I recently completed a round of in-depth research on the current state of business architecture practices. One of the areas I looked into was the business architect’s role in strategy development and execution. I found that very few business architects are currently engaged in strategy development but that most established and successful practices are deeply engaged in developing their organization’s strategy execution process. Over the next few months I will look at this process in more detail.
The Strategy-to-Execution Process
The strategy-to-execution process provides a structured approach to clarifying, communicating, implementing, and managing strategy. The goal of this process is to ensure the organization focuses on developing high-value capabilities and making investments that optimize value. Implementing the strategy-to-execution process ensures that executive intent is translated throughout the entire organization consistently and results in focused, coordinated, and synergistic action. There are six basic steps to the process. You can think of these as defining the strategy-to-execution value stream. The six steps are:
Clarify strategy – Clarify high-level strategy statements, separating and organizing goals, objectives, initiatives, aspirations, and strategies. Further identify valid approaches to strategy realization and offer guidance to the organization on how to operationalize strategy. Create a clear model that helps the organization understand the current strategies and differentiate them from operational improvements.
Determine gaps - A capability assessment identifies high-value, high-need areas for improvement. This step uncovers root causes driving capability performance gaps. Savvy organizations avoid jumping directly to technology solutions or process improvements without thoroughly understanding the underlying issues. Multiple techniques support effective root cause analysis, including the five why analysis, tree diagrams, and change analysis.
The bottom line:_________________________________________________________________
Every business architecture team will take a different approach to strategy execution management based on their situation and organizational context; however, these six components are critical for designing a strategy execution approach that delivers strategic value.