I’ve had a lot of conversations recently where people have complained “our Executive Board can’t make decisions” or “our Executive Board doesn’t want to make portfolio decisions at all”. I’ve worked with a lot of very senior executives and the one thing they generally all have in common is they are pretty smart cookies. Yeah okay occasionally you’ll experience the odd numpty who really shouldn’t be in that position (which you could say for any role not just Executives) BUT on the whole these people know their stuff, and know their stuff very well.
So with that in mind, I’m sorry to tell all you Heads of Portfolio Management, Portfolio Office Leaders and Portfolio Consultants that 99% of the time it’s not the Executives fault that they cant make a decision, it’s yours!!
Here’s a self check for you…Do all this and I guarantee you’ll get all the portfolio decisions you need, when you need them.
1) Have you got the Executive Board to agree what the role of the Executive Board is in the context of portfolio management? Have you specified the types of decisions you will be asking them to make at some point in the future?
2) Do you provide a Portfolio update that is GUCCI (looks Great, is Usable, Clear Concise and Informative) and does it super clearly define the exact decisions you need the Executive Team to make during the meeting?
3) Do you engage with any of the Executives and / or the Chair of the meeting before the meeting itself to ensure clarity on the content and decisions that are needed?
4) Do you understand the ‘value’ that your Executive Board feel from you and your Portfolio Office? Is it a high value? If it’s not high value why not? Have you asked them why they are not getting value or what would increase the value?
Let me know how you get on.