Thursday, 30 September 2010

Strategy Into Action – An Example

Following on from the previous Strategy Into Action post, here is a worked example to illustrate the process in a little more detail.

The process is broken down into two major stages:image

 

 

Action Framework - sets the overall strategic aim and the subsidiary aims that will provide focus and direction (“Focused Directions”). It also considers the obstacles that may be encountered and allows for the end situation to be described to help recognise success when it is achieved - this is called the "Practical Vision"

Action Timetable - the critical part for getting things moving. Taking the information from the Action Framework, this stage identifies owners for the Focused Directions. Actions are identified and assessed against the Focused Directions to confirm they are worth doing and will contribute to the overall strategy. Confirmed actions are also scheduled against a simple timetable: now; in the next 3 months; 6 months; 9 months; next year. A simple schedule of high level actions is produced.

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In the original post, 5 questions were introduced, which if answered, would lead to an a first pass strategy and action plan. 

Responses to questions 1-4 may be structured using the Action Framework stage. Answering question 5 provides the list of actions that are defined further in the Action Framework stage.

 

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imageIn the example here, managers have considered what is needed for the future of their organisation's Internet service and arrived at the Action Framework illustrated.

 

Next, they moved to the Action Timetable stage and listed and defined actions, paying particular attention to the "obstacles" they need to overcome and the things they need to do to achieve the "practical vision".

  

imageThe actions have been mapped to the relevant "direction" - the directions now providing useful streams of activity. Each of these was assigned an owner for delivery.

The actions were also scheduled against the broad timetable: now; next 3 months; and so on.

      

 

 

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As you can see from the illustrations, all of this was captured and refined using a software tool, in this case MindView Business Edition from MatchWare. Using a tool such as this an outline report of the work can be created by exporting the analysis and planning to MS Word.

  

 

To better understand the schedule of actions we can use MindView to create either a timeline view or a Gantt view. These provide a better view of what is going to be done when. Additional work may amend the schedule and break down the actions into more detailed tasks. This may be done using the Gantt feature of the software or the data may be exported to MS Project.

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