Strategy implementation is the process of turning plans into actions to achieve the desired result. It's the art of getting things done, and the success of every organization is based on its ability to implement decisions and execute key processes in an efficient, effective, and coherent manner. But how do you make sure that the implementation of a strategy is successful? To ensure success, companies must follow several implementation steps. First, senior executives articulate the theory of corporate advantage through the strategic themes of their strategic map at the corporate level: the whole is more valuable than the sum of its parts.
Second, a senior executive is assigned to be responsible for each strategic issue. This executive usually has another line or staff position, since owning a topic is a part-time job. The topic owner's role is coordination and monitoring; the ultimate responsibility for execution lies with the business units. Topic owners monitor and approve how objectives, measures, and goals are applied to the strategic maps and scorecards of the operating units.
They convene regular meetings with people from all affected business units to review progress and initiatives and review action plans related to thematic objectives. In addition, they monitor data reports and use them to hold fact-based conversations with business unit managers about how well they support the topic. Departmental objectives should be used to create objectives for employees, so that there is a shared responsibility when it comes to getting things done. Organizations that manage to create a vision, mission and values statement and develop a strategic plan that drives objectives across the organization, not only succeed in implementing the plan, but they also involve employees because they can see how what they do supports the organization's mission. In this way, all business units are responsible not only for their local performance, but also for their contribution to strategic priorities at the corporate level. This led to more productive discussion and dialogue based on a shared understanding of the fundamental factors of overall business performance.
More recently, companies have applied this framework to their strategy at the corporate level to describe how headquarters create value beyond what their individual business and support units generate on their own. Also consider whether you need outside help to implement or support certain initiatives (for example, an operational efficiency expert or website designer), or even a coach to support the entire strategic plan. The Business Insights blog from Harvard Business School Online provides professional information you need to achieve your goals and gain confidence in your business skills. Once you've determined your objectives and variables that could stand in your way, you should draw up a road map to achieve those goals, set expectations in your team, and clearly communicate your implementation plan so that there's no confusion. To address new business challenges and concerns, organizations must constantly monitor, evaluate and adjust their strategic initiatives. Implementing strategic plans requires strong relationships, and as a manager, you'll be in charge of telling people not only how to interact with each other and how often, but also who are the decision makers, who is responsible for what, and what to do when an unforeseen problem arises. The business process reengineering movement of the 1990s introduced another model in which companies were organized around their various processes rather than their traditional functional, product, and geographical limits. A system based on a comprehensive scorecard for establishing strategy and measuring performance linked together by specific strategic issues provides corporate headquarters executives with a way to communicate shared priorities and motivate people to share them even in the most complex companies. These two business models centralized by function versus those relatively decentralized by product and region proved to be durable for a long time largely because the evolution of business organization was quite gradual. The collection of strategic topics articulates how business and support units can work together to create synergies needed to realize the company's value proposition. While failure is never the goal, implementing a failed or flawed strategy can prove to be a valuable learning experience for an organization provided that time is spent understanding what went wrong and why.
An often fatal weakness of a matrix organization is endless debates between business units, functional departments, and geographical regions about resource allocation. Implementation is an iterative process so work doesn't stop as soon as you think you've reached your goal. To ensure success when implementing a strategy it's important to have clear objectives; involve employees; assign responsibility; use data reports; monitor progress; adjust strategies; seek outside help; draw up road maps; set expectations; communicate plans; monitor variables; evaluate initiatives; adjust strategies; build relationships; motivate people; create synergies; understand failures; avoid debates about resources; iterate processes.