Together Try-It #2: Forecast Forward Frequently

Jul 31, 2023

Did my last post on Together Try-Its pique your interest in more nuggets from my upcoming book? Well, lucky for you, we have more coming your way! Let’s focus on Forecasting Forward Frequently (yes, that was a lot of alliteration, even for me!), another Try-It we have found to be essential for Together Teammates. This time, I have a great example from long-time Together Team Member, Kendra, to whom the new book is actually dedicated because she really “wrote the book” on these various skills.

It can get busy out here in the Together-verse. Between teaching, writing, and curriculum design (not to mention marketing and the running of the business!), I can feel personally pulled in a million directions a day. I know that Kendra, in her role as a Senior Director of Operations, often feels the same way – given that she handles a lot more than our instructional preparation (hello contracts, human resources, class staffing, book purchases, and much much more!). But, one of the things that sets Kendra apart – as our global project manager – is her ability to Forecast Forward Frequently – and gently nudge other to do the same.

Let’s look at an example of this in the lead-up to a very busy teaching period in April – May – June. This is the email that Ana and I received from Kendra in mid-April.

Kendra’s Forecast Forward email

In addition to the humor and catchy subject line, Kendra made a few key Forecasting Forward moves:

  • Projected the deliverables for the next 5 – 6 weeks to give an overview of which classes we had to prepare for and in which order. This helped us all pace our work and energy as we considered PowerPoint revisions.
  • Highlighted exact deadlines to show when classes were happening versus upload of materials. This was useful for our team to consider what kind of time to block in our Outlook calendars to complete the work.
  • Differentiated the workload by noting which classes needed deeper edits versus shallow. This allowed us to schedule co-working time with each other for the deeper work and relegate the other work to asynchronous collaboration.

Now to be clear, I’m not saying this was EASY for Kendra to do or find time for in the midst of all the other work she had going on herself. However, it was essential to keeping our entire team on track during a very busy time period. Watching Kendra do this over the past DECADE has given me a deep appreciation for teammates who can pause, forecast and then communicate. It helps our entire team look up, around, and down the road. This is essential because a lot of stuff is unpredictable in our professional and personal lives, and by having this roadmap from Kendra, we could shift and pivot as our own kids had sick days or other unexpected things happened.

Is there a time or place where Forecasting Forward could help you?