Your current actions are creating your current results. To create new results… you will have to do things differently and do different things.

The 12 Week Year: A Synopsis and Review

Read this book if:

-You want a holistic perspective on life transformation

-You want to connect your “doing” to a bigger perspective (find a WHY)

Don’t read this book if:

-You need specific knowledge (ie sales knowledge) to overcome a problem

-You are moving towards your goals, and measuring them, but you need help with “process control.”

A 12 week year… what a title. How could you possibly accomplish in 12 weeks what everyone else does in a year? Sounds audacious right?

Well, it’s actually not: it’s totally doable. Scrum records very similar results actually when implemented: people usually do about twice the work in half the time. It’s not surprising that developing a clear vision and executing it on a repeating schedule helps you accomplish more. So what makes the 12 week year special? Why should you read it?

Put simply, the 12 week year helps you execute a plan with a perspective. The first thing Brian Moran reiterates to you is that you NEED a vision. Where do you want your company to be? Where do you want you life to be?

Next, create realistic, scaled goals towards that long term vision that only last 12 weeks. Create a set of tactics that reliably move you towards those goals, and execute on those tactics every week. When you’re moving towards your goals, take responsibility for your actions. No one is stopping you from moving towards your goals but you. If it get hard, remember your vision: your vision should evoke an emotional response strong enough to push you past key points of failure.

Lastly, make your goals measurable, measure your progress towards your goals, and do that measuring in a group.

The brilliant part about the book is it never sounds over hyped. The book never sounds over the top, never gives crazy promises, gives practical tools for moving towards the future. It makes excellence hard but doable. That alone make the book a worthwhile read.

The TLDR version:

  1. Create a vision: what do you want your life to look like? Be specific, this should evoke an emotional response. If this isn’t emotional for you, you haven’t “visioned” enough, and you will probably abandon the vision when the going gets tough. Make it deep, emotional, and personal
  2. Create a 12 week “year” set of goals: These goals should be tough but attainable, and should always directly tie into your vision.
  3. Develop a list of tactics for success related to each goal. The tactics should not be over the top, or too long term. Instead, the tactics should be the minimal amount of work required to finish the job.
  4. Create a weekly execution plan for the tactics. Scheduling is talked about in other places, but the key here is it MUST be measureable. If it’s not, then it probably won’t happen.
  5. Every week, review your goals, look at your completion rate the previous week, and plan for the current week
  6. Take responsibility for your actions: choose your vision over personal comfort.
  7. Talk to others consistently about your vision, 12 week “year,” and weekly progress

The book has loads more good stuff. That’s the gist of it however… it’s definitely worth a read.

For us, it fills in a critical gap just about Scrum, which, while great for week to week planning, is not quite as tailored for vision based goals.