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Just started listening to some of your older shows and they're very helpful! I have a question about goal setting in an engineering department. There are several goals that get sent down from executive level like "Ship XYZ product by Q4". We have gated "checkpoints" throughout any project, like "Ready for Pilot production", which usually make their way to most people's goals, plus a few more specific ones like "board layout complete by MM/YY".

One problem I'm facing is someone says "I didn't get resources assigned to me" so I couldn't meet my goal. Then they say since the goal was already passed, and they were waiting for resources, he continued to make changes on the electrical design, to make further "improvements". I'm not his Project manager, but am the supervisor. I did question whether it was a good idea to continue making changes, but to no avail. I got responses like "don't stop innovations like these improvements". Now the guy is mad that I'm saying he didn't meet his goal, blaming other folks for not doing their part.

Is it important to set a goal that one individual has total control over? What then happens to those checkpoint goals that include the whole team? Can't someone then just say, "my part was done"? I heard your casts on goal setting, and I'm stuck on how to narrow it down to only three goals. They historically have been these checkpoints, which are all team goals. I thought it would be good to add some really specific individual goals also so I could also track each individual's progress, but then they seem like much shorter tasks. Should I then still include the "team" goals?

Help!

jhack's picture

When people are properly motivated towards the team goal, they won't allow someone else to let them down. "I didn't get resources assigned to me" is passive. The active person figures out how to get those resources. You want to motivate people to get the project done on time, even if they have to step out of their assigned slot a few times.

Include the team goals. They are the imporant ones to the organization, after all.

John

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="egmc"] One problem I'm facing is someone says "I didn't get resources assigned to me" so I couldn't meet my goal. Then they say since the goal was already passed, and they were waiting for resources, [/quote]

Hmmm. Two thoughts come to mind. (1) Are you conducting weekly one-on-ones where you can learn about the _status_ of any project? If additional resources are required then you would be alerted during the O3. (2) Your direct sounds like a high 'C' personality where getting a task "perfect" gets in the way of getting it "done."

[quote="egmc"]
Is it important to set a goal that one individual has total control over? Can't someone then just say, "my part was done"? [/quote]

No and No. A response like "my part was done" is an opportunity to provide feedback. There are many projects/instances where each of us must coordinate with others to get our work done.