Strategy Implementation / Execution
A strategy has to be successfully implemented and executed to be effective and of any use to an organization. Strategy implementation is a function of strategic management It is the process of making the selected strategy (strategic choice) operational by translating it into action plans which can executed successfully. Implementation provides the connecting loop between strategy formulation and the actual strategy realized.
The actual strategy of an organization is the strategy realized from execution; it is the combination of the executed part of the intended (deliberate) strategy - what managers have set out in advance and intend to do - as part of some important strategic plan, and emergent strategy - the executed as-needed reactions to unanticipated developments and fresh competitive pressures.
Strategy is implemented through the use of projects, programs and portfolios.
Together, they combine to deliver the beneficial change required to implement, enable and satisfy the strategic intent of the organization.
Some examples of strategy implementation include: developing and executing a new marketing plan to help increase sales of the company's products to consumers.
Strategy implementation is a function of strategic management, and it encompasses strategy implementation planning and execution.
Strategy Implementation Planning
The planning aspects of strategy implementation is an action-oriented plan of activities that revolve around management of people, resources, and business processes. Strategy implementation planning is one way by which an organization's objectives, strategies, and policies are put into action through development of initiatives (programs and projects), budgets and procedures.
Strategy execution is the implementation of a strategic plan in an effort to reach organizational goals. It comprises the daily structures, systems, and operational goals that set your team up for success. Strategy execution makes the strategy implementation plan work as intended, and turn strategy implementation plan into organizational success. Execution involves doing things to create "fits" between the way things are done and what it takes to make the strategy work as intended. (how things should be done) within the context of the strategy implementation.
Successful strategy execution involves decisions about managing changes to appropriate elements of the organization's Operating Model. The operating model is concerned with how resources are organized and operated to get critical work done. Changes to elements of the organization's Operating Model may include: governance, accountability, or culture, and in some cases overhauling the whole structure, when a company's strategy changes. These decisions about change take place within an organizational context of power, culture, leadership, and ability to manage change. This makes it more difficult for managers to control execution.
Components of Strategy Implementation
Strategy implementation require a number of key components to be in place to be successful. These components include:
Effective strategy implementation provides the context for successful execution, and involves managing change in the organization's internal environment which then allows the organization to successfully adapt to the changing external environment in which it operates but cannot control.
Factors Influencing Successful Strategy Implementation
Strategy Implementation is fraught with challenges as evidenced by the low percentage of strategies that are effectively implemented. Implementation failure is influenced by myriad of factors including: including:
All these factors that influence the successful implementation of a strategy are interdependent and their influences are non-deterministic it is typically very difficult for managers to comprehend the contribution of these factors to the successful outcomes of strategy implementation making strategy implementation very hard. Each of the factors influences implementation outcomes (closing the gap) in a different way; if an organization fails to pay proper attention to one of these factors, it can result in implementation failure, therefore an organization needs a system and approach to support management in successful execution.
Effective Strategy Implementation and Management
Strategy implementation is the responsibility of top, middle and lower/line managers focused on building capacity through projects and programs to strengthen the organization, and enable it to better deliver value to customers while meeting stakeholders expectations.
A strategy is implemented if the corporation has the capabilities, enterprise advantage, and business portfolio it wants, its corporate strategy is implemented. If the business unit has the customers, value proposition, and skills it has chosen to have, its business strategy is also fully implemented. Technically, a strategy can never actually be fully implemented because everything that was necessarily assumed when formulating the strategy - about customers, technology, regulation, labor market, competitors, and so on - is in a constant state of flux. There will always be a gap between where the company is and what its (corporate and business) strategy calls for. Closing this gap is implementation.
Strategic gap analysis attempts to determine what a company should do differently to achieve a particular goal by looking at the time frame, management, budget and other factors to determine where shortcomings lies. The implementation gap can be manifested as:
Typically, the gap between the strategic plan and its implementation - is caused by missing integrative links such as:
Strategy implementation involves change - closing the gap between organization's current capacity and the capacity the strategy calls for. In a rapidly changing world any competitive advantage a firm creates is temporary and not sustainable; without systematic changes to the firm's strategy and plans so it can respond and take advantage of opportunities that emerge as a result of changes in the environment while managing emerging threats that successful execution.
Strategy implementation decisions and actions are the means through which management intentions and choices are actually realized. Typically, the value delivered by enhanced and strengthened existing assets or new assets is causally and temporally separated from the successful completion of the strategic initiatives that produced those assets. Any cause-effect relationships may involve two (2) or more stages; making it difficult for managers to fully comprehend the contribution of these assets to the success/failure of the execution of the strategy. In the absence of certain cause-effect relationships or experience in how these dialectical (verbal) processes between organizations will unfold, the firm can only hypothesize about the effects of different possible initiatives, and learn more about them through interaction with other actors such as competitors, regulators, customers, suppliers, and partners in its competitive landscape.
I am a computer scientist by education and training. My interests are in modeling complex business and social systems to foster better strategic and operations management processes in delivering value to customers while meeting the expectations of stakeholders.