Strategies Should Have Measurable Impact
Recently in a conversation with a General in the United States Air Force, he shared, “We are doing well tracking our key results, we’re just struggling to know if our strategies are having the impact we want.” The General perfectly stated what most leaders ultimately really care about – Are we making the right difference? And here’s where it gets tricky. The good news is that you can better measure the effectiveness of your strategy implementation efforts with these three simple steps.
First, do the work to explain the “how” you’ll achieve your desired outcomes.
This exercise requires leaders to identify the strategies they will use to achieve desired outcomes and effects. Leaders should also assess the assumptions used to inform them that the strategy will work. Historically, most leaders are terrible at thinking through this type of work which is why organizations need a strategy implementation framework, but more on that later.
“Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should.”
~ W. Edwards Deming.
Second, measure the right things.
It seems there’s a new project management tool once a week in today’s world. So why is there still a problem? Well, it looks like Mr. Deming nailed it. The world seems to spend much more time measuring things than deciding which things should actually be measured. For more on ensuring you’ve implemented the right strategic priorities, read our Strategy Execution Framework post.
Now that you’ve purged the habit of measuring everything, you’ll need to establish a baseline to measure the effectiveness of the strategies you implement. Next, map organizational goals to relevant stakeholders. Each stakeholder team should establish a strategic implementation roadmap. The key results established in each roadmap should be specific, time-defined, and measurable. As a result, stakeholder teams will be able to establish a baseline for each key result.
From this baseline, stakeholder teams should further build out their implementation roadmap to define the activities it will take to deliver the stated key results.
Third, don’t get lost in the weeds.
When you start strategy implementation with the proper governance structure and communication tools, strategy work will get mapped appropriately to the right teams. This strategy implementation design allows teams to assess their strategic challenges and ask for the resources they’ll need to succeed. And, with the right framework design, you’ll be able to manage your organizational strategy on one dashboard.
With large organizations, this work can get complex. For this reason, your organization should adopt a proven Strategy Implementation Framework. When you do, you’ll find the governance, tools for team understanding, ongoing support, and dashboard reporting, all in a turnkey system.