Success factors such as "We arrive before 8 a.m. and leave after 6 p.m. every day" are just as ineffective as "I do what I want".

Enablement with :nabled

Everyone and every organization can find and define their success factors. A sheet of paper is sufficient for this. For the consistent introduction of success factors as well as the analysis and improvement of the enablement of teams and organizations we have developed an integrated tool. With :nabled, everyone can find their individual success factors. For this purpose, existing templates can be used and adapted or own ones can be created.

The following image shows the template of the agile corporate culture in the tool.

Make success factors measurable

Now that the target state is set, we can move on to the as-is analysis. Would it be possible to measure the degree to which the success factors have been implemented? This is possible. Because teams, organizations and their environment know the status. You just have to ask the right questions and interpret the sum of the answers correctly.

The next step is to find questions that can be used to determine how well the success factors have been implemented. Questions about a personal assessment work best. However, it is also possible to ask more in-depth questions, e.g. asking for a description of the current situation.

Our standard templates are pre-filled with the appropriate questions. But the questions can also be adapted to your own goals, process models or corporate culture.

Measure the actual situation

Once I have defined my success factors and questions, I can measure the actual state in your projects and organization. In an online form, the analysis interviews all participants on the basis of the template created and then evaluates the results.

Ideally, you should ask all stakeholders in and around your project or organization. If this group is too big, you should select participants from all areas with all tasks, roles, functions and also special characteristics. This way you will get a broad picture that provides deep information and insights.

:nabled prepares detailed reports for this purpose. Here you can see the degree of implementation of the success factors and many other information. All reports can be finely detailed via filters according to roles and areas. In this way, the main potentials can be quickly identified and concrete measures for enablement can be defined. The reports show the sum of all views and the deviations between them. This way, conflicts, communication deficits and general problems can also be quickly identified.

Plan measures

:nabled offers its own planning tool for planning measures. Here, the success factors can be analyzed step by step. The tool offers all necessary information at a glance. The findings can be discussed in the team and measures can be defined. If standard templates are used, :nabled automatically suggests measures for improvement that match the status. These can be adopted or adapted.

Analysis and action planning can be carried out by each team individually or with the support of internal or external coaches. Ideally, you should analyze your status every three months, e.g. as part of an extended retrospective.

Get enabled, with :nabled

:nabled is an integrated tool to enable teams. It helps to improve the performance of teams in a targeted and measurable way. It supports the definition of success factors, the measurement and analysis of projects and organizations as well as the planning of measures for continuous enablement. :nabled can be individually adapted to companies and working methods. All legal and data protection aspects are also fully configurable.

Sound interesting? Try it out: Without any obligation at https://nabled.de.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.

Frank Löhr
fl@nabled.de