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Business Performance

The Focus 5×5 Quarterly Matrix

There has been a huge shift towards automated dashboards over the last five years. 

Dashboards have been placed on TV sets across the office, set up on secondary monitors, shortcuts on toolbars and shared across businesses to understand the health of a business and being able to understand what has happening or happening now. 

Dashboards can have huge upsides, however, there are downsides. 

Automated without insights are just numbers on a screen. Dashboards are rarely in real-time and are often difficult for many businesses to surface and display the most important information to staff as the data is not available to query, stored in different datastores and regularly without commentary and insights blindly suggests performance is good, bad or ugly. 

Dashboards can be positive, they can help the staff to follow the company compass, it can help to shift private data to open and transparent data and assists to shift key units from defaulting to siloed to being open and having discussions around workstreams, roadmaps and campaigns.  

Enter The Focus 5×5 

In the business world, we can often joke about the importance of a 2×2 matrix, we can make incredibly important decisions based on the positioning on a 2×2. 

The simpler the information, the simpler the format, the more successful information becomes within businesses.  

The focus 5×5 matrix are the five most important indicators of performance with  five lines to help everyone understand which campaigns are being worked on, the five biggest internal and external threats, the five product enhancements that are being made to your own product, the five ideas submitted and under review by the business and the five goals you have   

Strategy  

  • Strategic campaigns the company is working on 
  • Be explicit on owners, deadlines and what needles these will move. 

Issues 

  • The 5 biggest issues we are facing (risks) 
  • Be explicit on what it impacts, who will be looking after these issues and when you will feedback and update 

Roadmap  

  • The 5 product roadmap rolling out this quarter 
  • Be explicit on deadlines, owners and when will be released to customers. 

Ideas  

  • The 5 ideas submitted by the team to improve problems. 
  • Be explicit on who’s idea these were, when they will be re-reviewed when they will have an expected build date. 

Goals 

  • The 5 Goals we have this quarter 
  • Be explicit about what the goals are, who owns the goals and when you are expecting impact. 

You should have accountability on the 5×5 by including when the Focus 5×5 matrix was last updated and who last updated the matrix. 

Must be 

  • Linked to company goals presentation/documentation and be updated weekly (one owner higher recommended) 
  • Open to all (members of staff) 
  • Open for comments and questions (from members of staff) 
  • Linked to the decision document – help the wider business understand how the most important decisions were made 
  • Linked to the previous quarterly matrixes & quarterly business review – this is important for new joiners to have a record and comparison to last quarters information 
  • Linked to strategic plans (1 year is action, 3 years is planning, 5 years is thinking on an annual review cycle): 
    • STP – the short term plan – 1 year ahead 
    • MTP – the mid-term plan – 3 years ahead 
    • LTP – from 5+ year plan 

If you have a company-wide meeting weekly like a weekly all-hands standup, this is a great format to run through and review, with departments feeding in updates and most important changes to their departments and disciplines. 

3 Areas To Consider Including: 

  1. If you could like to include your mission and vision headline statements your 5×5 can include these as headings 
  2. If you would like to include five behaviours that make your company culture successful, consider including them as a dividing header 
  3. If you would like to call out department of the week or unsung hero of the week, you can add these in weekly. 

Rolling out a new way of working and providing insights can take four to six weeks of planning, creation and introducing a new habit for the company leaders to follow, it is however an important tried and tested formula to improve your internal communication and performance.

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