Keeping Track of your Progress

KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS

While this is not an exercise you can complete and put aside, it is, in my mind, one of the most important exercises you can undertake.

It is very easy to lose sight of how your strengths and weaknesses develop. Many people find out one day—typically much too late—that they have lost touch with developments and that their skills are now hopelessly out of date. Many would say that they are committed to continuous improvement, but few monitor their relative capabilities and experience and ensure that they improve these.

Here is how you can avoid falling into this trap: After completing a significant project, you should undertake a self-assessment. This should not be a formal, rigid assessment, as there is every chance that the questions you raise in such an exercise will eventually no longer reflect what is important. Rather, focus on core issues and explore for each of these where you stand.

For example, you might explore the following core issues which are not likely to change:

• My ability to truly understand the challenges my analyses need to address.

It is, of course, not necessary to always fully understand a complex issue, but you need to understand the specific challenge you are supposed to help address. If the application area is new to you, it may be useful to search for information, read a few articles or books, or simply spend extensive time with the person briefing you on the project to make sure you fully understand the challenge. Do not assume that asking many questions will diminish your standing. On the contrary, it will demonstrate that you really want to make a useful contribution.

• My ability to select the right methodology rather than being limited by only a working knowledge of a narrow set of methodologies.

Note that the question is not if you have used the right—or at least an appropriate—methodology, but rather if you have an extensive tool kit of methodologies you can utilise, and if you have explored various options rather than just repeating blindly what you have done in the past.

• My ability to carry out an analysis, explore the meaning of each analysis, and adapt my approach in light of what I learn on the way.

Here your challenge is to explore and learn from early results, allowing you to refine and to explore interesting patterns or relationships further.

• My ability to interpret the results of my analysis in a meaningful, relevant way that allows the users of my results to make informed decisions or gain useful insights.

The circle closes with this final core issue: You will have a good start if you have ensured that you fully understand the challenge your analysis is supposed to address, which is the first core issue listed earlier. But the end result, of course, depends on getting the process, choice of methodology, and interpretation right as well.

• Conclusions: Finally, you need to draw some conclusions that will give you clear direction as to what you need to do before—and during—the next project to broaden and deepen your capabilities.

What do I need to learn (more) about? What do I need to do differently? Are there bad habits or routines that hold me back? Where have I improved since my last review, and where have I regressed?

What you should do as a matter of routine is to answer these questions truthfully and record the key points—i.e., why you believe you have done well or what you have failed or been unable to do. Spending an hour after each major project will, over time, lead to a deep understanding of how to manage your career, how to capitalise on your strengths and how to correct weaknesses that hold you back.

This may look like a simple exercise to do—and it is—but it is difficult to muster the discipline to keep undertaking a review after each major project. Sometimes you will find that you are extremely busy and at other times that you are feeling low or doubtful about your career, and these and other factors will be your enemies when you try to adopt this approach.

find the cost of your paper

It was one of the most emotional legal meetings I have ever had with a client.

It was one of the most emotional legal meetings I have ever had with a client. Under the pressure of a major lawsuit, a husband and wife were desperate to….

Assignment reusable straws – Marketing Management In the past couple of years, the global shift toward selling and buying more eco-friendly products seems to have accelerated.

Assignment reusable straws – Marketing Management In the past couple of years, the global shift toward selling and buying more eco-friendly products seems to have accelerated. In virtually any industry,….

What is the primary difference between Backup Speed and Restore Speed?

What is the primary difference between Backup Speed and Restore Speed? Q20:  Design and performance of a Call Center. In a call center there are M customer service representatives. Arriving calls are sent to….