Strategic Deployment

Successful implementation of strategy depends on the organisation’s capability to and at high level, it consists of three connected elements:

(1)  Strategy deployment process

(2)  Strategy deployment as projects

(3)  Organisational alignment through people


(1) Strategy deployment process

It takes a short time and a few people for strategic development but it requires the whole organisation, the entire business cycle or longer to execute that strategy.  Key steps for the process:

(a) Visualizing the Strategy.

The best way to improve the understanding of any strategy is to visualise it.  It makes it simpler to see the important elements and show how they relate to one another.  The Strategy Map by Kaplan and Norton the Activity Map by Porter or the Success Map by Neely et al helps to visualise strategy.

 (b)  Measuring the Strategy.

After visualising the strategy it is important to measure the implementation.  The Balanced Scorecard has proved to be an important framework to better organise a full set of strategic measures.

(c)  Reporting Progress.

On-going progress should be evaluated through an active reporting process.  The strategy should be reviewed to verify performance with more of a view toward learning if the strategy is capturing results versus controlling performance. It is recommended for senior leaders in an organization to maintain responsibility for the strategy reporting process.

(d)  Making Decisions.

Strategy execution is much like sailing a boat toward a planned destination.  A defined course and a full complement of navigational charts will never eliminate the need to vigilantly assess the environment and make corrections as conditions change.  

As part of the reporting process leaders must make strategic decisions.

(2) Strategy Deployment “As Projects”

Many organisations are now project-based.  However, it is difficult to execute strategy without a clear understanding of how key projects contribute to improved performance.  The three aspects to be included for strategy deployment are:

(a) Identifying Projects

As there are many projects being undertaken at the same time, the first step in improving project oriented strategy development is to capture and organize strategy implementation projects that are underway in an organization.

(b) Aligning Projects

Identified projects must then be aligned to the strategies or goals for the organization.  This step entails comparing each project, to strategic goals to determine if alignment exists.  While doing this activity, managers must decide if there is enough of a linkage to warrant continuing the project. Only those projects that directly impact the strategy should be resourced and continued.

(c) Managing Projects

Organizations must develop a capability in project management if they are to effectively deploy strategy.  To ensure successful completion of projects in organizations, there should be coordinated and controlled by a central project office or officer with the responsibility for monitoring progress and performance.


(3) Strategy Execution “As People”

The most important component of a strategy deployment system is the people element. Simply put, employees in an organization execute strategy not senior leaders. Any organization serious about implementing strategy must ensure the people element of their strategy deployment system is given proper attention. There are the three most important aspects are:

(a) Communicating Strategy & Expectations.

Leaders must communicate their visualized strategy to the workforce in a way that will help them understand what needs to be done and why so that every worker can fully understand the strategy.  Further, performance relative to that strategy must be communicated frequently as well.

(b) Aligning Individual Roles

Leaders must be aware that employees want to know they are making a meaningful contribution to their organizations performance.  Leaders must ensure that employees at all levels can articulate and evaluate their personal roles toward achievement of specific strategic goals.

(c) Rewarding & Compensating Performance.

What gets measured gets done and what get measured and rewarded gets done faster.  After explaining the strategy and aligning the workforce to it, senior managers must put in place the necessary incentives drive behaviours consistent with the strategy. It simply isnt sufficient to tell employees strategy is important, it must be backed with a reward system that push achievement.

The Balanced Scorecard is the tool that NPCC is promoting at enterprises level for strategy deployment.