Therefore Strategic Technology Services

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The strategy execution burn points

The strategy execution tool
Let’s face it, failure to implement business strategy is common, and unimplemented strategy adds no value. Breakdowns in planning and execution mean that only 50 to 60% of the value in a strategy plan is ever realised.

The Therefore Team have been doing a little bit of digging around to identify the burn points that folks experience when trying to deliver against strategy plans. The Therefore StratIQ™ product has been fine-tuned accordingly. 

Below are the big ticket items that we have identified. Please drop me a note if there are any burn points that you think that we may have missed. 

The strategy never got out of the boardroom

The focus required to drive a strategy is often eroded by the day to day demands of running the business. The result … strategy plans are often destined to see out their days in a filing cabinet and ground covered is frequently coincidental.

A plan is not enough … it requires a framework for delivery

Success requires planning … and strategy is no exception. Strategy plans tend to be complex and, without an execution management tool, executive teams tend to lose focus, often leading to delivery failure.

If you can’t measure, you can’t manage

If strategy execution can’t be measured with ease, managing delivery becomes cumbersome and time consuming. The management of strategy execution requires a dashboard and easy access to purpose built reporting.

If everyone is accountable, no one is accountable

Clear lines of accountability are critical to the execution of strategy. Given the complex nature of a strategic plan and the sheer size of the team that is required for its execution, accountability often falls into a grey area, which stands against delivery.

Critical to the management of accountability is the management of deadlines for delivery, and the ability to track performance relative to these deadlines.

Delivering across functional silos

Silo mentality is often put forward as a key break point for strategy execution. In the absence of an execution tool that is capable of coordinating effort across functional areas, strategy delivery becomes failure-prone.

The ability to support cross functional delivery improves the effectiveness of strategy delivery, makes silos more porous by encouraging strategic conversation and consequently improves company morale.

Aligning strategic delivery to KPIs

Aligning the delivery of strategic initiatives to your team’s KPIs is often easier said than done. In the absence of a mechanism capable of tracking your staff’s performance relative to their strategic accountabilities, KPI alignment becomes near impossible.

Everyone needs to be on the same page

Communication is one of management’s perennial challenges, and nowhere is clean communication more critical than in the execution of strategy.

A strategy execution tool needs to provide a single source of strategy performance data, thereby allowing your team to work with “on the same page” clarity.

Execution only counts if its quality execution

When one compares the strategy execution performance of staff, relative to their colleagues, one typically finds that the quality of output is uneven, given differing levels of performance and strategic maturity.

To guard against substandard delivery it is imperative that a workable review mechanism is in place.

Spreadsheet trackers aren’t up to the task

Spreadsheet based strategy execution trackers may be cheap, but they have too many shortcomings to allow them to be and appropriate tool for measuring, managing and executing strategy.

Peter Lever
peter@therefore.co.za
+27 83 447 4883

Originally published: 09/10/2013
Updated: 01/08/2014

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