The world is changing. It is using digital to compete, gain market share, and grow the business. The way you interact with your customers is changing. The way your workers are working is changing. The way you are doing business is fundamentally changing. If it isn’t, then you are already behind your competition.
84% of CEOs expect digital to increase profit margins.*
In order for your organization to keep up and deliver, you need to begin helping your executives translate strategy into actionable strategic plans. Throughout this series, you should now have an understanding how to create a strategic plan:
- Set a vision with measurable metrics
- Assemble a strategic planning team that includes key resources from IT, the business, and the enterprise architecture team
- Ensure it is budgeted in the annual plan
- Take an iterative approach to building out the plan allowing for innovation cycles
- Release to customers iteratively, creating a continuous learning cycle
- Create continuous planning cycle to allow for constant prioritization
- Consider capacity in the continuous planning cycle to ensure allocation of funding and resources
To review any of these elements, click through the first three parts of the series below:
- Part 1: Failing to Deliver Strategy… Slowly
- Part 2: Begin to Deliver Strategy… Fast
- Part 3: Successfully Deliver Strategy… Fast
Organizations are terrible at strategic planning, and I want to reiterate how important it is for you to take advantage of the opportunity that lays in front of you. We’ll start by looking into what strategic planning is actually like for most organizations.
Why do organizations fail to deliver on strategy?
Reality is complex and looks a lot like spreadsheet hell. Many organizations think that disconnected business cases or manual roadmaps equal a strategic plan—they do not. Most companies are spending months creating the annual plan for the next year and then taking too long to deliver the investments. This results in a 1-2 year delay before delivering value. In addition, relying on spreadsheets and PowerPoints will only get you frustrated and confused and prevent you from being able to make adjustments or adapt to changes in schedules or the market. Every organization faces the problem of translating strategy into execution; they often blame alignment, when the reality is they fail to establish an effective connection due to a reliance on such disconnected applications. At the end of the day, outdated spreadsheets simply can’t support schedule shifts, conflicting or pivoting priorities, adjusted targets, capacity changes, advancing technology, or changes in market or with the competition. They ultimately stifle agility. Thus, year after year, organizations fail to deliver on strategy.
What does life look like in this spreadsheet hell?
I’m glad you asked. Here is an overview of what organizations are facing without effective strategic planning:
- The majority rely on spreadsheets, PowerPoints, and disparate systems, as mentioned above;
- Any changes to strategy or the annual plan result in hours of collecting and updating spreadsheets stored across different departments;
- Most information is outdated or would take hours to collect, making it extremely difficult to make decisions;
- Strategic planning teams exist in small numbers, if at all, yet the rest of the organization doesn’t interact with them; and
- Employees are unaware as to how they are actually developing and delivering on strategy.
Plus, at the end of the year, you are left with countless different documents and spreadsheets that are nearly impossible to analyze as a whole. Operating this way causes a lot of time to go to waste.
It’s time to become more adaptable and agile.
Effective strategic planning will enable you to create agility and move from outdated processes to a more continuous one. This way, you will be able to create time for innovation and reduce cycle times so that your organization can change iteratively and deliver value faster. Many organizations fail to focus on this, giving you an opportunity. By adopting a proper strategic planning solution, you can make a big impact in your own organization while creating a competitive advantage. Get out of the trap of using disparate tools, and realize the benefits of greater agility, improved use of time, and effective delivery on strategy.
I hope this series has made you excited to start conversations with your organization and become a change agent from poor strategic planning to successful delivery of strategy… fast. To learn more about developing a strategic plan, download the whitepaper, “The Four Key Elements of a Strategic Plan,” and learn how Planview can help in the process by registering for a free demo of our strategic planning solution.
*Gartner 2016 CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey Shows that Half of CEOs Expect their Industries to be Substantially or Unrecognizably Transformed by Digital
*2016 CEO Survey: The Year of Digital Tenacity