The Costs of Maintaining the Status Quo for Strategy Execution

Execution is hard. While most of us can sense that it’s hard, several statistics confirm it.

In fact,

  • Only 10% of organizations of organizations achieve at least two-thirds of their strategic objectives
  • 67% of well-formulated strategies failed due to poor execution
  • 61% of executives report that their organization often struggles to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and strategic execution

Strategy Execution with the Status Quo

Unfortunately, the stats make sense for far too many organizations. Especially if you’re managing your plans & strategy execution with the ‘status quo.’

What’s the status quo?

It’s using what you already have access to. For most, that’s using manual tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Compiling complex goals, strategies, initiatives, and more into a variety of spreadsheets. Leveraging email and word documents to collect updates. Compiling everything back into the Excel file. And then reporting out in Powerpoint.

Or maybe your organization has ‘upgraded’ via shared documents instead of static ones. But is that really an upgrade?

And all organizations have several different types of plans. It’s not just one plan being tracked, but strategic plans, departmental plans, operational plans, and different program and project plans.

The Challenge of the Status Quo

For some, leveraging static tools, or the ‘status quo’ works just fine. But for many others, managing strategy execution with manual tools and processes leads to the statistics at the beginning.

The challenge with sticking with the status quo to manage these several plans is that there is no central view of:

  • Alignment of plans
  • How teams are impacted by plans
  • Accountable owners
  • Initiative progress with relevant context

While maintaining the status quo might seem more accessible than going through the process of adopting a new tool specifically for managing your plans, it’s likely hurting your organization and getting in the way of progress.

The Disadvantages of Strategy Execution with the Status Quo

There are many reasons why strategy execution is hard. But one of the biggest reasons is that organizations often struggle to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and strategy execution. Organizations that maintain the status quo with tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint often suffer from this problem.

While there are many disadvantages of sticking with the status quo, here are a few primary disadvantages:

  • Less effective decision-making – without central visibility into how projects are connected and where resources are being deployed, it’s harder to make effective decisions and adjustments
  • Decreased productivity – With a lack of defined ownership and accountability, it’s harder to hold project leaders accountable with firm due dates, automatic reminders, and project status
  • More time is required for reporting – With manual methods, considerable time is spent sending emails, chasing updates, compiling data, and creating reports
  • Less efficient execution – All of the previous disadvantages lead to poor execution. Defined processes, purpose-built software, and expert guidance increase your likelihood of executing both successfully and efficiently


The ROI of Efficient Execution 

Download this guide and the companion calculator worksheet to show your team what you’re leaving on the table without enabling plan visibility, organizational alignment, or automated accountability.


The Advantages of a New Method of Strategy Execution

A lot can be left on the table by maintaining the status quo, but there are several benefits to utilizing purpose-built software.

Below are some advantages you gain from a dedicated platform:

  • Increased visibility – You can see what’s happening with every initiative, at every level, from the enterprise to the individual, in real-time.
  • Higher levels of engagement – With a platform that’s easy to use for executive leadership and project teams alike, keeping them all accountable and on the same page is easier.
  • Alignment made visual and easily accessible – Create a sense of ownership and purpose by aligning each employee’s activities to your organization’s most important goals and objectives.
  • Confidence that every initiative has an owner – Hold one individual accountable for driving results and reporting progress per initiative, providing improved motivation for success.
  • A streamlined way to track progress – You’ll have the ability to create a single record of progress that can be shared and discussed with everyone. All without living in a single, static, multi-versioned Excel document.
  • A single source of truth – Foster transparency in your organization by giving employees access to what all teams are working on, the status of those initiatives, and how quickly they’re progressing towards goals.

Making the Change to Improved Strategy Execution

It is not uncommon for strategy execution to be a major challenge for organizations. Maintaining the status quo with tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint often leads to ineffective decision-making, decreased productivity, less efficient execution of plans, or initiatives that are executed without defined processes or accountability.

But the organizations that create defined processes and leverage specific tools see dramatic improvements. Some discussed in this article – increased visibility into your organization’s strategy at all levels, higher levels of engagement by keeping executive leadership and project teams on the same page; alignment made visual and accessible; confidence that every initiative has an owner; a streamlined way to track progress; a single source of truth about what everyone is working on.

Ultimately, strategy execution is the key to your organization’s long-term success. An effective strategy execution platform can provide many benefits to organizations, and make sure that your plans aren’t just another statistic.

About AchieveIt

AchieveIt is the platform that organizations use to get their biggest, most important initiatives out of the boardroom and into reality. There are so many great ideas never quite make it across the finish line because there’s no real way to keep everyone on track. You’ve got to:

  1. Get everything in view in real-time
  2. Get everyone engaged while also holding them accountable
  3. Get every possible advantage drawing on the experience and best practices of our execution experts

That’s why everyone from global corporations, to regional healthcare systems, to federal agencies have turned to AchieveIt for their Integrated Plan Management. Let’s actually do this.

Ready to improve your plan execution?

Organizations of all types leverage AchieveIt to manage, execute, and connect their most important initiatives. Replace manual processes & siloed systems with interconnected plans in a single, automated platform.


Meet the Author  Jasmine Conway

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