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How to execute faster?

bhupesh bansal
4 min readAug 29, 2019


Speed of Execution is the key to success. One of the most common complaints I hear from fellow tech leaders in the valley is around slow execution. Great ideas, projects, and startups often fail not due to lack of long term strategic alignment but due to lack of speed of short term execution.

Debugging and fixing execution issues in a team is a hard and slow process. It often needs a shift in team behavior, mindset, and overall culture and should be done slowly and carefully.

I believe there are three required elements for great execution.

Three elements for great execution
  • Focus & Prioritization
  • Planning & Committing
  • Passion & Drive

Note: I love the rule of three and it might become monotonous but mostly all my arguments will have three legs to it.

Focus & Prioritization

I am a big fan of Warren Buffett and his advice around focus really resonates with me.

Mike Flint was Warren Buffett’s long-time personal pilot. Feeling that he was not progressing in life, he asked Warren Buffett how to set better goals. Mr. Buffett asked Flint to write down his top 25 goals in life. Then Buffett asked him to circle the top 5 goals, the things that he wanted more than anything else in the world. This second exercise was harder because almost everything on the list seemed important. Once he was done, Buffett told him “Congrats. You have now identified your 5 most important goals. Just keep in mind that the other 20 goals will prevent you from achieving your top 5 goals.

My advice here is very simple, Make a list of your all top priorities and then work with your team in identifying top ‘X’ priorities.

  • Work with your team part is really important as One it will help you set better priorities with more complete information and Second you will get the buy-in and commitment from your executing team.
  • The ‘X’ number is your team execution bandwidth aka how many parallel priorities it can really handle. It mostly depends on your organization structure and leaders in your organization. This can be easily increased by growing your organization and grooming more leaders in it.
  • The final and last element is to focus and say ‘NO’ to everything else. The biggest mistake leaders do is to be reactive and keep changing priorities as new ones come up. Change in priorities confuses the team and kills the momentum.

Plan & Commit

A good plan is essential for good execution. Often I have seen teams rushing into solving a problem without really understanding the depth and dependencies around it. It often results in the team doing some work, quickly getting blocked and starting from the planning stage again repeatedly.

Imagine a car running at constant speed Vs a car trying to stop and start every few minutes.

My advice here is to focus and spend some time exploring both the breadth and depth around the problem and identify all major potential issues quickly. Front-loading the riskiest and complicated part of projects as early as possible helps in keeping and maintaining execution speed.

A good plan will also fail without full commitment of leaders behind it. you can show your commitment 1) providing dedicated and right set of team for the project 2) Trust and empower them to make decisions and execute.

Passion & Drive

Every person is unique and special in their own way. For me personally, the biggest thing which drives me is passion. For my teams, I try to learn and understand each member of my team and then try to find a problem which matches their ambitions, their own interests, and their passions. One thing I spend a lot of time initially is talking about why the problem is important and how it aligns with their career goals and interest. It is not possible in all situations but often when the match is good the team executes at a far better speed and also are more creative in their thinking.

This post is mostly covering speed of execution at a very high level, I will try to go into more details into each one of the elements in the following posts.