Manage the Portfolio

Once an organization completes the preceding steps once, it can begin to make periodic corrections to the plan, update the roadmap, build momentum, and incorporate new priorities on a regular basis, based on changing needs and dynamics. As initiatives complete implementation and yield results, bandwidth frees up to address emerging priorities.

Step8


Since these tires worked out so great, why don’t we put the car on a regular maintenance program? And while we’re at it, let’s add the RV and the motorcycle, too.

Step #8

Manage the Portfolio

Organizations that learn to stop and freeze lower-priority projects, defend priorities, and continually manage the bandwidth of the leadership team typically and the greatest ROI in people, time, and dollars.

SOStoROI

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Construct the Roadmap

Given many improvement initiatives are usually in play at any one time, it’s critical to understand how they all work together. Knowing that it’s bad form and largely ineffective to attempt to implement these all at once, the effective leader uses logic and judgment to lay out a multi-quarter improvement plan—a roadmap—with clear priorities, while also protecting the bandwidth of the implementation team. Subsequent initiatives are authorized when they are ready, but not before.

RoadMap

We will get new tires, then we will repaint the car, then we will get a new driver, and finally, we will install the turbocharger so we can race off-road.

 

Step 7: 

Construct the Roadmap

Often, roadmaps cover a range of opportunities to include improvements in operational systems, development of people, culture, leadership, and new capabilities to enable growth. As the plan becomes clearer over time, activities become more relevant to stakeholders at all levels.

Step7

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Focus Execution

FourTiresThe perfect solution to the problem with the perfect plan and in perfect priority means little without the drumbeat of daily execution. Many corporate antibodies conspire to knock critical improvements off track, and team members can get distracted with competing priorities, lose focus, or worse—secretly reduce scope to make their lives more manageable.

What are we doing today, tomorrow, and the next day to keep focused on ensuring the new tires are shipped, installed and road-tested on time.

Step 6:

Focus Execution

At this stage, it is critical to manage the bandwidth of the individual teams. More than money or time, bandwidth is often the limiting element in improvement initiatives. Teams need to learn:

  1. Not to take on too much, but instead to focus and finish what they are doing so that an improvement can complete its implementation, “stick,” and yield intended results.
  2. Teams need to learn to manage changes so that pressure for scope-creep is exposed and adjustments can be made to ensure priorities stay on track.

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Create The Plan

After gaining agreement on a basic approach and that it’s a priority worth pursuing, the team builds a detailed plan, complete with risk mitigation, budgets, and timelines.

Step 5:Boxtire

Create The Plan

Here the key risks are identified, mitigation steps are envisioned, and those steps are wrapped back into the detailed plan. The team understands how it will operate on a daily or weekly basis, how it will measure progress, report status, request help, and make changes to the plan.

Let’s get those tires in the next month, to make sure they haven’t run out of our size.Step5

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Broaden Alignment

Most organizations have multiple improvement opportunities. Therefore, the team responsible for the improvements will need to not only set priorities but also gain alignment with stakeholders around the likely effectiveness of the strategy and elicit their support.

88-xfinity-crew-main.jpg.main.png

Everyone agrees that getting run- flat tires makes sense? Do you all think we should do it, and that we can pull it off in time?

 

 


Step 4:
Broaden Alignment

Key considerations, many times in the context of strategic off-site meetings, include what kind of a team they need to become, what success looks like, and what each person is willing to commit to achieve success.

Step4

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Build Capabilities

TIreYou have confronted the problems and implemented permanent repairs. Next, you need to look at what specifically needs to be in place more permanently to take the organization where it wants to go. It’s about DEFINING the gap relative to future aspirations and needs.

This journey requires we go off-road. How about we upgrade to a set of beefy run-flat tires, so we aren’t limited to only the well-maintained roads?

Step 3: Build Capabilities

Organizations need to always be on the lookout for capability enhancements to ensure they not only fix the current business system but also are building the future business system in relation to their goals. But before you can build capabilities the right way, you need to know where you want to go.

Derived from goals, this effort, like system repairs (Step 2), includes defining an overall concept, outlining top-level objectives and scope, and identifying the team, budget, and schedule.

 

Step3

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Repair the System

RepairTheSystemYou’ve met the challenge head on! Next, it’s time to identify what in the system allowed the issue to occur in the first place and what in the system needs to change to prevent the issue from ever occurring again.

It turns out no one replaced the tires after 40,000 miles. We need to get a fresh set of tires, be on the lookout for foreign objects, and from now on only drive on well-maintained roads.

