Achieve More in 2018 by Expanding Strategy Beyond Your Strategic Plan

By Jonathan Morgan

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Achieve More in 2018 by Expanding Strategy Beyond Your Strategic Plan

Happy New Year! After the holiday season has passed, the New Year’s streamers have fallen, and celebrations have ended, reality is now knocking at the front door. In addition to starting the work year off right, you’ve no doubt created an ambitious new year’s resolution.

The crowd favorite is a new, healthier lifestyle. Early morning workouts, less eating out, no more alcohol. But what typically happens with these resolutions? Mid-January hits and its New Year, Old You; resolutions are pushed to the side with the whirlwind of day-to-day responsibilities and commitments.

What you likely didn’t realize, is that in developing a resolution, you developed a mini-strategy or strategic plan for yourself. You want to lose 20 pounds, reduce your cholesterol by several points, run a half-marathon, or some other goal. And how are you going to achieve it? You have developed strategies and projects, such as eating healthier and going to the gym, to help achieve your goals. But just like organizations of all sizes, execution fails and therefore you fall short of your goals.

Strategy Plans are Cross-Functional

Execution should be the most important focus of an organization and individual. Because it doesn’t just relate to your strategic plan; strategy is everywhere. It’s in your strategic plan, cost reduction initiatives, change management, and, as we’ve just seen, even your new year’s resolution. In its simplest fashion, strategy is creating a set of goals for what you would like to achieve and the action plan to get you there. Then, in order to optimize execution efforts, you need to track and monitor progress towards your goals. You’ve heard it a million times – what gets measured, gets managed. We’d take it even a step further – what gets measured, gets managed and gets achieved.

At AchieveIt, we have companies of all sizes and industries using our execution platform to execute better on their strategies.  Below are just a few examples outside of a traditional strategic plan where the importance of strategy, tracking and execution are widespread:

Cost Reduction/Cost Optimization

For nearly all organizations, even wildly successful ones, cost reduction is a key focus. Goals are developed to reduce overhead and increase profit whether revenues are increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same. With cost reduction initiatives, an organization sets a cost reduction goal, or a profit goal, that is then often segmented by business units across the organization. From there, it is up to the business units to develop strategies and plans to reduce their own costs. To achieve the cost reduction goals of the organization, proper execution and tracking must occur with cross-functional communication, visibility and alignment.

Change Management

In any change management process, an organization is looking to pivot its resources and strategies in new ways. It requires many groups of people, working on actions in collaboration with one another to achieve the common goal. Change management programs should be treated as strategies with proper execution to ensure a successful transformation.

Business Process Improvement

While change management is focused on a major pivot or transformation, business process improvement is meant to make an organization leaner and more efficient. These programs often result in lower time waste, faster or more efficient manufacturing or production processes, happier customers and higher profitability and therefore must be treated as strategies and executed properly. Many process improvement programs involve numerous parties and business units across an organization. At AchieveIt, we help customers ensure clear communication and enable a direct line of sight into how the process improvement is progressing.

Risk Management

While the previous other scenarios focus on changing, risk management is often about preventing change and issues from developing. To achieve success, risk management involves a consistent process with regular status updates, audits and corrective action plan development. While it may not look like a traditional strategy, AchieveIt clients leverage our platform to ensure proper compliance with their risk management issues and successful execution for their action plans.

Make 2018 the Year of Achievement

Regardless of your organization’s size or industry, think about ways to incorporate principles of strategy, measurement and execution across your business. Develop proper objectives, goals and strategies, combine them with meticulous tracking and ensure successful execution by incorporating accountability, visibility, collaboration and alignment. Whether you are trying to achieve your strategic plan, or working on cost reduction, change management, business process improvement or risk management initiatives, we are here to help you successfully execute. Find out how AchieveIt can help.

At the very least, we hope you are now armed to continue your new year’s resolution a bit longer than normal.