Working from Home – Quad of Aims
By: Nicola Balloch
Hello and welcome back to our Working from Home blog series!
Here in Scotland, we recently entered Phase 1 of the Government’s plan for exiting lock-down. Many people see this as the first step on the road back to normality (or at least something a bit closer to it). However it also means that, yet again, lots of business must make significant changes to their organisation and operations.
Doing this under the best of circumstances can be tough, but the added challenges of social distancing and remote working make it particularly daunting. To make such changes possible and deliver them efficiently, it is important that all team members work together towards the same goal. So, we must ensure that the aims of the changes are clear and understood by all involved. That is where this weeks blog comes in, as we will be discussing the Quad of Aims.
The Quad of Aims
The Quad of Aims is a widely used lean tool designed to clarify the aims and requirements of an activity. Working with the relevant people (including the sponsors and front line staff) to create the Quad of Aims encourages commitment to the project and ensures everyone understands what it is expected to deliver. Without clear aims, projects often don’t achieve the intended outcome or fail altogether! The well-known quote by Laurence J. Peter sums this up nicely:
“if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else”
Previously, we would encourage all team members to have a meeting and work through the Quad of Aims using a flipchart or similar. However, the Quad of Aims can easily be transferred into a digital format for virtual meetings!
In the example below, we have used Microsoft Whiteboard but there are various other platforms that work well.
To begin, simply create a large 2×2 grid of boxes, and add the following headings: Purpose, Stakeholders, Deliverables, and Measurables.
With the team members, spend sometime discussing each of the quads. If you need to stimulate the conversation of get people to explore ideas at a deeper level, this is a great time to employ the ‘5Ws and 1H’ or the ‘5 Whys’ techniques we have discussed previously.
Our previous Working from Home blogs contain some more great information about making the most of remote working. We have also developed several ways to help our clients and deliver our services remotely, so if you would like to find out how we can help your business or organisation during this difficult time, please don’t hesitate to contact us!