Research shows that Executive teams have access to only 4% of the knowledge that exists in their business. In addition, only 23% of Executive teams deliver to strategy, with many simply failing to complete what they start, because strategies are not supported with transparent and executable plans.
The key is to have ‘living plans and accessible data’ to support dynamic, responsive governance and management.
Executives with an agile-mindset tend to implement a balanced approach to strategy and delivery where both aspects provide context to the other.
"Strategy needs to transition from a top-down, internally focused discipline, basing future linear forecasts on historical data analysis to a foresight-fueled, externally focused, innovation driven, living discipline."
Each project must assist in achieving one or more organisational strategies and one or more business objectives within each strategy. If a project is not contributing in a measurable way to any of the strategies then it is unlikely to provide real benefit to the business and therefore should not be undertaken.
The project business owner is accountable for determining which strategies and goals are relevant to a particular project. There is a finite level of funding and resource to assist in achieving the delivery of organisational strategies and goals.
The best use of this funding and resource will be driven by the relative priority of each of the initiatives. Obviously, the high priority initiatives will take precedence over lower priority initiatives.
Strategies are signposts signalling the overall direction, and intent, of the organization. Modern thinking treats ‘strategic planning’ as a dynamic discipline, rather than an annual workshopping exercise.
To keep them alive, strategies need people delivering programmes of work, including Change Projects, Core Business Services, and short-term Business Activities.
John Hagel (Deloitte from the Edge) talks about ‘Zoom In and Zoom Out’ which balances longer term initiatives, with shorter term initiatives, allowing continual testing-of-the-waters within a broader, stable strategic framework.
Portfolio management is essentially about being able to see and manage your organisational initiatives, of all types, and understand the value being generated by teams across the business.
The next-generation of Portfolio Management is built around the Strategic Portfolio Framework which connects-up Strategy, Execution and Culture.
This approach balances the different working dimensions of the business in a seamless approach including thinking, delivering through work, and building community through networking your people.
It is based on exploration where everyone in the business is open to new ideas; new directions; and new value unearthed, often at the very edge of the business.
Strategies should be alive, not filed and gathering dust.
Strategy bring together Projects and Benefits as part of living plans.
Strategic thinking needs to be informed by those working at the edge of your business closest to your customers and stakeholders.