At KPI Fire we’ve worked with hundreds of businesses across the globe and we’ve noticed a few common roadblocks to successfully executing a strategy planning. Many of these roadblocks are on the technical side where leaders struggle to manage their KPIs, projects, and objectives across a large organization. While these problems are easily solved with our strategy execution software there are other issues that can torpedo a well thought out strategic plan. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common culprits.
#1: Lack of Team Involvement
Within small or medium-sized businesses, too much of a “do it yourself” attitude can be a negative. Not all employees have to have a say in every single bit of strategy, but allowing the proper levels of involvement for middle management as well as team members, who may have important things to add, is vital. Bringing in the right people during the catch ball process can help you avoid overlooked business objectives or important questions that need to be addressed. There are many ways to open lines of communication including formal strategic planning meetings and pre-strategy release negotiations as well as informal discussions. All of these can be managed using the approval process found in KPI Fire.
#2: Overcrowding the Strategy
In a very general sense, there are two types of business strategies, a top down strategy where leadership set business goals based on predictive financial models and an emergent strategy, which is rapid response to emerging market trends and competition.
There are benefits to both strategy types but the most common mistake in strategic planning is not allowing room for the “middle strategy”, the operational needs of your functional leaders. If you limit your top level annual objectives to a set number, say 5 to 6 (a practice we strongly recommend), and the leadership team fills each of these slots with what they want there won’t be room for important objectives from quality, operations, or other areas. It’s great to have high aspirations for your business but saturating the strategic plan will leave you in a situation where functional leaders are overloaded and nothing is a priority. Instead focus on a few key objectives, give your middle managers a voice, and be flexible. You may need to incorporate on-the-fly adjustments to your plan throughout the year.
#3: Execution and Blame
Strategy execution is never as simple as it seems in the planning phase, but a common outlet when things go wrong is to look for the scapegoat. This isn’t productive, and won’t help you find the proper solutions to move forward. It’s necessary to identify the source of errors and correct them, but there are constructive and non-confrontational ways to accomplish this. Remember that the Lean way of thinking is to focus on fixing the process not blaming the people. You hired smart, talented people who want to succeed. If progress isn’t being made toward your strategic objectives there are several common root causes.
- The objective was not mutually agreed to with the involvement of the leadership responsible for executing the plan.
- Upper management is overburdening and distracting the functional leaders with tasks and initiatives that are not directly related to the annual objectives.
- Leaders don’t have a clear action plan or process improvement projects that are linked to their annual objectives.
Each of these problems can be overcome by using the structured approach to strategic planning found in the KPI Fire system. Our strategy execution software is designed to streamline the communication process in medium to large sized organizations making it easy to track KPIs, and projects that enable your strategic goals.
Want to learn more about strategic planning and proven methods to achieving your goals this year? Our team of experts are standing by and ready to help. Call us at 1.855.957.4347 or visit our website at www.kpifire.com.