In Leadership Tips, Process Improvement, Rounding

How do you keep track of things?

I don’t know about you, but I have many conversations with my team in a day, in a week. Often, I lose track of who said what and even more important—what I said or promised I would do as follow up. So, I had to come up with a solution. I came across a handy tool that can be used for many different purposes—a Stoplight Report.

Green: Work Complete Yellow: Work in Progress Red: Can’t Complete at this time and here’s why

This Stoplight Report helps me remember what I heard during conversations so that I can easily follow up with an action. Using this same tool, I can communicate back to the person with the ask. The Stoplight Report can also be sent to all team members as a way of showing the actions that are occurring to help the team’s performance. Additionally, I can post Stoplight Reports on a communication board or use other existing communication protocols. This is a great way of communicating what is happening with your team.

Remember—It is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Green items are things that have been addressed and are complete.
  2. Yellow items are things in progress.
  3. Red items are things that cannot be done and are followed by an explanation of why they can’t be done.

You can also use the green-yellow-red breakdown to track status on short-cycle initiatives. You can track the progress of specific work by each team member. For example, you might list priorities for a quarter and then at each meeting of the team, members will signify green, yellow or red and everyone knows where the team is on achieving our priorities.

Here’s another example: We coach superintendents to round with their senior leadership teams. One question they ask is, “What processes can be improved to make your work more efficient?” Superintendents gather the responses and determine how to follow through. The Stoplight Report is the communication tool they use with their senior teams.

There are so many uses for the Stoplight Report. Try it with your team. It is an easy and fast way to communicate important information.

Source: Maximize Performance

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