An organization’s strategy needs to be translated into concrete tasks and initiatives to deliver its strategic objectives. Business Execution Plans ask another set of questions that promote action and effective implementation of the strategy:
- What are the targets for each objective?
- Who holds the primary accountability for achieving the target?
- Who will do what by when to achieve the targets?
The Business Execution Plan specifies the organization’s strategic objectives, management and organizational accountabilities, performance metrics, prioritized projects & initiatives, and critical business processes to deliver the objectives. The Business Execution Plan also requires a monthly management scorecard to track progress and reinforce alignment on the execution of the strategy. This scorecard provides the focus for a monthly business performance meeting where management evaluates its progress on targets, initiatives, and key performance metrics.
Grease’s management scorecard, which is a derivative of Kaplan & Norton’s Balanced Scorecard™, describes an organization’s strategic objectives, measures, and targets from four perspectives:
- Financial – the perspective of its owners
- Customer – the perspective of its customers
- Internal Process – the perspective of its managers and internal process owners
- Employee – the perspective of employees.
Each performance target must be assigned an owner who is accountable for the results the company attains.
In some cases, special initiatives must be undertaken in order to achieve strategic objectives. In these instances, Grease applies its project management expertise through individual and team project coaching so that the initiative achieves the target outcomes.
All strategic objectives and key performance metrics are sorted by perspective (financial, customer, etc.) and then mapped to the responsible managers. The result is a one-page accountability matrix that clarifies roles and responsibilities and provides the basis for each manager’s performance contract and subsequent performance review.
For clients that have both a strategy and business execution plan, we move to sales execution. But wait! Before sales execution, Grease recommends a rigorous assessment of a company’s organization effectiveness, which shines a light on organizational “friction points.” These points of friction are the disablers, decision traps, impediments, and organizational barriers that will frustrate business plan and sales execution. Some clients refer to it as a “stress test.” Grease calls it a “Friction Audit.”