Keys to Successful Execution


Functional Area Plans

As I mentioned earlier, there is no substitute for functional  area plans that integrate the overall business strategy and define precisely those programs, processes, resources and functions necessary to support the overall company positioning.  The plans require clarity and should provide the functional areas with clear direction and prioritization.

Key initiatives

Often, there will be a requirement for companywide set of initiatives (not many) that transcend a single functional area.  A well-defined company initiative serves as a focal point for the organization to accomplish a more company-wide program or project.  Champions of these key initiatives need to carry with them the mandate and power to get the work done.  Cross functional initiatives can be tricky as they usually lack the line "command and control" power distribution.

Specific  Measurement

The best practice in this area is the Balanced Scorecard authored by Kaplan and Norton.

The Balanced Scorecard translates a company's vision and strategy into a coherent set of performance measures. The four perspectives of the scorecard--financial measures, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth--offer a balance between short-term and long-term objectives, between outcomes desired and performance drivers of those outcomes, and between hard objective measures and softer, more subjective measures.

Right People/Right Job

Strategy execution requires strong, capable leadership that has been positioned in the organization to lead the execution steps of the strategy and has been provided the  power and authority to direct critical resources.  The right people willingly accept accountability for delivering the desired outcomes and model the way for others.  Top management must be willingly to invest their top talent to further their strategy deployment.

Communication Plan

Communication as an on-going process is a critical success factor.  There is no pat process or method for success.  It requires a thoughtful and methodical approach geared to the specific needs of the company and an understanding of how it best receives communication.  The importance of this step cannot be overstated.