Saturday, May 5, 2012
A lot of hard work goes into developing a strategic plan (see Role Playing For Success all members and The OPEN MINDS Guide To Strategic Planning: Best Practices In A Turbulent Market ). But, when you’re all done with the plan, the most important work is yet to come – making it happen.
The best plan is only as good as its implementation. And, to do that, you need to be deliberate about making the plan activities happen – and evaluating where you are on your strategic course. This means modifying your organization’s business unit with the objectives and strategies in your organizational plan – and then measuring success in those objectives and strategies with quantitative metrics that clearly define what counts as “success” (i.e. productivity, claims paid, or revenue) – and what doesn’t. These three steps can guide you to doing just that.
Modification of your business unit plans to support strategy implementation – You have many plans that you will need to align with your strategy. The five big ones are marketing and development, technology and communications, operations and program management, human resources, and financial management. After you have touched on those you will need to turn your attention to the business units, organizational budgets, and organizational structure (see From Deadlines To Leverage all members).
Develop strategic plan key performance indicators (KPIs) & executive team performance dashboard – What is your performance level now? If you know where you’re starting from, that is your baseline. If you don’t know, then you need to start tracking the KPIs your management team can use to judge whether your organization is moving forward in achieving its strategic and organizational objectives (see Better Data = Better Decisions: Using Metrics To Manage In A Competitive Environment ).
Adopt a metrics-based management model to track progress – What gets measured is what gets done, but only if you can put that information into the hands of your management team. Continually assessing reported outcomes lets you differentiate beneficial results that support your strategic goals, from results that indicate that further organizational adjustments are needed (see The Four-Step Model for Metrics-Based Management: Improving the Bottom Line with Better Use of Data ).
If you follow these steps, you will be a in a good position to ensure that your organization stays on course and that you meet the long-term goals that you’ve established through your strategic plan. If you want to learn more about strategic planning, join OPEN MINDS Executive Vice President John F. Talbot, Ph.D. at the OPEN MINDS Planning & Innovation Institute next month when he presents, Implementing Your Strategic Vision: How To Move Your Organization From Plan To Action. Remember, if you need to change the plan, change it – don’t let sunk costs get in the way (see Stuck In Sunk Cost Thinking all members).
Sarah C. Threnhauser
Executive Vice President, OPEN MINDS
For another free resource, see: The Best Leaders Are The Best Learners all members
This is free for the next sixty days to all registered OPEN MINDS Circle members.