Do THIS Before You Dive into Your 2018 Workplace Goals

Do THIS Before You Dive into Your 2015 PrioritiesAfter a welcome year-end break, you’re back on the job, feeling refreshed, focused, and ready to tackle the mountain of new work sitting in front of you.

Time to dive in, right?

Not so fast!

The work sitting in front of you relates to the strategic priorities you set and agreed upon with your key stakeholder (your manager, business peer, etc.) at the end of 2017. And it likely remains relevant, high-priority work that’s worth committing yourself to, but…

Sometimes Priorities Change

It’s possible your strategic priorities have shifted since you last set them in late 2017.

  • Your key stakeholder may have adjusted their plans at the last minute.
  • The business may have rotated its larger attitude towards tech for 2018.
  • The IT organization’s budgets may have been cut, forcing a reallocation of resources away from your planned projects.
  • Any number of last-minute changes may have occurred—and no, you wouldn’t necessarily have been briefed on them! (Especially if you’ve been off-the-grid on vacation the last couple weeks.)

So before you dive into the work sitting in front of you, set up a quick 15-minute check-in with your key stakeholder to make sure your priorities haven’t changed without anyone telling you.

How to Confirm Your Priorities

It’s a good idea to have this conversation in-person (or at least over the phone), but if you’re unable to schedule a short meeting with your key stakeholder within the next week, send her the following email to check in virtually:

“Hi [Key Stakeholder’s Name], Happy New Year!

I’m just checking in to make sure my priorities haven’t shifted since we last met in 2017.
The last time we spoke, my priorities were:

-[Priority 1]

-[Priority 2]

-[Priority 3]

Have any of these changed, or will they remain my primary targets for 2018?

Thank you!

-[Your Name]”

Just copy & paste this text into your email client, fill in the blanks and hit send, and you will have taken a big step towards preventing wasted work in 2018.

Do I Really Need to Check In Like This?

Your key stakeholder will most likely confirm your priorities have remained the same since you last met, and tell you to proceed as planned. In this case, you’ve lost nothing except the few minutes it took to check in.

But in the off chance your priorities have changed, taking just a few minutes to perform some due diligence can prevent you from spending days—if not weeks—on work that’s no longer relevant or important.

Isn’t it worth spending a few minutes today to protect against weeks of wasted work?

marc-headshot-large-1-150x150Marc Schiller is the founder and Managing Partner of Rain Partners. Schiller is a leading voice and thinker on IT leadership and management. His book, The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders, broke new ground regarding the most significant management challenges facing IT leaders today—and how to address them.

Contact Marc at, or call:1.914.290.4575


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