Saturday, January 16, 2016

Three Agile Aspects in Strategy Execution

Strategy execution takes both management disciplines and business capabilities. in either case, agility is the key success factor in dynamic execution.

Making strategy is important because it navigates organizations toward the right direction for businesses’ long-term success, but strategy execution is more challenging because it consumes so many resources, business /human capitals, and there are so many pitfalls or hidden risks for doing it effectively. Execution has seemingly increased in priority as the result of the rising frequency of digital disruption and turbulence today. And strategy execution success is more dependent on the business's agility to response to changes. So how to apply agile philosophy to manage strategy execution more effectively?

Agile as a management principle: Agile is about considering and measuring human imperfection and the non-deterministic factors of a category of endeavors of which project is part of. Agile practice can help anyone or any group focus their attention effectively and take right action towards a vision in manageable segments where risk, uncertainty, unknowns and fast moving markets are involved. Agility is the ability to think and act promptly to the ever changing environment. A successful strategy execution needs to have well thought-out plans, prepare “what if” scenarios, analyzing impacts on customers and competitions, and planning for multiple forks in the road for the quick agile ability to react. That said, Strategy execution scenario should embrace agile philosophy. Strategy execution will keep the speed at sync, and strategic planning and execution should keep both long term view with the short-term urgency.

Agility as productivity multipliers: Besides managers seeking to be enlightened, the agility can be productivity multipliers by eliminating impediments; understand the fundamentals of core agile principles which are not only in the spirit of Agile, but in a sense serve as a mature cornerstone of its implementations, they should also understand the fundamentals of creation of value, constraints, etc. Whether you have Agile teams or not, you still need to have management discipline and, if you prefer, leadership. It’s important to apply agile principles to make the linkage between strategy and execution and create more resource engagement because it should be clearer to people how their work impacts the organization, to improve engagement, and increase productivity as well.

Agile as an improvement principle: Strategy execution will almost always change the way the organization operates, in order to align it with the defined strategic direction. Such change will always provoke some measure of resistance, particularly if the organization is large, traditional, has enjoyed success in the past, and has strong bargaining power with its customers. The success of strategy management undoubtedly lies in “timely execution,” and it can only be achieved through continuous persistence, improvement and following up. The employees will likely question the wisdom of changing what they perceive to be the "formula for success." It will take a strong transformational leader to demonstrate that the status quo is not a viable option, to show a new path that will lead to greater success via the set of agile principles.

Strategy execution takes both management disciplines and business capabilities. in either case, agility is the key success factor in dynamic execution because it helps to set business priority right, build the culture of improvement, having the ability to adapt to changes, so execution can produce the expected results in the context of the strategic choices.


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