This the final installment of our strategy execution process.
After the completed plan has been reviewed and approved by your top management team, your organization is ready to implement. You should communicate clearly to all your employees via a “live event” management’s intent and commitment, and to gain the enthusiastic buy-in of the entire organization.
As the plan is executed any problems or deviations should be noted and corrective action taken to ensure implementation stays on track. Business process issues should be brought to the attention of your management team so that a permanent fix is implemented.
The Review Process
The strategic plan review process has three important rationales: (1) It is intended to serve as the mechanism for keeping the strategic plan as closely on track as possible; (2) It is the mechanism to identify and act on major process and systems improvement opportunities to improve your organization’s effectiveness; and, (3) It is the basic element in your organization’s learning process.
The methodology for the review process is one of self-evaluation. In other words, the reviewee does not come to the plan review to be evaluated. Rather, he or she comes to present the results of their evaluation, using the plan review process. Help is provided by the management team, some on content, but mostly on the reviewee’s process of analyzing the results and preparing for the review. The evaluate the effectiveness of actions taken by the reviewee simply ask the following questions:
- What did you intend to accomplish? (PLAN)
- What did you achieve? (DO)
- How did the actual achievements compare to what you intended? (CHECK)
- Analyze what happened, and what do you intend to so about it? (ACT)
Organization Learning and Assessment
It is probably evident that there is value in sharing or transferring the knowledge gained by your individual teams with the rest of the organization. In a small organization frequent reviews are the best way to share or transfer knowledge. In larger organizations there needs to be a process for systematically sharing and capturing knowledge. The learnings don’t have to be confined to internal organizational issues, likely, there will be some important external factors that should be included.
The Annual Review
He most important review of the year is the annual review, which usually occur in the fourth quarter. The goal here is to get an assessment of the year’s progress early enough to incorporate the results in next year’s plan. The expected results at the end of the year are reviewed and the results of earlier reviews are revisited. Significant learnings are incorporated in your organization’s management system, as well as into next year’s planning process.
The Japanese term for this strategic planning process is called Hoshin. It is one of the most effective ways for your top management team to focus their leadership efforts and improve their leadership skills. It is based on the PDCA concept and incorporates breakthrough thinking which will help your organization achieve higher levels of achievement. I have witnessed the Hoshin process work for all types of organizations (nonprofits, service, manufacturing, etc.).
Willie Carter has nearly four decades of continuous improvement experience, which have enabled him be a good listener, teacher, coach and leader as he helps organizations do more with less and become more agile. In addition to his consulting practice, he is on the adjunct faculty at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL.