Goal setting: part 3 - measuring progress

We’ve already discussed why you should set goals, and how to set goals that you’ll actually achieve. For our final instalment of this goal setting mini-series, we’re going to have a look at measuring goal attainment.In Part One, we mentioned how Johnny Hands-in-pockets was driven to succeed because he could see himself progressing; ‘you run faster when you can see the finish line’. But motivation isn’t the only benefit that can be derived from measuring your progress. You can see how fast you’re running, and in turn, what’s slowing you down or propelling you forward.

Measuring progress

Many businesses use Key Performance Indicators, (KPIs), to measure their goal attainment and ensure they aren’t falling behind. A quick Google search will unearth example KPIs for just about every business there is, and there are plenty for real estate agencies. Find some that suit your own business model, and tweak them to suit your unique way of working.KPIs help you to keep up with your schedule and learn while you go. By tracking your progress you can see how you’re going, and what’s been working for you. Choose your own method for tracking progress and stick to it.At Rex, we use Atlassian’s ‘Asana’, for example. If software isn’t your thing, a whiteboard, notebook or madman’s nest of sticky notes should work just fine.

How are we going?

Review your KPIs consistently to make sure you aren’t dawdling. Looking back at Part Two, let's say you’re halfway through the month, and you’ve only delivered three of your intended ten new listings; you’re going to need to change something pretty quickly.Maybe your marketing department have misread the social network vibe and have been exclusively advertising your agency with pictures of kittens in tiny, tiny waistcoats? You might spend more time tweaking the campaign, change strategies completely, or just put more time and effort into the task at hand instead of the other stuff you have on the go – whatever it takes to achieve your goal by the deadline.

What’s been working?

If you do decide to change or tweak your strategy, look back and focus on what’s been working for you. Ask yourself; “what got us those initial three listings?” - then do more of that. If it was the kittens – kitten harder. If it was the waistcoats – waistcoat more. If you think the kittens have been holding you back – try puppies instead.Simple, really.KPI’s and progress reports are a great tool for evaluating and learning your success, and should be used actively when you’re striving towards your goals.Measuring your progress means you know when to change your strategy so you don’t have to change your deadline.

In conclusion

This concludes our goal setting trilogy, so before you go, lets go look back on what we covered.

  • Goals are a necessity for every business. By defining exactly what you’re after, and compartmentalising what needs to be done into concrete steps, you’ll find that what once seemed impossibly daunting is now conceivable. They break your mountainous plans into, well, not quite molehill-sized plans - but they certainly transform them into hills you can cross without the need for bottled oxygen and Sherpas.
  • Goals propel you forward. You’ll have the motivation required to start work, and once you’ve started, you’ll find action becomes momentum. It won’t hurt as much to keep your nose to the grindstone.
  • Set S.M.A.R.T goals with your employees to ensure your plans aren’t too lofty.
  • Finally, measure your progress along the way so you know what is and isn’t working for you.

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