In this article, we're going to discuss on understanding how to focus and align activities around the business needs.
Typically, the way an organization decides on metrics that are important, business drivers or indicators is senior management meets for conference or a retreat. And during this time, without any input from other levels in the organization, the people in the room decide the business strategy for the next year. This is then rolled out to subsequent lower levels in the organization. Does this sound like the way your organization operates?
This technique rarely results in the strategy or high level objectives affectively translated and connected with dat-to-day execution. What usually happen is there's a lot of action with little or no idea of how this works sums into specific targets or strategic intents. Communicating through command and control lacks the necessary back and forth discussion throughout the organization. Remember that not aligning performance in needs could result in measuring the wrong metric and without some type of feedback loop to senior management. There would be little chance to correct mistakes based on bad information or no information at all, and all of the efforts in the organization would be wasted. So we need a tool to help us understand what business needs are truly important to focus on, and then be able to clearly communicate to all levels of the organization.
Strategy deployment is one tool that can be used to do this. The approach works on ensuring that corporate objectives, plans and tasks are accomplished by all employees are aligned and ultimately connected to their daily work. This happens through the process of catch ball. At each later in the organization, the ideas are cascaded down and the lower layer discuss is and then evaluates and tosses their thoughts back up juts like a game of catch. Through this iterative process, there is repeated review, input, actions, and revisions. With this constant dialogue, organizations can then understand their limitations and manage the work they expect to be done. This can help reduce the situation where an organization works on many things, but accomplishes nothing. For example, lower staff are able to communicate when they're being pulled in too many directions, and senior management can then make modifications to the strategy before beginning execution.
The strategy shouldn't be a list of goals. Rather, it should call out three to five key objectives that are critical for the organization over the next year. By picking the most important objectives, the limited energy within the organization can be focused to ensure that something gets done by years end. Rather than spreading your resources across lots of goals making little progress on each one.
Choosing what not to do is perhaps more important than choosing what to do. For each of your key objectives, there should be key performance indicators or KPIs that will allow management to track progress. Keep in mind that metrics drive behavior, so carefully choose KPIs that will drive the behavior that you want. If you properly engage the organization and catch ball, the KPIs can and should scale down across the organization so that managers at all levels are tracking. And reporting on the metrics that tie important and daily to the strategic goals of the organizations. Standardizing the way you measure or report on KPIs across department is critical to achieving true organization alignment.