Delivering Great Work Reliably and Painlessly

May 23, 2017


I read an article recently in Harvard Business Review and many points resonated – one in particular, on the importance of delivering reliably, struck a nerve. When you care a lot about clients, reputation, personal accomplishment and team satisfaction, delivering successful work is as essential to you as breathing. When you don’t have control of all of the variables you may feel frustrated and may either micromanage people or settle for less than perfect. There isn’t a secret to delivering reliably. It’s either luck or discipline. Unless I am playing darts, I tend to rely upon discipline.

These few steps will help you get there:

  1. Set realistic expectations up front – my team hears me say this incessantly. Specific, meaningful, timely expectation setting (and then resetting if needed) is imperative. Projects go off the rails all of the time; reset expectations and articulate any impact and options to mitigate the impact.
  2. Establish clear accountability – ever been part of a circle where someone throws a ball up in the air and it falls, everyone expecting someone else to catch it? All work we do for clients not only needs to be owned by someone on the team, but the expectations of the outcome need to be specific too. I love outcomes.
  3.  Finally, solicit constructive feedback from everyone. Make them give it to you. Our work isn’t elevated when we can’t look at it critically and help each other make it better.