Whatever we do, we must do it better! One of the most helpful tools to improve whatever we do is the Control Loop. It isn't about being a 'control freak' but about being responsible and aware of exactly what we are supposed to be doing.
- Set Goals. Start here. Through whatever process you use, start with the measurable goals and targets. Try to get very specific, and then prioritize these goals. Not more than 3 goals should have highest priority.
- Do it, devise and undertake the work, and,
- Monitor results:
- Take the time to measure the defined indicators.
- Document the results in order to keep a long-term record.
- Compare what you got with what you planned for
- It may be higher, it may be lower.
- e.g. I planned to plant 6 new churches but planted only 3.
- Evaluate: Examine the difference and evaluate whether and how much it matters
- e.g. It was okay as there was qualitative growth.
- Decide. Make a decision. You can:
- Revise goals (E.g. It is impossible to reach 6, but I will strive for 4 new churches.) or
- Change Action plans (E.g. Until now, I stayed in this city. Maybe I should try to reach the surroundings.) or
- Leave work as is (E.g. I planted 8 new churches, so I really did well. I will go on doing the good work.)
Many ideas on ways how to initiate such a process can be found in Group processing and planning tools.
Don't be afraid of admitting failures. In fact, it is the only way to get it right next time! (See http://www.admittingfailure.com/ for many examples.)
As an example, we will analyze the process behind Website evaluation of ywamkb.net.
- Set Goals. Back in November 2008, Kevin wrote down his expectations to a "good" website in general. He knew that this applies also to the website that himself is managing (among others), but specific to ywamkb.net he only set the following goals:
- Steady growth, building a real knowledge base
- Do it. He did :-)
- Monitor results. In September 2009, Pitpat actually applied the mentioned website test to YWAMKB.
- Compare. Even if the result (3 fails, 1 pass) may be shocking at first glance, they reveal great points where the website can be ameliorated.
- Evaluate. So Kevin went back to these results and commented them, classing them by importance / relevance to this site.
- Decide. The last option, "continue without change", couldn't be chosen here, as the TODO-List demands attention. He could have changed the Website Evaluation Test and lower the target points, but Kevin felt challenged: We can do better. So he planned some extra hours on working on the website / the server, tracking down the big TODO-List of points that can/should change. Some points (e.g. PR) will need a mind shift, a continual change, so-to-speak.