How does the BAR method work on project and team management?

Service Business

If we want to be successful in a given field, we must perfectly manage the project, know if our actions are correct and set appropriate goals. Unfortunately, the implementation of an idea may be difficult without the above conditions. Therefore, it is worth getting acquainted with the methods that can facilitate the actions. One of the management methods is the BAR method, which may prove to be the solution to the problems. What is it about?

Idea management and goal setting

Of course, it is very important to set a goal and monitor it correctly, as well as be aware of the problems and ways to eliminate them. Therefore, if we start working on a project, start-up or other type of business, we must also focus on these issues.

A helpful and perfect method of setting a goal is S.M.A.R.T., thanks to which we will be able to face a goal that is actually achievable and meets certain conditions. How should we look at him? Through what prism to look at?

According to the S.M.A.R.T. the goal should be:

  • Specific (S - Specific) - the goal must be specific, cannot be ambiguous or full of understatements. The most important thing in this case is precision.

  • Measurable (M - Measurable) - the goal should be measurable, and thanks to this, we can see at what point we are on the way to achieving it. For example, instead of "I will create a database" it is worth setting "I will create a database with 250 items".

  • Achievable (A - Achievable) - in this case it is about measuring our forces against intentions. The goal must be achievable for us, that is, it must not require too much effort beyond our capabilities.

  • Realistic (R - Realistic) - the goal must be realistic, achievable. It's obvious that we won't write a 250-page book in an hour, and trying to achieve a goal can only be frustrating and discouraging.

  • Time-bound (T) - The target must be time-bound. We all know how difficult it is to start working on a project that is indefinite. We put it down, we are not motivated. It is worth setting a date.

In turn, when it comes to noticing problems and dealing with their solution, Lean Management is considered an effective method. Work on the project is constantly monitored in terms of what can be repaired and whether everything goes as planned, thanks to which the optimal product is delivered to the client.

Why do we mention these two methods in the context of BAR management? This is because BAR is considered to draw on both Lean Management and S.M.A.R.T. and, as it were, combines them in itself. So what is it about?

What is the BAR method?

The BAR method, i.e. Before Action Review, allows you to find out what knowledge resources we have, what mistakes we can make, what we do and why we do it, and - or perhaps most importantly - whether we should do it. This method also allows to estimate, on the basis of experience and collected material, what the potential risk is and how it can be minimized.

The BAR method is also combined with the AAR method, i.e. After Action Review, which consists in quickly recognizing problems during actions and solving them immediately.

Thanks to the access to the Internet, reports, experience already gained, and the knowledge we have, we are able to draw conclusions, learn from mistakes, analyze in order to start our activities fully professionally.

The BAR method requires specific answers to 3 important questions:
- What do you want to do, what do you want to do?
- Why do you want to do this?
- How will you do it?

The BAR method in practice

How should the use of the BAR method in management look like in practice? The first step is, of course, to create a team that can include all the people who are to take part in the project or a selected group that has the most knowledge and knows who has the highest competences and what knowledge they have.

The above group should start a discussion based on questions about what we are striving for and what is our goal, what past experiences can help us in risk assessment, what we already know, what we need to find out, how we will measure our path to the goal, what awaits us on this path or how to get closer to success.

It is assumed that the discussion should be specific and last up to two hours. Thanks to this, we will avoid "spilling water" and we will focus on precise answers.

If we notice that knowledge is insufficient in certain areas, it is worth appointing a person who will be able to fill in the gaps and obtain the information we need.

The BAR method is effective, but not always. As you can see, it is based on previous experiences, so if our project is new, unfortunately we cannot take advantage of it.