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.

execution framework

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?
  • Are you aware of disruption trends that could seriously compromise your ability to compete?

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 chain 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?
  • Are your growth plans aligned with your workforce capacity and capability?
  • 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?
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