Most executives are concerned that their company is not aligned behind a coherent strategy, not focused on strategic execution, and/or doesn’t have the implementation capabilities (e.g. project management). Advanced Operations Partners (AOP) can perform a rapid diagnostic of your current strategic management approach, lay out a solution to address deficiencies, and most importantly, quickly shift your momentum in the right direction. Additionally, AOP will evaluate the need for an enterprise project management office (PMO) and support the design and roll out of a PMO if deemed necessary.
One of the most pressing strategic challenges is simply understanding your current strategy. We deploy strategic mapping to spotlight any weak links between goals, initiatives, resources and metrics that impede the adoption of your vision. Our project-oriented strategy execution will capture and organize all projects—strategy projects in particular—that are planned or underway throughout an organization. Once projects are captured, they must then be aligned to the strategies or goals for the organization. This entails comparing each project, either proposed or ongoing, to the strategic goals to determine if alignment exists. Only those projects that directly impact the strategy should be resourced and continued.
In the same way that a budget is reviewed monthly to ensure financial commitments are being kept, the strategy should be reviewed regularly, but with more of an eye toward determining if the strategy is producing results, versus controlling performance. A defined course and a full complement of navigational charts will never eliminate the need to remain vigilant, to assess the environment, and to make corrections as conditions change. As part of the regular reporting process, leaders must make ongoing strategic decisions to keep the strategy current and on course. Organizations must develop a capability in project management if they are to execute strategy effectively. In some settings, projects receive very little management. In others, projects persist well beyond their scheduled completion. The full complement of projects in any organization should be coordinated and controlled by a central project office or officer with the responsibility for monitoring both progress and performance.
It is difficult to execute strategy when the strategy itself isn’t well understood, or performance relative to it is not communicated. Leaders must communicate their visualized strategy to the workforce in a way that will help them understand not only what needs to be done, but why. Employees want to know they are making a meaningful contribution to their organization’s success. It’s up to senior leaders to ensure that employees at all levels can articulate and evaluate their personal roles toward achievement of specific strategic goals. This is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of the execution process.
A PMO comprises a series of processes, mechanisms and tools that provide transparency, accountability and control to the successful implementation of an array of strategic initiatives often derived from a strategic planning process. AOP has stood up, and in some cases, led many PMOs for our clients.