Most businesses have a strategy laid out that includes objectives and the actions needed to attain them. Ostensibly, completing each step will ensure your team eventually reaches the stated goal.
But what happens if you don’t achieve the objective? How do you determine what is going wrong – and how to fix it?
This article will discuss steps you can take at the beginning or end of your strategy to determine if things are working and provide you with a way to backtrack if you are mid-strategy.
Set These Up Now, Before Executing Your Strategy
Building a strategy and executing a strategy are two different stages. There is also an in-between stage when you have a strategy, and are trying to work out the best way to execute it. This period is crucial to overall strategy success – and two things are often missing between strategy creation and launch. These are:
1. Determining metrics that will showcase successful strategy execution
Metrics like closed sales, returns, and P&L are vital and should be monitored, but your strategy addresses specific goals. What metric(s) should improve if your business is moving toward the defined goal?
For example, an objective could be maintaining existing market share in a particular demographic while also capturing 10% more market share of another demographic. Just monitoring sales or income will not tell you that the strategy is working. Instead, you will need to define and monitor the metrics that show that your team is reaching the right demographics.
Determining and tracking the right metrics will show you what is going right and wrong during the strategy execution phase.
2. Establishing business systems that implement the execution by design
Often, implementing a new strategy means that something in your business will need to change. Whether you have documented systems or haven’t done any system documentation, the way your team executes things will be modified if they go forward and utilize the strategy.
Make the strategy launch a smooth transition and improve its success by documenting existing systems and determining how they must be modified beforehand. This way, you and your team are on the same page as you advance. Also, your team can modify and update existing systems rather than having to make up a new process on the fly.
Setting up a strategy launch with these two simple steps will do two things:
a. Allow you to monitor success, and give you a way to see if things are not working.
b. Provide your team with the support they need to be successful.
A Technique for Backtracking to See if Your Strategy is Working
You may be in the middle of strategy execution right now. You could be saying, “this all looks great, but I’m in the thick of it now, and I’m not sure if things are going the way I want.”
That’s fine. You can still do a retrospective review of what has been accomplished so far to lead you where you need to go.
It’s still vital to determine the metrics that will show successful strategy execution. This determination will allow you to monitor those metrics as you move forward. Additionally, you can reconstruct those metrics as you review what has been achieved thus far. Visualizing and rebuilding these metrics will provide you with the opportunity to see if you are on the right track or if the strategy execution is failing.
Next, document business processes and procedures now, as your team is executing the strategy. This provides two benefits.
The first benefit is that your team will work together to document these business systems, allowing them and you to see any discrepancies that may hinder successful execution.
The second benefit is that processes and procedures will create consistency as your continue to execute the strategy. These remove some of the chaos caused by rapid strategy implementation and provide needed support for your employees to do the best job possible.
You built the strategy to achieve a particular objective. The above two actions will help you get your whole team on board and then monitor whether the steps you’ve built into the execution are truly working – or if you need to pivot.
Are you ready to execute a business strategy but are concerned that it will shake up your company? Contact Business Success Consulting Group today. We work with companies during the execution phase to help them achieve their aims.