Strategies need not be complicated

We have several clients that requested assistance in reviewing their strategies. They built their strategies with the guidance of a local consultant. A few things emerge when we reviewed the work they have done. A few tips to other local organizations seeking to create or update their strategies.

  1. Vital few – The resulting number of strategic plans was simply a lot. How can we execute strategies supported by too many projects? Focus on the vital few that jump starts the strategy on year one. The key words being ‘vital few’.

  2. Separate the projects from day to day work – A project is an initiative that has a start, an end and an output. Day to day work (or business as usual – bau) is something you do on a regular or operational basis. Sometimes these two gets mixed up and confuses people. Don’t’ confuse your employees.

  3. Provide the skills – Most of the time, companies assign important initiatives to employees and yet do not provide them the necessary project management skills. The employees are later blamed when they fail. Don’t assign projects to fail.

  4. Understand the roles – A project has more than one person responsible for its success. The project manager is accountable for the overall success. However, there are other important players that need to be acknowledged. Understand that sponsors, accountable executives, subject matter experts, project teams, steering committees also have an important role to play. It takes a team to succeed.

  5. Keep Project Management Simple – Project Management methodology and techniques can get complicated. This is fine with professional project managers. However, 95% of projects are assigned to normal employees. They have their paying day job to worry about. Give them a simple project management process to use. Keep things simple and template driven.

  6. Review for success – Another common pitfall is the lack of a review process. Out of sight, out of mind. Projects that are not reviewed tend to fade away until an executive asks about it. The matriarch of a huge logistics conglomerate commented that certain projects in her company lasted 10 years and remained uncompleted. Once they put in place a governance process, they completed two projects in the first two months. Keep the project progress in sight.

  7. Measure the benefits – Most initiatives are implemented to generate business benefits. Unless the project is mandated by a regulating body, a project is implemented to generate revenue increase or loss/cost reduction.

Companies that address the seven keys mentioned above have a higher chance of having successful initiatives. Successful initiatives result in a successful strategy.

No matter how great your strategies are, if they are complicated or unimplemented then it is useless. It is not worth the paper it is printed on. The best companies have simple strategies that are implemented very well.

How does your strategy look like?

If you are interested in finding out more about having a simple approach to an effective strategy execution, drop us an email. Let us come over and present the concept to your team for free. All it takes is 90 minutes or less.

Have a great day!