Sunday, May 31, 2020

Close Multiple Linkages Between Strategy and Tactics

 It is critical to identify the weakest links and determine how each part of the organization, including all of the key functions must "put it all together" to be successful in implementing strategy and bring tangible business results.

The strategy is not just one of the things a leader does, it is the most important thing to reach the business vision and it's about creating tomorrow's organization out of today. Sound strategy and solid execution are both important.

First, preparing a strategic plan is crucial because it points the organization in a direction where it can maximize its value position and reap as many benefits as possible. The super execution is the result of the synchronization of all key business factors by strengthening multiple links to create business synergy and build differentiated enterprise competencies.

From an overall portfolio perspective, there are nested relationships and close linkage between strategy and tactics: There are three interrelated terms - vision, strategy, and tactics in strategy management. Vision is about what you want the organization to be. The strategy is what you are going to do to achieve your vision (goals) ‎‎ Tactics is about how you will achieve your strategy and when (actions) and where (location).‎ One of the top reasons why strategy implementation fails is because they were not actionable from the get-going. It’s important to translate strategy into operational terms aligning across the business functions to create synergies in making strategy for everyone's everyday job and developing a continual but iterative process mobilizing change through digital synchronization.

There are nested relationships under organizational hierarchy and it’s important to close the linkage between strategy and tactics. The strategic plans need to get to the level of specifically achievable goals via “5W+1H” navigation, such as "who is doing what, with whom, how are they doing it and when or where does it need to be started and finished by.” Well-define a set of strategic goals first: from them, determine certain "action items." These action items become goals for business units; and then, each individual manager or supervisor has a goal, with action items and opposing metrics, and so on. Back to departmental outputs and team/individual work outputs, then the linkage between strategic and operational can be relatively transparent. These linkages further create more resource engagement as they should be clearer to people how their work impacts the organization.

The strategic plan drives an organizational project portfolio mix: The project portfolio is the bridge between strategy and execution. It’s important to strengthen the strategic alignment of projects and programs to prevent business initiatives being undertaken that do not support the enterprise strategy. In order to make the project portfolio executable, an organization needs to make sure that enough resources are available to deliver the programs and projects, and also manage the interdependencies of projects.

While some organizations may be excellent in the execution of project management, very few organizations have a mature portfolio management process in place, which causes critical issues with the strategic alignment of projects, programs, and portfolios. In high mature organizations, the strategic plan drives an organizational project portfolio mix and trace the deliverables from the valuable products/services, and information to achieve business goals continually.

The desired portfolio mix drives project selection criteria. This creates the linkage from strategy/vision to implementation: Think about how a portfolio platform might look. Focus on the decision-making process around which programs and projects should be selected and executed based on their alignment with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization, and also focus on preventing the value leakage. Set project selection criteria, and increase the visibility and control over their project portfolio. Design the “measure” for assessing the potential for any improvement opportunity, feature enhancement, or initiatives to offer a competitive advantage.

Wear strategic thinking and make the extensive configurability to reflect the way you like to see the portfolio sliced and projects run, and manage a balanced portfolio. Make links to business strategy alignment, scenario planning, program and project life cycles, project initiation, requirements management, risk management, resource management, project controls (progress, finance, quality, and change), comprehensive dashboard reporting and value tracking.

Another interesting link to explore is the driver for identifying key strategic processes: The processes are the tool to get the result you formulate in the strategy. It is an important issue to understand that the processes in your business will deliver optimal business results. Many times you don't consider the processes as the main driver to deliver the desired result, and then you will not get the result you hoped for. In the digital era, people centricity is fundamental to how processes should be managed. This is an important issue to understand that the processes in your business will deliver the result to engage employees or delight customers.

Identifying key strategic processes, the goal-driven business process is primarily defined prior to process implementation. It requires that you understand your business from a cross-functional process perspective in some detail. It’s imperative to get a deep understanding of crucial business issues, build transparent problem-solving processes, and make continuous improvement. It requires senior management understanding and involvement (strategic), process-aware information systems, well-defined accountability, and a culture receptive to business processes and its changes.

Project performance measures (success criteria) for each project are defined in relation to the business strategy: Performance measures help organizations translate their strategy into key performance indicators that can be cascaded down to the department, teams, and even individuals. KPIs must be aligned with the corporate goals and objectives, but should also be directly relevant to the activities that businesses are attempting to manage. The measurement and incentive should serve the ultimate business goals.

Celebrating success is important, but understanding what’s blocking overall business achievements, targets, and performance are paramount. If projects are the principal vehicles being used to deliver the strategy, then executives need to apply an enterprise portfolio platform, to have just enough visibility about the project execution layer and how the projects and programs are performing in order to monitor progress and make the right decisions to ensure that the strategy potential is achieved.

Complexity, uncertainty, disruptive changes, and interdependence are the new normal facing business today, more than two-thirds of strategy implementations fail to achieve the expected result. Strategy management is a cross-functional effort and multidisciplinary and multidimensional planning. The superior execution requires the leaders’ inquisitiveness to dig through the root cause, and it is far easier to proactively structure and manage execution than to deal reactively with the ravages of execution dysfunction. Therefore, it is critical to identify the weakest links and determine how each part of the organization, including all of the key functions must "put it all together" to be successful in implementing strategy and bring tangible business results.