Do less, better

4 Ways to Free up Time For Busy Teams

How to lose the 30-page strategy deck and focus on doing less, better.

“Our biggest challenge is finding the time to focus on this.” We hear some version of this from clients nearly every day (and are guessing you do, too!) So, how do you free up time to focus on the big stuff? 

We’re inspired by the William’s F1 team's mantra of “Does it make the car go faster?” They use this simple question to iternalise strategy and democratise decision making. Everyone knows how to settle a debate or an engineering decision by asking this one question. 

Here’s how to help the team zoom in on the highest leverage projects by stepping away from that 30-page strategy deck and focusing on doing less, better. 

Identify what you'll stop doing

The first step in freeing up time for teams is to identify what you'll stop doing. Review your current projects and initiatives to determine which ones are taking up too much time and not delivering sufficient impact. Consider conducting a project funeral to kill off projects that have high-resource requirements but low impact. By doing this, you'll be able to free up resources that can be allocated to those high-leverage projects.

Get explicit (and simple) about your focus

Once you've identified the projects to stop doing, the next step is to get explicit about what you will do. Ask your team what they think should be the primary focus for the organisation. Identify the biggest leaps that can be made in the next quarter, and look for themes that emerge. Ask yourself, "What question could we answer that would help us take the biggest leap this quarter?"

Stress test a mantra

Once you've identified the focus, stress test a mantra with your team. Use a simple question, like the William's F1 team's "Does it make the car go faster?" to help internalise strategy and democratise decision-making. Share the mantra with your team and ask them to shoot it down. Once it's refined, commit to and resource projects accordingly.

Normalise a relentless focus

Finally, bring people back to your mantra question at every opportunity. It's essential to be intentional and help the team understand the strategic focus without becoming overwhelmed.

At Sprint Valley, we follow these same steps. We run our business like a product. Each quarter we narrow down our focus into 1 or 2 key questions we want to answer that quarter.

We have a backlog split out into: Sales, Marketing, Operations, Product, Customer Success and Finance. Each quarter we upvote the features we want to ship according to what will help us reach that quarter’s focus. 

So tell us, what would you focus on if your teams had 10% of their time to focus on the high-leverage work that will make the difference?


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