Updated: Dec 4, 2021
An organisation’s strategy is a result of the strategic planning cycle, where the mission and vision are translated into a strategic plan within the restrictions of organisational values. Organisations build a strategy to define how their vision will be achieved. The strategic plan is subdivided into a set of organisational initiatives:
1. Mission: Defines why we exist and is usually a short and simple statement used to communicate the purpose of an organisation. For example, “…be a global leader in providing our customers with products and services with superior quality and value…” Business improvement could be one of the organisation’s enablers to make this happen.
2. Values: Represents the core priorities and values of the organisation’s culture, as well as what drives their philosophy, principles and how the organisation truly behaves. In terms of business improvement, this could mean the organisation is committed to constant and ongoing improvement in everything they do.
3. Vision: Aspiration statement of what the organisation would like to accomplish in the future. It is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action, mid-term or long-term. An example, “Our Vision is to put joy in...” Business improvement could support the vision by providing internal capability to drive performance and product quality that will differentiate them from the competition.
4. Strategy: Intended solution to improve the client's organisation, from their current state 'a' to their desired and improved state 'B'. It is the organisation’s action plan to achieve its business goals and objectives. The detailed portfolio, programmes and projects are developed, approved and resourced at this stage to close the 'a' to 'B' gap.
5. Balanced Scorecard (BSC): Strategy performance management tool introduced by Kaplan and Norton. It can be used to measure the organisation’s activities in terms of its vision and strategies, providing the CEO and Board with a comprehensive view of business performance. It has four key interdependent elements and improvements should be focused on each one:
Finance: Identify a few high-level financial measures that clearly indicate how well the company is doing, with revenue and expenses.
Customer: Key issues are customer satisfaction and focus on the delivery of products, services, customer service and as always cost, quality and schedule.
Learning: Focus on employee training and capability and how that impacts both individual and corporate improvement. Business improvement fits really well within the BSC as it can improve both employee skills and improve their ability to impact the other three elements.
Processes: Focus on internal business processes and measure if they are effective and efficient in terms of delivering to the customer.
6. Portfolio: The strategy will define the portfolio of programmes and projects that the organisation will implement to deliver improved business results, enhance products or services, improve quality, schedule and finance performance. Business and process improvement could be one of the programmes to help enable the delivery of those business goals and objectives.
7. Annual Personal Performance Plan: Individual improvement targets are the vehicle to support personal development planning, but they also allow the organisation to link learning to their strategy. They should be SMART, linked to the BSC and the business improvement programme and projects.
"No matter how good an organisation's portfolio of improvement programmes and projects, strategy execution is still likely to fail due to employee resistance, lack of communication and poor leadership alignment challenges”
The goal of linking portfolio management to the organisational strategy is to establish a balance between change programmes and normal day-to-day operations outlined in the operating plan. Having too much change could inhibit the organisation from achieving its wider goal. Failing to achieve the resource balance could impact both efforts to successfully execute change programmes and normal operations. Once the above strategy is in place, the portfolio can then be implemented, and business improvement programmes and projects can be deployed. The deployment should be supported with change management and programme management with appropriate resources, sponsorship and leadership alignment.
“Unless the change initiative is continually aligned to the organisation’s strategy it will not deliver benefits or value to the organisation”
Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.
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