Exercise 2 – Information flows in your business

Part of our ‘Becoming Information Conscious’ series. We have created a workbook for these exercises using Google Sheets – note you’ll need to be logged into Google to make a copy.

Go back to the large diagram you produced with all of your information islands in the previous chapter. Take a pencil and start to draw in each of the flows of information that you feel are critical to your business success. To start with, don’t worry about how effective the flows are (or even if they exist at all), just draw them all in as arrows on the chart (see sketch below). You’ll probably end up with something quite messy! Don’t worry, we’ll extract the key bits from this in a minute.

Now, get a red, orange and a green marker, or use your own colours if you prefer. For the flows that work well and don’t require much improvement, draw them in green. For those that work falteringly but could use some improvement, draw them in orange. Finally, draw any that don’t happen at all in red. Here’s our Jamboard example.

Be honest with yourself and get honest input from your team. And think really carefully about where those red arrows might be because it can be difficult to spot something that doesn’t currently exist! Remember the person with the biggest insights here might be your newest or most junior employee, or someone external, who won’t necessarily be prejudiced by the way things have always been done.

What are the six most important information flows within your business (as before, we recommend using our workbook)?

From To Red/Orange/ Green? Comments
e.g. Marketing Material
e.g. Propects


You should now have a really good idea of where your priorities lie, but before we start talking solutions we’ll look at external data flows in the next exercise.

Exercise 1Exercises 3 & 4