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Stephen Wise Blog

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Delivering Business Transformation Strategy

Michael Porter’s books on Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage led me to embrace Project Management. That is, I have frequently said, a company that invests in Project Management is making an investment in their competitive advantage. Less frustration delivering value, less disruption to teams, improved engagement, etc.

Porter’s Five Forces and the SWOT analysis are now inadequate as concrete underpinnings for strategy design. Strategy is still important, but the amount of change driven by disruption, innovation, and transformation means that the interpretation and implementation of Strategy – which occurs during the delivery – requires a high-touch feedback loop.

An increased importance in the strategy delivery does not mean that strategy design is less important – it means that executives must give equal personal priority and attention to designing the right strategy as to delivering.

Here are three key tips for executives to stay engaged in the delivery phase of business transformation strategy. Governance – Decision Making – Planning & Re-planning.

Governance – Build a governance structure that reinforces the accountability and responsibilities for the vision. Ensure the team is adequality resourced in terms of experience and availability. Review and address risks and interdependencies at the beginning and periodically and through the realization of accumulated benefits. Insist on a complete set of regularly reported metrics and milestones.

Decision Making - Move quickly to re-prioritize and remove roadblocks that are uncovered despite a lack of complete information or analysis. Accept changes to time and budget milestones based on new information from the working team.

Planning & Re-planning – The less time you have available – the more important it is to have a robust plan. Don’t forgo detailed planning, but in today’s business environment planning and re-planning must be rapid and agile. Documenting tasks, task owner, and interdependencies are as important as schedule and budget. Issues impeding success should be discussed regularly and recommendations to tweak the plan fed up to the executive team in order to ensure alignment and ongoing support.

Delivering strategy is like going on an expedition through a deep jungle. Every so often you will get to a hilltop and be able to asses how things went so far and what new landscape is coming in to view. An executive that spends time and money crafting the strategy needs to protect her investment by staying available and engaged for those hilltop moments.

Stephen Wise

Integration Professionals

Dramatically Improve Traction

Re-Frame Project Success for the Strategic Business

Project success is most often measured by answering two questions. (A) Did we meet the schedule goal? And (B) Did we meet the budget goal? A good indicator project success will improve over time is periodic review of the Time and Budget Dashboard by management. This approach is valid but not sufficient for framing project success over

 the long-term. 

Time and Budget Dashboard Integration Professionals Stephen Wise 

Time and Budget Dashboard[/caption] It is very common that once a project is closed, it falls off management reporting dashboards. This is a serious mistake! Strategic success is dependent on the outputs of the project, not the inputs of Time and Budget. The outputs / benefits of the project are measured after project close and take the dimensions of customer satisfaction and business success. It will take several months or quarters after the project is finished until customer satisfaction can be measured. It will take even longer until business success can be measured. By re-framing the measurement time-horizons for projects and their outputs, we can provide more effective visibility and accountability at the management level for the strategic success of projects. The re-frame is to include medium-term and long-term results as part of project tracking and reporting.

Team success

can be measured in the Short-term. That is Time, Budget and other metrics such as scope, quality, stakeholder engagement, and others.

Customer success

can be measured in the Medium-term. Customer success is the metrics that indicate how well the product is meeting actual needs and how well the product is providing customer net benefits.

Business/Strategy success

can be measured in the long-term. Business success is the metrics that indicate how well the overall strategy is benefiting the enterprise, such as market development and risk 

profile. 

Measurement Time Horizons Integration Professionals Stephen Wise 

Measurement Time Horizons[/caption] Organizations have made great strides implementing project methodology and management reporting on time and budget. However a systemic flaw is introduced by reporting only short-term project success measures. There is correlation between success in short-term and success in the long-term but there is more to the picture. We need to re-frame and extend the time horizon for tracking project success to include medium and long-term measures. By linking Customer (medium-term) and Business (long-term) actual measures to project reporting we will gain improved insights on the projects that have either advanced or held-back the realization of strategic objectives.

Stephen Wise 

http://www.IntegrationProfessionals.com/

5 Secrets of Successfully Implementing Strategy

It is common to find a cultural divide between the strategy folks and the implementation folks inside an organization. As comparison, Strategy thinking is intellectual. Strategy development is sophisticated and often done off-site by executives. A completed Strategy is polished and presented by the top executives. The Strategy is locked for the year. And, Implementation thinking is practical. Plan development messy and done by managers. Planning assumes that all the tasks and dependencies can be identified and

 solved. The plan will change every day based on progress and issues that occur. 

Strategy Execution Success 

Strategy-Execution-Success[/caption] How can the organization ensure the outcomes from the implementation meet the needs of the strategy?

  1. The Strategists include the implementers in the strategy development process.
  2. One of the strategists assumes accountability for the successful initiation, planning, execution, and closure of each of the plans as well as active involvement in selected risk mitigation and issue resolution.
  3. The implementers ensure that a business case is provided that links the forecast benefits and risks of the strategy to the forecast resources and constraints. Viability of the business case should be validated periodically during and after implementation.
  4. The implementers select appropriate tools and methodology to plan and execute the detailed tasks necessary to achieve the plan.
  5. The implementers ensure the accountable strategist is aware of progress and risks and engaged for collaboration and assistance on all unresolved issues.

Increased collaboration between Strategists and Implementers is low-hanging fruit for improving outcomes. Leaders among the strategists and leaders among the implementers who reach across to each other and increase their mutual overlap will see desired outcomes increase significantly.

Stephen Wise

www.IntegrationProfessionals.com

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