Clarity is a simple concept, and is key to staying on the same page as a team. Clarity means knowing what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Unfortunately, lack of clarity is common in almost every organization.
Lack of clarity leads to mistakes, disagreements about prioritization, and endless meetings just to figure out, “What did we do last week, and what should we do next week?” Meetings and endless coordination tasks can still leave you feeling confused about what’s going on, which contributes to disengagement and billions of dollars in lost productivity every year.
We’ve broken clarity down into three types: clarity of purpose, plan, and responsibility.
1. Clarity of Purpose
Identifying goals upfront gives purpose to any task, no matter how small. When teammates know not only what needs to get done, but also the context for their work, they can prioritize effectively, make better decisions, and feel empowered to do their best work.
2. Clarity of Plan
Most teams, at some point, have been confused about whether something is complete or about what’s supposed to happen next. Keeping a single, shared list of every step that needs to happen to achieve a goal, creates a sense of calm and helps you manage expectations.
3. Clarity of Responsibility
Knowing the one person responsible for every task ensures that no balls get dropped. Apple calls this the Directly Responsible Individual model and Asana makes this easy by allowing only one assignee per task.
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