Use Business Architecture to Link Strategy and Execution
Jun07

Use Business Architecture to Link Strategy and Execution

Many organizations spend a lot of time and effort defining that “wow” strategy hoping to entice audiences. That is fine, but how many of these organizations do indeed realize that strategy? Well, in my experience I would say only a handful and I am sure most of you agree with my sentiments. One of the primary challenges many organizations encounter is the inability to execute a well formulated strategy. In today’s competitive world, an “average” organization would be expected to have a well-articulated strategy but a “successful” one would go out of its way to execute and realize the anticipated strategic outcomes. But what would be the reason behind failure to execute a strategy? Let me first highlight some of my key observations about strategy: A strategy would mainly focus on the anticipated outcomes; the strategic agenda usually emphasizes “what” is to be achieved and not “how” it should be executed. There is inadequate consideration of an organization’s readiness during strategy formulation; a lot of assumptions are made regarding the existing organization capabilities. A strategy is usually generic in nature; hardly do you see a strategy that clearly spells out the individual responsibilities of each and every party to that strategy. The strategy formulation process hardly analyzes the resulting impact of the strategy; little is known about its impact on the organization. A strategy is prone to misinterpretation; lack of a clear enterprise context may dilute the meaning as different business stakeholders gain freedom to use their own interpretations. While most of us would attribute these to a weak strategy or strategic planning process, the reality on the grounds is a little bit different. In my quest to understand why the execution of strategy remains a challenge for most organizations, I noticed the strategy function is usually left to strategists to ponder on their own. My honest observations about most of these so called strategists are as follows: They usually work on tight schedule to put together a workable strategy They lack adequate visibility on current business operations They hardly understand enterprise connectivity and relationships They are deprived of proper impact assessment and analysis tools They easily get influenced by organization politics and culture They struggle to understand and define business priorities They hardly validate the correctness of information provided by business stakeholders They prefer to leave implementation details to business operations managers. These scenarios are akin to our day-to-day experiences which in most cases result to “ad hoc” execution of the strategy. This approach most certainly leads to chaotic and unpredictable events that necessitate frequent fixes, over spending and tireless efforts trying to achieve some form of control...

Read More