In a startup, you live day-to-day. Just trying to survive and figuring out your next steps on the fly.
Somewhere along the line, roadmaps become a bit more stable. You start talking about monthly and quarterly plans. This is exciting, it feels less reactive and you can finally breath a bit.
Then you enter the big leagues. Your product is successful and you get to do annual planning. Awesome.
Except it sucks. The annual plan is bloated and almost immediately out of date. You often forget to check back in on it, and only in December, once the year is almost over, do you review the plan and run a quick sprint to try to say you’ve completed as many items as possible.
This happens because most of us procrastinate by nature, waiting until the last minute to get things done.
Think about meetings. Often, in the first meeting a number of action items get assigned. Most people won’t do them right away, instead they’ll rush to complete them before the second meeting as illustrated below.
If you only plan annually, then you’ll get that spike once a year. Even monthly reviews only give you 12 spikes a year.
That’s why the weekly cadence is so powerful. With weekly meetings, you get 52 activity spikes a year that drive towards your goals.
I first read about this in What the heck is EOS? and it totally changed my business. By setting our rituals and checkins to a weekly cadence, our progress greatly accelerated and we remained more aligned. There was less time for teams to diverge between syncs, and we were able to make decisions much faster.
I experienced the exact same results when doing this with my team at Shopify as well. Moving to a weekly checkin cadence, instead of a 3 or 6-week one, greatly accelerated our progress and alignment.
The challenge: Take a look at your existing rituals (meetings, reviews, reports). Are there any that should be weekly?