4 Reasons Why Every Manager Should Do a Quarterly Review
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Hey there! I’m Sonya Siderova, founder and CEO here at Nave. I help managers make reliable data-driven decisions and meet their commitments, all while growing happy, engaged and motivated teams. Today we’re going to talk about why every manager should do a quarterly review and how this simple practice will give you momentum that carries you for months.
High achievers are outcome-oriented and driven by a strong personal desire to accomplish their goals. But they are also hard chargers. That’s exactly what makes it so difficult to slow down and make time for reflection. Who has time?
I’ve been there, I get it. I’m also here to tell you that there’s a tried-and-proven method that allows you to stop for a second and zoom out just long enough to make the next 3 months more productive.
It’s called a quarterly review.
This practice looks simple at first glance, but it will leave a profound impact on your professional life. It’s your opportunity to build momentum for you and your teams and ensure you’re one step closer to achieving your strategic goals.
Now that I’ve pulled back the curtain a little bit, let’s talk about what a quarterly review is, at a fundamental level.
Think of how day-to-day, it’s easy to get down in the weeds. You are focusing on each deliverable that’s right in front of you. A quarterly review is a conscious effort to take a step back, reflect, and see the bigger picture. It’s like taking an air balloon for a thousand feet or so and seeing the overall landscape.
This exercise requires you to set aside some time (even a couple of hours can do wonders). Make sure you do it in a place where you can truly focus. If you can be offline, even better. Go somewhere quiet where the only voice is the one in your head.
4 Reasons Why You Should Always Do a Quarterly Review
The real magic of a quarterly review is that it gives you momentum that carries you not just for days or weeks, but for months.
You don’t have to just take my word for it – there’s research to back up the claim that reflecting and thinking ahead helps people perform way better at work compared to those who don’t.
Here are the four main outcomes of a quarterly review that will keep you motivated and set you up for success in the long run.
#1 Celebrate Your Achievements
Not enough of us take the time to give ourselves and our teams a pat on the back for the things we do right. In order to have the energy and motivation to do a great job, it’s important we feel confident about our abilities.
One of the fastest ways we can get there is by reflecting on what we’ve done right and finding gratitude for all our successes so far. This practice puts your teams in a positive headspace, which is essential for their well-being.
#2 Reveal Opportunities for Improvement
After you’ve taken time to reflect on what you’ve done right, you are better able to identify areas for improvement in the big picture.
Asking questions like, “how can we optimize our workflows?” and “how can we deliver value to our customers consistently?” are powerful thought exercises. They will trigger the right conversations to help you avoid repeating the same mistakes or defaulting to bad management practices you might otherwise.
You can then take the outcome of these conversations and define and prioritize incremental change management initiatives for the next three months to make sure you’ve been continuously improving your working practices.
#3 Re-Examine Your Goals
You know the old saying, “you’re not stuck where you land.” This is especially true when it comes to goals.
When you do a quarterly review, you have the opportunity to reflect on the goals you’ve set for your teams. Are they still relevant? Does it make sense to carry them over to the next quarter?
If the goals you’ve previously defined don’t serve their purpose anymore, replace them with ones that reflect your reality and align with your business objectives.
#4 Establish Your Systems
If you’ve read James Clear’s Atomic Habits then you’re probably already familiar with the following quote: “You don’t rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
Without the right systems – policies and practices – in place, you’re not going to get very far. We depend on micro activities that we perform on a daily basis to achieve our goals, both short-term and long-term.
The real question here is, have you established a delivery system that will support you along the way? Do you have explicit process policies and management practices in place to make this work?
If you’re still wondering, I’d like to invite you to take a sneak peek at the first module of our Sustainable Predictability program →
It’s free for 7 days and it will help you make sure you’ve put together a strong foundation for your workflows. In this module, we visualize the knowledge discovery process you follow to deliver customer value and we organize your work items in a way that enables consistent delivery results.
Hopefully these four outcomes gave you a good window of insight into why it’s so important to have a quarterly review and spend that time to reflect.
I hope you found this article helpful, and as always, please share it with any friends who could also use this insight on your favorite social media channels. Thanks for tuning in, and I’ll see you next week, same time and place. Have a fantastic day!
Meet the Author
Sonya Siderova is a passionate product manager and a driving force behind Nave, a Kanban analytics suite that helps teams improve their delivery speed through data-driven decision making. When she's not catering to her two little ones, you might find Sonya absorbed in a good heavyweight boxing match or behind a screen crafting a new blog post.
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