Step #2: Repair the System

Sometimes, issues arise from a flaw in the business system that needs to be fixed (e.g. supply chain, product design, operations, or customer service). The challenge is to take the time to create a repair (often in the form of a change initiative) that prevents future occurrence. Unfortunately, many organizations rationalize that since the issue has been resolved (for now), the fix can wait. Ultimately, they fail to fully install the repair and end up suffering repeated issues as a result.

Step2

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Confront the Challenge! Step #1

Confront The Challenge  ~
Step #1 of 8 to transform from SOS to ROI.

OConfrontTheChallengeh no; the car is running rough and making a loud noise AND we need to pull over now! The left rear tire has a puncture and is flat. Do we have a spare?

This is the SOS Moment—the painful and universally inconvenient realization that things are not as they should be. In business, this might be a broken system (e.g., quality, supply chain or customer service issues), or a gap in capabilities (e.g., too inefficient to match market pricing demands).

The actual chilling moment could be an angry phone call from a top customer or employee, or a government agency, or internal audit, or an attorney. It could also come in the form of a consultant report or market analysis showing declining market share, or a bearish assessment of share price.

Step 1: Confront the Challenge

Regardless of the source, it’s time to go heads-down, limit the damage, find the root cause, and install at least a temporary fix in order to resume operations. It’s time to take on the complexity monster!

Step1
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What is an SOS moment for a business?

 

51mIG7jH9oL._AC_US436_QL65_As mentioned in my book, “SOS to ROI: A Strategic Approach to Conquer the Complexity Monster and Accelerate Results” (Indie Books International, 2017) an SOS moment is the painful and universally inconvenient realization that things are not as they should be.

Going from SOS to ROI is often an iterative process. These eight steps summarize the basic logic applied while moving from distress to success in terms of improved return on investment in people, time, and dollars.

Step 1: Confront the Challenge

The process begins with the keen realization that something is horribly wrong and quick action is needed to limit damage and find the root cause. This often includes a distress call for help.

Step 2: Repair the System

Then it’s time to identify what in the system allowed the issue to occur in the first place and what in the system needs to change to prevent the issue from ever occurring again. Sometimes, issues arise from a flaw in the business system that needs to be fixed (e.g. supply chain, product design, operations, or customer service).

Step 3: Build Capabilities

Next, the process is about looking at what specifically needs to be in place more permanently to take the organization where it wants to go. It’s about defining the gap relative to future aspirations and needs. In some cases, a short-term solution might be needed to bridge capabilities.

Step 4: Broaden Alignment

Realizing that most organizations have multiple improvement opportunities, the team responsible for the improvements will need to not only set priorities but also gain alignment with stakeholders around the likely effectiveness of the strategy and elicit their support.

Step 5: Create the Plan

After gaining agreement on a basic approach and that it’s a priority worth pursuing, the team builds a detailed plan, complete with risk mitigation, budgets, and timelines.

Here the key risks are identified, mitigations steps are envisioned, and those steps are wrapped back into the detailed plan. The team understands how it will operate on a daily or weekly basis, how it will measure progress, report status, request help, and make changes to the plan.

Step 6: Focus Execution

The perfect solution to the problem with the perfect plan and in perfect priority means little without the drumbeat of daily execution. Many corporate antibodies conspire to knock critical improvements off track, and team members can get distracted with competing priorities, lose focus, or worse—secretly reduce scope to make their lives more manageable. At this stage, it is critical to manage the bandwidth (the collective attention span and degree of focus) of the individual teams. More than money or time, bandwidth is often the limiting element in improvement initiatives.

Step 7: Construct the Roadmap

Given many improvement initiatives are usually in play at any one time, it’s critical to understand how they all work together. Knowing that largely ineffective to attempt to implement these all at once, the effective leader uses logic and judgment to lay out a multiquarter improvement plan—a roadmap—with clear priorities, while also protecting the bandwidth of the implementation team. Subsequent initiatives are authorized when they are ready, but not before.

Step 8: Manage the Portfolio

Once an organization completes the preceding steps once, it can begin to make periodic corrections to the plan, update the roadmap, build momentum, and incorporate new priorities on a regular basis, based on changing needs and dynamics. As initiatives complete implementation and yield results, bandwidth frees up to address emerging priorities.

Organizations that learn to stop and freeze lower-priority projects, defend priorities, and continually manage the bandwidth of the leadership team typically find the greatest ROI in people, time, and dollars.

For more information about our services, visit Global Aperture Inc., and to purchase the book, visit Amazon.

 

About Indie Books International

Indie Books International (www.indiebooksintl.com) was founded in 2014 in Oceanside, California by two best-selling business authors. Similar to indie film companies and indie music labels, the mission of Indie Books International is to serve as an independent publishing alternative for consultants, executive coaches and business thought leaders.