All Strategies hinge on successful execution. While most managers are comfortable planning, many struggle with the intricacies of implementation. Two factors impact successful execution above all others:
- Rapid information flow
- Clear decision rights
Agile Business Execution democratizes decision support information and empowers team member autonomy; driving excellence in execution.
Agile Business Execution is a natural evolution of the successful management strategies derived from the core concepts of the ‘Manifesto for Agile Software Development’. Agile favor interactions, results, collaboration and responsiveness over traditional management tools and provides a holistic approach to managing strategy, tactics, results and people.
It has been stated that 90% of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution. In our experience, plans nearly always fail for the same reason, failure to execute, but there are many common root factors. Poor communication, unclear accountability, ill-defined responsibilities, insufficient monitoring, and lack of focus are some of the leading factors. Further compounding these common root causes, when plans fail due to poor execution most employees will begin a rapid slide into disengagement causing additional losses to productivity, loyalty and goal achievement.
Traditional business execution methodologies which are Complex, costly, and all-consuming. Six-Sigma is a great example of traditional execution methods: it is 20 years out of date and practically a case study on how not to manage an empowered workforce in a post-Facebook world.
Agile Business Execution is an evolution of Agile Development Methodologies which were created to improve the success rate of complex software development projects. There are many variants of Agile but the concepts have been changing the software space radically since gaining general acceptance several years ago.
Generally speaking all Agile methodologies promote results, teamwork, collaboration, and process adaptability throughout the life-cycle of the project; concepts applicable to all aspects of business management and plan execution. The key is adapting the methodology to broader business execution challenges and wrapping it in a supportive framework to streamline the flow of information through the organization to empower autonomy and clarify decision rights.
VerseGoal has adapted Agile concepts to business management, and wrapped them in a supportive framework we call STARR.
STARR is to plan execution as SMART is to goal setting. STARR stands for Share, Track, Analyze, Reevaluate and Repeat; it defines a habitual process for successful plan execution by using a simple, intuitive framework to realize your strategic plan and achieve outstanding results.
The core focus of STARR is to keep decision support information flowing across the organization allowing increased autonomy through more effective business decisions, but the ancillary benefits are nearly as compelling.
Share: sharing your vision and establishing clear goals will help align the organization around the strategic plan, building stakeholder engagement and loyalty.
Track: Metrics outcomes are a major source of decision support data; tracking relevant metrics for all goals will help your team focus on achievement, increasing efficiency and productivity.
Analyze: Regular analysis of outcomes through dashboards provides rapid access to critical decision support information and allows stakeholders to act more autonomously, with better results too.
Reevaluate: When backed by historic decision support data periodic reevaluation a business’s goals and objectives provides an efficient adaption to change and supports a stronger planning process.
Repeat: Plans, Goals, and Metrics may change, but taking a systematic approach to execution should not. You must repeat the process until success becomes organizational habit.
It’s not a simple task to stress test a new business execution model, but given the numbers below it is more than likely your business execution model needs a tune up. A good first step is to honestly evaluate your results over the last 1-2 years and compare them to the expectations in your strategic plan. If there is an execution gap, then you might want to consider implementing an Agile methodology to improve your results.
- 85% percent of management teams spend less than one-hour a month on strategy issues
- 27% of a typical company’s employees have access to its strategic plan.
- 92% of organizations do not report on lead performance indicators.
- 90% of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution.
- 60% of typical organizations do not link their strategic priorities to their budget.
- 66% of HR and IT organizations develop strategic plans that are not linked to the organization's strategy.
- 70% of middle managers and more than 90% of front-line employees have compensation that is not linked to the strategy.
- 95% of employees do not understand their organization's strategy.