You can’t start your journey before you know where you start. And this from-where-position is the foundation of your starting blocks, which gives the most present picture of your organisational function.
Gathering all this information - you need to listen. Listen to what your shipmates are saying when you, for example, raise questions on policy, internal documents, work processes and flows. We humans have two ears and one mouth - that proportion should be a guideline for how much you talk as the leader of this process. That means that the majority of the time you spend gathering information is listening.
Okay, you have a large pile of information - what’s next?
It’s important to make sure that you interpret the information as far as you can. Do you see any signals of common - or uncommon - practices? Can you find the core strength and weakness of the organisational function? What’s the cause of a strength or weakness and what’s just an effect of it?
There are many questions to ask, and you need them in order to really understand the situation. Problems can only be solved when you really understand them. Coming up with ideas, road-maps and strategies before that would just mean wasting your resources. Mind this carefully when you’re defining the starting blocks of your journey.