Strategy Execution Framework Questions
The following questions are based on the Strategy Execution Framework published in Executing Your Strategy and they provide a quick assessment on the core issues and opportunities that may need management attention. Remember, an organization is a system of systems and you must define the specific levers and dials that that are the primary constraint of execution performance at any given time.
Ideation (Identity, Purpose, Long-term Vision)
- Who are you? Why are you here? and Where are you going?
- How does the underlying purpose of the organization inspire the people?
- Who is the officer of the company with the responsibility for the execution of the strategy and the processes of implementation?
- Does your organization have a model or framework that guides your strategy planning and execution process?
- How do you know that you have organizational alignment in core areas? When do you know your systems are misaligned?
- How does your planning process sync with the timing needs of your marketplace?
Nature (Culture, Structure, Strategy)
- What exactly is your culture? Is it a culture that optimizes the implementation of your business model and strategy?
- Is there a shared understanding of the words “strategy,” “culture,” and “alignment”?
- Is the strategy of the business discussed coherently and understood consistently by all its employees?
- Do the employees understand how their work relates to the value creating activities of the organization?
- Do you have quality decision making processes that assure decisions throughout the organization are aligned to the strategy?
- Do the leaders enable the culture to achieve the stated value proposition?
Vision (Goal, Metric, Strategy)
- How are the top 3 quarterly goals and top 3 metrics of the business understood by all your management teams and the translated to the operational level? How often?
- Where and when do the strategic conversations take place in your organization?
- Do you have a value stream analysis of your business model to define the core business drivers?
- Do you have a corporate performance management system that can display a dynamic dashboard of key leading indicators that drive the business?
- Is there a strategy map or business model that can be seen on one page?
- Do you assess the performance of your strategy execution system and processes for continuous improvement?
- Does strategy execution appear as a category in your business process improvement plans?
- What are the leading indicators of the management team’s execution effectiveness and how are they defined?
- Is there an “execution premium” assigned to the management team by the Stock Market, if public?
Engagement (Strategy, Portfolio)
- How effective is the executive sponsorship of the resource allocations plans and prioritization criteria that drive results?
- How do you know that the projects in the business portfolio will produce the outcomes you want?
- Do you know the fundamental constraint of your business model?
- How and where does strategic workforce planning fit into your strategic planning process?
- Do you know the major constraint that challenges your ability to execute a portfolio of new projects and initiatives?
- Is senior management in fire fighting mode and constant conflict around deploying and reconciling shared resources?
- How many initiatives have been delayed or killed and you could still sleep at night?
Synthesis (Portfolio, Program and Projects)
- Do you have a standard process for doing integrated program or project planning? If so, how is it done?
- Do you have a strategy-based performance management plan that is linked to individual development plans?
- Is there a moderate to heavy project overload confusing efforts with results?
- Are stealth initiatives and executive “pet” projects by-passing the core planning function?
- Is there a standard process for planning and managing projects? If so, how is it done?
Transition (Program, Projects, and Operational Process)
- Is there a history of not getting things done on time?
- Is there a common discipline around designing KPIs for strategy execution and projects?
- Does there seem to be inflexibility in the culture to change with emerging market/customer needs?
- Are a majority of your employees engaged? If yes, how do you know?
- Is there pressure for major change due to poor performance; the plan to actual gap is big?
- Are major transformation efforts going too slow or stalled?
- Has the word alignment been used to describe accountability or performance?
- Is there a philosophy of continuous improvement around the planning and execution processes of the organization?