You need to know what you are doing

It sometimes amazes me that the simple things are often forgotten about and people dive into firefighting and ideas generation. They miss the big picture and end up busy being busy.

One of these is the simply having a list of stuff that you are doing and is going on. What is sometimes called a portfolio. What is even more amazing is the difficulty people have in gathering the information to create one.

I have frequently had to create a portfolio of initiatives at the start of a new role. If for the simple area of just getting an understanding what is going on.

My approach has always been to get something that is just good enough in order to get things started. All too often the purists try and create the perfect portfolio that satisfies everyones desires. They ultimately fail to deliver anything and the organisation carries on as before.

My portfolios have gaps and initially have inaccurate information. However the practice of putting it on the table and regularly reviewing it cleans it up over time. It also helps to start to cleanse the areas providing the information for the portfolio, helps to clarify where the data is coming from for it and more importantly where it should come from. All too often you get delivery information from finance and finance information from delivery.

We then have a list of stuff we are doing. It can then be monitored for strategic alignment, delivery, duplication, value delivered etc. It is also something that new stuff can be reviewed against and added to.

So my advice is to create yourself a portfolio of initiatives from whatever you have at the start. Otherwise how will know what you are doing and more importantly they are the right things to be doing?

This is such a simple thing to do and can provide great value