PREVIEW: Chapter 6: Quick wins

Chapter 6: Quick wins (excerpt)

Hands up if you’ve been in a meeting within the last few weeks where somebody has declared they need to see quick wins. I attend enough meetings to hear this multiple times weekly, but rarely does the conversation explore exactly what that means. It sounds great to say (after all, who doesn’t enjoy winning?) but please… a little more detail... please!

This article is really a guide for the next time you hear that magic phrase in a meeting, and how to arm yourself with better questions to clarify what “quick wins” really mean, and how to know when or if you’ve won. Focusing on the right wins, and achieving them, is an effective way to build buy-in and momentum for your GRC program.

Defining “quick”

The first thing I would ask is: “What is meant by quick?” Let’s define if we’re speaking about hours, days, weeks or months as a time scale. Then I would ask to describe whether this is an entire component, or a partial component to demonstrate progress towards an end goal. This type of approach sets a team up for success because it realizes that the job doesn’t need to be complete, but it does have to achieve some minimum mandatory objectives.

I also believe that quick has as much to do with the “perception” of progress as it does with “actual” progress. I have been involved with programs where a frequent touch-point with stakeholders is a perception of progress, and in other cases programs needed tangible artifacts to demonstrate that same level of confidence.

Often the distinction between a “quick win” and a program milestone becomes blurred. Sometimes they can be the same thing, for example, you may have a new process developed and ready for trials defined as both a milestone and a quick win. It has the power to demonstrate that the course of action will generate real results if it continues to receive support.

Chapter 6: Quick Wins