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From Management’s Point of View ~ Planning & Timing (2 of 2) ~

August 18, 2023

In the previous post, I discussed how to consider and set up schedules in the context of Planning & Timing, emphasizing the following six points.

  1. Clearly understand the goals

  2. Set deadlines, and schedule backward to establish the required steps

  3. Understand relative importance, and schedule accordingly

  4. Periodically confirm a shared understanding

  5. Hold a summary meeting with the client

  6. Hold a summary meeting within the team

Each of these steps is operationally necessary, but on the topic of scheduling specifically, I believe that the most important thing is to be conscious of actually taking ownership of the schedule.

The starting point for this is to think about your work’s impact on others. My perspective may come across as somewhat negative, but at a bare minimum, I think the following target “lines” should be considered.

  • The line that must be strictly maintained in order to meet deadlines for tax filings, financial reports, etc.

  • The line beyond which delays in one’s own scheduling will impact the work of teammates by causing them unexpected additional work or unnecessary stress.

  • The line beyond which delayed results will cause problems for the client.

The inability to minimally uphold these three conditions will necessarily result in inconvenience to others and damage to one’s own reputation.

There is a tendency to focus on the circumstances caused by failure, and the negative effects that such failure imposes on the people involved. What is far more important, however, is that appropriate scheduling brings about positive results and has a beneficial impact on building trust in relationships.

First of all, accomplishing your own work according to plan is essential in order to promote the smooth progress of your teammates’ work, and this helps build mutual trust. And by submitting work to clients within the deadline, trust is formed there as well. If the work is completed ahead of time, you can raise the quality of the content in a bid to do an outstanding job that will surpass the client’s expectations. That effort will be certain to earn further trust from the client.

Someone who exercises leadership, even if they are a new hire, will manage the progress of their work and undertake appropriate communications so as to facilitate the work of their supervisors and coworkers. Such a person will also consider how to deliver timely, high-quality results to their clients, exerting themselves to the utmost in the performance of their duties. Individual staff members will of course have various personal situations to deal with, but instead of simply prioritizing such situations, they will take action based on consideration of how the people around them will be able to work smoothly and without undue inconvenience. This, I feel, is the beginning of leadership. Ownership means realizing that your actions can make others happy or unhappy; using your own capabilities to transform the current situation in a positive direction; and having the driving force to create a flow that will naturally carry your supervisors and coworkers along. Meanwhile, the starting point for leadership is the desire to make others happy.

Everyone dislikes being rejected or reprimanded. However, ownership will be missing from your work if the focus is simply to avoid anyone becoming upset with you. To pursue your work on your own terms and take ownership, it is crucial to establish plans by communicating effectively with your supervisors and coworkers, and then to follow those plans closely. By doing so, you will put the people you work with at ease, which will in turn form the foundation of your own reliability. Your work will naturally make the people around you happy, and as a result, you will be raising your own value. That is the kind of mettle that I hope to embed in all of our work.


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