July 16, 2014
It’s Wednesday and you just finished your meeting with the proposal team to pull everything together to meet the submission deadline on Friday. You are feeling pretty good about it; a clear deadline of Thursday by close of business (COB) was given to the team so you have Friday to review it. You already sent an email summary to John who missed the meeting, and you called Mike to brief him as he does not check email. Fast forward to Thursday at 4:50pm and not one of the outstanding deliverables has come in yet, so you think to yourself, “I did tell them the deadline was COB, so perhaps they are just taking that literally.” At 5:04pm the resume piece comes in. You take a quick look and notice it is missing two key credentials for Sara, the licenses she received last fall are not listed. So you fire off a quick note asking for the licenses to be included and receive an out of office reply until Monday … ugh! Okay, deep breath … you return to the other outstanding items and send a quick email to the rest of the team, reminding them that these items were due today so they need to be submitted to you ASAP. Finally, after receiving emails with no files attached, excuses of multiple deadlines (which they just realized!), phone calls and multiple pleas for deliverables, the proposal is pulled together by 11pm on Friday. So much for the idea of quickly finalizing the proposal on Friday morning then spending the rest of the day reviewing the sales pipeline. I’m sure that is not how you envisioned this all going down; there must be a better way.
Imagine if there was a solution that could provide the team complete visibility into what needed to be done and when, with discussions and deliverables all in one place. This type of transparency inspires more accountability; no one wants to be known as the “slacker,” so deadlines will be met. Team members see others participating and meeting deadlines, responding to questions and also want to be seen as a valued contributor. All of a sudden teams become more aligned around common goals, things get done and meetings become a mere formality. Although this may sound like utopia, you can achieve it.