Recently I have been doing some part time consultancy work in my old career. I do this as it fits in around my trading, apart from the odd half day couple of times a month. I enjoy the work and makes me think about my trading from a different perspective.
Recently, we had a performance review of the last race of the current campaign, and it highlighted an area which I think has a cross over with trading.
Whilst the review dealt with the areas they performed well in and areas they needed to improve in, and from that a list of actions was produced to be implemented in the future.
Pretty normal review so far, but what came to my attention was that in a few of the areas they needed to improve upon, they had done better in these areas in past campaigns.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
So why were they not repeating the good procedures now?
It seemed on further discussion that slowly over time with various team changes and with just the passing of time, that routines that had been habit, had slowly changed or been forgotten without anyone really noticing.
In previous campaigns I had been involved with, I had run an operations manual which listed all the best practises for all the areas under my management. This ensured that everyone followed the correct routine and we did not stray from the path of repeating the methods that resulting in good performance.
How does this relate to my trading?
Well my trading system covering my style, entry, management, risk etc., is well documented and kept regularly up to date.
After this trading weekly review, which highlighted problems due to a lack of focus, I remembered that a couple of years ago, when I moved from trading hourly and daily charts to an intraday style of trading, I had a problem with maintaining and keeping focus, so I had a procedure to get me back into the zone.
Over time as my ability to focus improved, these routines got forgotten as I did not have to rely on these to get into the zone.
Now when they are needed again, I did not need help as I already had a forgotten tool I could use. It was only when writing the review of the week’s trading that I it occurred to me that I had a problem like this in the past and looked up the solution.
In turn this has led me to me thinking about the other areas of my trading, whilst all these areas are done pretty consistently the same way each time they are not documented.
So the question is, whilst I think that these areas are repeated consistently, are they and what other good practises I have lost to time and habit creep?
Have these changes been an improvement or have they been detrimental to my trading?
Without these areas being documented, then I do not know the answer.
For example, I update some of my stats weekly and some monthly, using the same criteria each time.
But now looking back at the stats from a year ago, I collected and updated them on a slightly different time scale and criteria. Why am I doing this differently and was it an improvement? I do not know the answer to these questions.
How many times I have made an error, which I have placed a routine in place, then over time drifted from this routine and then ended up in a similar spot and ended up re-inventing the wheel.
These changes to my routines are in theory, covered by my weekly review in my hand written, and now on line journals, but these improvements are not collected in one place unless it directly relates to my trading system.
Currently it is time consuming to go through these individual reviews to check if I am still implementing the good practises into my trading.
So moving forward I will keep a Best Practises Manual, which I will document my best practises and then using my weekly review to feed into and improve this Manual.