While having an excellent strategy is a necessity, it is execution that ultimately determines success or failure. Once you’ve developed a business strategy, take specific and measurable steps to ensure that the company’s staff is able to actually deliver results. This is an ongoing process of strategic planning, tactical planning, delegation, execution and assessment.
Create a strategic plan. This is more in-depth and specific than a high-level strategy document. It includes not only the overarching strategy of the organization, but also high-level steps to accomplish the strategy. For instance, if the strategy is to grow by acquisition, create a plan that allows specific time frames and resources for selecting each acquisition target, executing the acquisition, and managing organizational change to integrate the new company.
Translate each of the company’s strategic goals, such as “Become rated #1 in customer service in our industry,” into tactical objectives that are focused on meeting customer needs, positively affecing the company’s financials, and developing and sharing internal knowledge. For example, a major objective might be to select, purchase and implement a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software package. Use a management planning tool such as a Balanced Scorecard to organize your thinking. Ensure that every objective is “SMART”: specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and time-bound.
Create an executable task list. For each objective in your previous step, list the steps needed to achieve that goal, who should be responsible for accomplishing each of them, and how long each will reasonably take to perform. For example, implementing a new CRM may require performing due diligence on software vendors, negotiating a contract, training the IT staff on implementation and maintenance, and training customer service staff on using the software.
Delegate tasks and the authority necessary for accomplishing them. Determine what decisions each person will need to make in the course of their assignments and ensure that they are able to make those decisions without administrative delays. Then educate each staff member on their new responsibilities and authority.
Monitor performance. Depending upon the type of activity each worker is doing, these reviews might be quarterly, monthly, weekly or even real time. For example, allow call center workers that are tasked with lowering call times to see their real-time average call time for the day, week, and month. Set reasonable goals, stretch goals, specific time frames and rules, and then provide regular management feedback on the employee’s performance and how to improve. Collect individual feedback sessions into summary reports that can be passed up the command chain to evaluate the success of the organization’s strategic goal implementation.
Evangeline Marzec is a management consultant to small high-tech companies, and has been in the video games industry since 2004. As a published writer since 1998, she has contributed articles and short stories to web and print media, including eHow and Timewinder. She holds a Master of Business Adminstration from Thunderbird School of Global Management.