COOs, KRs and initiatives – how to break out initiatives

(this is an edited version of an email i sent to a COO in reply)

top level – as the COO, your job is to make sure things get done, you should only really be doing things yourself when the team are stuck, think of it as top-level project management. we want to focus on – what needs to be done, who is going to do it, is it being done, has it been completed, does it meet the standards needed, what resources does the accountable individual need to help them complete.

looking into initiatives – theory – to break out initiatives, meet with the team, the goal is to work with them and through discussion, help them take a KR and break it out into the steps/tasks/ initiatives they need to do… its about helping them to think through how they will solve the problem, and check they haven’t missed things and that expectations are realistic and that resource needs are identified.

giving you a specific example (where i am “COO” helping you to think through your KR)


Item #5, I need the time to work & review all existing processes. Propose & define the new process documents and then send to C level management review/approve.

KR – Building process documentation

Here’s how you can think about this KR of building process documentation..

Consider that initiatives are sequential steps, actions or tasks that you or your team need to resolve or accomplish in order to contribute to the completion of the KR of building process documentation – so what are these initiatives? what do we need to consider?

  1. some examples, and it often helps to think about this sequentially:
  2. which parts of the business need process?
    1. initiative 1 – review the business, identify and priorities parts of the business that need process
    2. initiative 2 – meet w/ each team to review identified parts of the business to get a deeper understanding of the factors that influence it, identify key metrics to measure 
  3. where will any process be documented and who would update it?
    1. initiative 1 – assign accountable person for each process
    2. initiative 2 – develop a process documentation template
    3. initiative 3 – setup a wiki and taxonomy to archive all these processes
    4. initiative 4 – arrange all-team meetings to present each process as its completed to ensure learnings are shared, video each presentation
    5. initiative 5 – setup a calendar with annual process reviews so that we update or at least review the processes on an annual basis

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