Six Steps to Better Strategy Execution
by Jeff Scott, on Mar 15, 2023 12:01:00 PM
Effective strategy-to-execution is essential for any organization’s success. Strategy-to-execution is the bridge between a superb strategy and a great organization and breaks down the strategy into actionable steps. And, for organizations working towards digital transformation, their strategy-to-execution is even more crucial.
Understanding that technology isn’t simply here to automate processes but transform them will allow an organization to grow and succeed in the modern business world. This article will explore the six steps every organization can use for a successful strategy-to-execution process.
The Strategy-to-Execution Process
The Strategy-to-Execution process provides a structured approach to clarifying, communicating, implementing and managing strategy.
This process aims 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 consistently translated throughout the organization and results in focused, coordinated, and harmonious 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 high-level strategy statements, separating and organizing goals, objectives, initiatives, aspirations, and strategies. Go further and identify valid approaches to strategy realization and offer guidance to the organization on how to operationalize strategy. Create a straightforward model that helps the organization understand the current strategies and differentiate them from operational improvements.
Identify the Organization’s Capabilities
Capabilities encapsulate the organization’s ability to act through its people, processes, and technologies. Every organization – no matter how large or small – requires a set of capabilities to successfully execute its business model or mission. In this step, business architects help the organization discover its capabilities and organize them into a model that enables both strategic and operational analysis. Capabilities can include more tangible skills, such as technical proficiency, or less tangible ones, such as adaptability.
Assess Organizational Capabilities
While capability models provide a common framework for strategic discussion and creating shared understanding, their real value is in illuminating opportunities for organizational improvement. A capability assessment establishes a structure for prioritizing investments and allocating resources against the backdrop of business value and strategic alignment. High-quality capability assessments focus on the relative importance of individual capabilities as well as the overall performance. A distinction in these areas creates a more balanced and valuable perspective.
A capability assessment identifies high-value, high-need areas for improvement. This step uncovers the root causes driving capability performance gaps. Savvy organizations avoid jumping directly to technology solutions or process improvements without thoroughly understanding the underlying issues. Solving the underlying issues without applying a technological band-aid is a critical factor in enabling growth and maintaining long-term success. Multiple techniques support effective root cause analysis, including the five why analysis, tree diagrams, and change analysis.
With high-value, high-need capability performance gaps clearly identified, create a slate of projects to close those – and only those – gaps. Manage non-strategy supporting projects independently. Sequence strategy investments in a way that makes the most value in the shortest amount of time. The laser-like focus needed for this step may take practice for an organization at first, but after the first round of success is seen, the process becomes much more streamlined.
Monitor Strategy Progress
The last and most crucial step is ensuring that the strategy-to-execution work is successfully accomplished. Strategies represent broad, long-term, cross-organizational initiatives. They can rarely be contained within a single project or even a well-defined set of projects. Strategies are also implemented through management directives, goal setting, policy changes, hiring decisions, and organizational modifications. Carefully monitoring the results of early strategic activities can provide critical guidance for the design of follow-on projects or strategy revision. Critical and effective monitoring at this level requires teamwork, well-designed technology, consistent presence, and an effective feedback system.
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.
Accelare’s team of expert business architects is highly skilled in all six steps of strategy-to-execution and has experience helping organizations of all stripes achieve their digital transformations. Accelare’s expertise allows them to support their partners in defining their more modern, competitive operating models.
Accelare offers support at the strategy clarification level, where organizations clearly define their strategy. Implement strategy effectively with Accelare’s operating model design. Identify processes and improve current operations. Define the nuts and bolts of a digital transformation while keeping it aligned with organizational strategy. And, Accelare is highly skilled at supporting organizations in executing their strategies. To get started today or ask any questions, please reach out to Accelare.