How to Focus on Deliverables to Maximize Your Team's Performance
How to Focus on Deliverables to Maximize Your Team's Performance

Measuring performance is critical for all employees, but it’s not as simple as making sure everybody is logged on by 9 AM. Sure there are plenty of IT solutions you can use to show you when an individual is online and help verify that someone is at work. But at the end of the day, just how useful is that?

Whether in the office or working remotely, it is impossible to track what each person is doing at all times. Regardless, simply measuring if someone has "shown up" to work - whether virtually or physically - won't tell you much about performance.

When trying to optimize for team performance, we recommend focusing on deliverables over attendance.

Instead of keeping up with time spent, we suggest you come to an agreement with your team on deliverables and give your teammates the freedom to manage their own time in their own way. Tracking output over input is useful for all types of teams — remote and in person. Here is a great example: Best Buy gave its human resources managers the task of coming up with a way to get head office staff working more productively. What they found was that giving staff complete freedom to pursue results in their own time motivated them more than anything else.The method used by Best Buy was the Results-Only Working Environment (ROWE), created by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson. The came up with a plan where all of their employees were evaluated solely on their performance, not their presence — and it really worked. It had the effect of raising morale and engagement. Their staff no longer had to just ‘show up’ — so time-wasting was reduced and company productivity soared by 35%.Setting goals and deadlines by which performance can be measured gives your team clear direction and something concrete to focus on, in turn helping with overall motivation. Resisting the urge to check up on people repeatedly and making a point to provide feedback on a regular basis also helps to build trust with your team.To create an environment focused on deliverables at VentureDevs and give our tech team freedom, we use SCRUM — an agile methodology that works by planning backlogs and then breaking down those backlogs into weekly “sprints”. During the sprints, the team focuses on completing only a specific set of deliverables and tracks their progress along the way. This emphasis on planning and establishing clear results helps our team produce more, faster. It fosters easy communication and allows for the flexibility needed to build high-performing software products. We’ve found that using this framework also helps keep our clients more engaged in their projects and aware of what’s happening while providing the flexibility, freedom and trust that their remote team needs to succeed.Whether in-house, partially, or fully distributed, empowering your team with autonomy and focus creates a far more fulfilling and productive environment for everyone involved.