It’s a habit… Quarterly Reviews

October 27, 2009

Whether you have raised venture capital or not as a CEO and or Founder running an expansion stage software company an important habit to get into is holding Quarterly operational reviews with your management team. It should be part of every company’s management rhythm.

A quarterly review is not a board meeting but an operational meeting with the leadership from all the key operational units within your company. They typically involve Development, Product Management, Customer Care, Finance, Sales, Marketing and Professional Services.

It is an opportunity to review how the company is performing against its annual strategic goals, how it performed against the last quarter’s SMART goals and to set and agree as a team to the current quarters SMART goals.

They help achieve and maintain alignment within the organization leveraging all of your assets, both capital and people for creating competitive advantage. It gives you an opportunity to ask three basic questions as you reflect upon your performance that will result in actionable steps you can take to improve execution;

What did we do well?

What did we not do well?

What can we do better?

It is important that they be timely… within 1-3 weeks of the end of the quarter. The sooner the better.

That they be formal… every operational leader comes prepared to be held accountable for their performance.

That they be specific… all the operational goals are SMART goals (see link below).

That they be honest… you have to look in the mirror what is not working and where the impediments are.

That they result in management agreement… to remove the impediments that are slowing you down and keeping you from achieving your goals.

As a venture capital firm that provides expansion stage capital we do operational reviews with all of our portfolio companies every quarter. Frankly once an expansion stage software company raises growth equity it is all about execution not capital. Quarterly reviews are all about improving, adjusting and refining executional performance. As part of our business development efforts we provide operational support to all of the portfolio companies we have provided expansion stage capital in through our team in OpenView Labs.

If I had to choose between a board meeting or an operational review to have each quarter with our portfolio companies the operational review would always win. It is the one meeting that consistently makes a difference because it improves the performance of the team.

Like exercising daily, if you want to build a stronger management team, leverage your capital and people assets better to build a high growth software company quarterly reviews are a GOOD habit to get into!

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.