How to manage our initiatives better?Initiatives management is not an easy step in the performance improvement process. It implies a proper tracking of the initiatives taken, which is usually a challenge for most organizations. Initiating projects may turn out to be easier than managing them afterwards, when the issues of time, money and talent available interfere in the process. If we add resources problems and poor project monitoring to other problems, then the future of the initiative is not hard to guess.
In order to ensure a proper initiative implementation, there are 3 easy steps that have to be taken:
- Develop the Portfolio of Initiatives – to have an overview of all projects taking place in the organization. What is important to remember, is to develop this Portfolio based on the Balanced Scorecard of the organization, thus ensuring that each objective is supported by initiatives which aim at their achievement;
- Describe each initiative using the Initiative Documentation Form – to understand each project better, as the tool provides access to specific details regarding each project. The most common fields are the name of the project, the description, related objectives, start and end date, priority, budget allocated, responsible persons, activities taken as part of the project and deliverables expected to be achieved;
- Use Initiative Progress Reports – to keep track of the implementation status. It is important to have clarity on the progress towards the finalization of each initiative and, in this sense, to take the needed actions in order to bring the project back on the right track. If we wait until the initiative is almost finished, and only then we identify that the project will be delayed, and not implemented according to the initial requirements, it will be too late to do take any mending actions. On the other hand, if we set clear milestones “We need to achieve X by a certain date”, and we regularly review the project’s status, we can address problems identified and make sure we do achieve our initiative in due time.
For each of the above mentioned tools, it is recommended to use templates, which enhance standardization and communication across the organization. Imagine having dozens of implemented projects, each of them with their own reporting tool. How hard would it be to manage all of them!
Another aspect to keep in sight when aiming at a successful initiative management, is to have a clear structure for each template. Design them by using tables and graphs, in order to enhance data visualization. And remember that each tool has a precise objective to achieve, so make sure you develop the Portfolio of Initiatives to have an overview of all projects, you design the Initiative Documentation Form to have specific details about each project, and the Initiative Progress Report, to have a status overview at any moment, during the project implementation process.
Hassan Al-Asaad, Strategist & Business Development at the GCC Interconnection Authority will be joining the Performance Improvement and KPIs Conference in Dubai, to discuss about Cascading the Performance Management System at Team Level.