Running an effective KRA Managers meeting.

Grow a small business with KRAsAs we talked about previously, the KRAs (Key Reporting Areas) each have an ‘owner’. We need clear roles, responsibilities so we then have accountability. Not to be used in ‘management by fear’, the old autocratic style but to allow people the freedom to own their corners of the business – a much more effective approach.

The weekly KRA Manager meeting is where each owner of a Key Reporting Area (KRA) come together to share information about their respective corners, collaborate with the other managers and share manager information faster. The forum can also be used to support managers that are overloaded (a team with excess capacity could take some of their workload for the short-term), and brainstorm solutions to curly issues the manager has not been able to solve themselves. Mostly the meeting is to share information across the business at a high-level.

Each weekly KRA should be 20-60 minutes, depending on the stage of growth your business is in.  Roughly 10 minutes for each person, as early on people will have several KRAs. When the org chart is fully assigned (i.e. your business is big enough to each person only owning one KRA in the business) you will need to full hour for the meeting. Don’t schedule the meeting for more than an hour, you can keep it to under 60 minutes.

The agenda of the meeting is simply the KRA from the bottom-up.

Start with the Production area(s) of your business, then Operations, Business Development, Management and finally strategy. The reason for this is if the meeting runs out of time, the strategy component can be dropped off (unless there is something hugely important). The weekly KRA Manager meeting is more about day-to-day issues and information, than medium-to-long-term changes.

The Chair of the weekly KRA Manager meeting should be the most senior person on the organisation chart present, usually the CEO/MD/GM. When going around each corner, the Chair can prompt for information from a KRA Manager by asking:

  • What are the major issues and wins in the ‘XYZ’ corner Peter?
  • Any big topics the other managers in the business need to be across?
  • Where is your corner at with XYZ issues / opportunity / project?
  • Do you need any help from the other managers with anything?

If people are stuck for things to say in their corner, see the standard activities suggested under each KRA, for specific functional activities you can run through to prod them.

Especially if you have an undisciplined or ignorant High I (under DiSC®) in the meeting, be sure to steer them back onto the agenda if they start jumping all over the place. As they are people-orientated extroverts, they will love talking and often want to talk for talking sake. If they start answering for other people be sure to help them control this behaviour during the meeting, then after the meeting give them direct feedback on being unfocused and undisciplined.

What a small business owner / manager should do to run an effective KRA Manager meeting:

  1. Have an agenda – run through the KRA from the bottom-up
  2. Stay focused – if people start talking off-agenda , or jumping ahead or all over the place, remind them we need to stick the current corner of the business, ask them to jot down their idea and bring it up when we get to that KRA
  3. Start on time, end on time
  4. Ensure people are taking away their own action items from the meeting (early on, or if you think people are slipping, at the end of the meeting ask everyone to run through their action items)

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