For the past 25 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of groups across dozens of big companies and startups. One thing’s consistent: everyone works in teams, and the ultimate success of any organization relies on the overall effectiveness of the teams within it.
That’s why universities like Harvard and companies like Google have spent years studying different types of teams to identify the common success factors. As a result, there are several widely accepted “principles” for leading effective teams, like providing clear roles and responsibilities, building trust, and ensuring dependability through accountability.
But in my experience, things get muddy when it comes to just how you do all this. There’s no one right tool, right model, or right process that’s recognized as the silver bullet. So, what do you do if you’re leading a team and want to ensure it’s as effective as possible?
When I work with executives, I always recommend helping their teams get clear on what they want to achieve, why, and how they’ll know they’ve accomplished it. Said another way, you need to define your overall objective, determine what goals are needed to realize it, understand the strategies needed to achieve each goal, and then define quantifiable success metrics to keep everyone focused.
One model for doing exactly that is the OGSM framework. OGSM is an acronym that stands for Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures.
Free Downloadable OGSM Template
Here’s a template available to download and modify to build out your own OGSM approach. The template includes the following sections, organized by what needs to be defined by your team, including the order in which they should be completed:
Clearly define the team’s overall objective, which should be linked to the team’s ultimate purpose. For example: Create an engaging customer experience that drives repeat sales.
Break down the objective into smaller, more attainable goals. Each goal should be defined in a way that it can be clearly tracked and recorded. For example: Update website to include useful content that enhances the customer experience.
Create strategies to accomplish each goal by considering what it will take to achieve the goal, your available resources, and your timeline. For example: Use articles to engage customers in learning about new technologies, including our products.
Define specific, quantifiable metrics that allow you to compare where you are today with what you will achieve in your defined timeframe. For example: Write six new articles this quarter to publish on our website and promote through social media.
This template comes from upBOARD, a company I cofounded that’s building online business process apps like this, and we’ve found that it’s a helpful tool to keep things organized. You can modify the template to suit your specific team’s focus.
Additionally, create a cadence where you revisit your templates regularly as a team– weekly, monthly, or quarterly– to discuss your progress. Adjust your objectives and strategies as needed so you remain agile. Create a new set of templates quarterly or annually as part of your overall strategic planning process.
Effective teams know what everyone’s working on, why they’re doing it in the first place, and how they’ll measure success. It’s not rocket science, but it can be hard to do. The OGSM framework is one simple way to make your team a great one.
This article was originally published on Inc.com and has been syndicated for this blog.
Soren Kaplan is the bestselling and award-winning author of Leapfrogging and The Invisible Advantage, an affiliated professor at USC’s Center for Effective Organizations, a former corporate executive, and a co-founder of UpBOARD. He has been recognized by the Thinkers50 as one of the world’s top keynote speakers and thought leaders in business strategy and innovation.