Apr 26, 2018

Strategic Nuts and Bolts: Part 2 of “Your Strategy Execution Questions Answered”

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin | 0 Comments

Don’t get bogged down in the nuts and bolts before you have designed the machine you want to create.

Have you ever sat down to work, looked at your list and opted to do the handful of easy tasks rather than tackle the most important item?

Yeah, me too. In the same way that individuals mis-focus their energies at work, companies sometimes get bogged down in minutiae rather than addressing their biggest issues.

A flurry of questions asked during the course of our webinar on strategy execution processes falls into this category:

  1. How many "strategic objectives" should the company have?
  2. What are some KPI's you would recommend for evaluating project pipeline performance?
  3. What are the PPM tools?; Is there a PMO software available to manage strategic goals and operations?

All these are important questions. And they all have two characteristics in common:

  1. They are so individual to the industry, marketplace, and mission of the organization that there is no way for anyone to provide a simple answer, and
  2. They are far, far down on the list of things that a company experiencing failure to execute against strategy should be focusing on.

The number of strategic objectives depends on so many factors: the overall strategy itself, the size of the company, its capability to move forward on multiple fronts, the pressures of its market niche. The objectives should be balanced, but even the scorecard must be tailored to the organization.

The question of identifying KPIs goes even deeper to the core of what is important to the individual organization. For some time to market is key; for others, stakeholder satisfaction. Manufacturers of perishable commodities obviously have different KPIs from retailers of durable goods.

As far as software goes, while portfolio management software is a boon to any company, you should not even be discussing purchasing software until you have strategic execution processes in place. Strategic planning and implementation is a “thought exercise” … and no software can do that thinking for you.

To sum up: don’t get bogged down in the nuts and bolts before you have designed the machine you want to create. Back to the drawing board: What are the organization’s immediate needs? Aspirational goals? How do existing projects fit in? (And maybe they don’t.) What new initiatives will need to be kicked off? Do you have the resources? What processes exist to link identified strategies to the project and program execution? How will you track benefits? How will you measure success?

There are so many important design questions to ask before you go shopping for those nuts and bolts.

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