Making Feedback On Projects Easier

August 2, 2016 Comments Off on Making Feedback On Projects Easier

Your project is almost complete. You send it to your boss for approval.

This is where it sits alongside projects from the rest of her subordinates until she has cleared enough time to check and approve each of them.

This is a killer bottleneck for your work.

Can we remove it?

What if we change the message to include:

“This needs to go out on Friday, please can you approve it before then?”.

Now we have a deadline. That sets the project somewhere on the list of her priorities. But it’s still waiting on approval before it goes out. The cost of these delays usually outweighs the benefit of her input.

An even smarter approach might be:

“Let me know by Friday if you want any changes before this gets sent out”.

This removes the bottleneck. If your boss doesn’t get round to it, you send it out anyway. She has her chance. If this project is important enough to her, she’ll make time for it. If not, she won’t. She retains her sense of power. She stops holding up multiple projects.

An even better approach is to make the feedback simpler:

“This needs to go out on Friday so we can still achieve our target of ‘x’ by ‘y’. You mentioned you wanted to check {specific point} before it goes out. I’ve cut and pasted this section below. Reply to this email with any changes and I’ll drop them in on Friday and send it out.”

Now you’ve set a deadline, removed the need for her to go through the entire document to find the area she wants to give feedback on (and helped her resist the temptation to tinker with other areas along the way), highlighted (and simplified) how she can give feedback, and reminded her about the date. Now she can reply via email on the train home.

Your relationship with your boss might vary, so adjust the wording as you like. Just remember to set the deadline, highlight what happens if the deadline isn’t met, and make it easy to give feedback.

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