Strategy implementation

Increased impact and predictability through a structured and collaborative approach to implementation

Translating a strategy into action is a significant challenge. All too often, the benefits that were promised are delivered late, or fail to materialise at all. Management teams get distracted by the day-to-day challenges of running the business. Cross-functional initiatives fall between operating silos, budgets get reallocated and the initial momentum is lost. Estimates for strategy implementation failure rates range from 50% to 90%.

We have spent over twenty years helping clients translate strategy into action, working with a range of clients from start-ups through to large corporations and public sector organisations. Through this we have identified a number of key principles that can help you to avoid comment implementation pitfalls. By applying these principals, strategy implementation can be a more predictable, transparent and repeatable process, improving both the speed and certainty of the outcome.

Strategy Implementation Framework

The strategy implementation framework provides a clear and robust foundation for translating strategy into clear and measurable benefits for the organisation.
1. Planning

Converting the strategy into an implementation plan is a critical first step for successful implementation of the strategy. This provides clarity around priorities and allocation of resources to specific tasks. This drives accountability and ensures potential resource constraints are identified at the outset.

2. Team Structure

It is essential to put in place a clear governance framework to drive the ongoing implementation of the strategy. We recommend the establishment of a strategy delivery steering committee, typically chaired by the CEO. This steering committee should comprise the key functional and divisional leads, and is the forum through which roadblocks or resource re-allocation decisions can be made during the course of the implementation.

3. Process and Tools

We recommend a weekly or bi-weekly program tracking process to manage the implementation phase, and ensure rapid resolution of issues or roadblocks as they arise. We use a proprietary implementation tracking system (Zenith PMO Studio) to manage the process of collating regular updates from each initiative in a fast and efficient manner. Alternatively, standard program management tools can be used to provide the necessary oversight.

Selected examples of strategy engagements

Growth Strategy

National Equipment Hire

We were engaged by this private equity-backed business to support the management team in implementing a growth strategy for the business.

We translating the growth strategy into a series of actionable strategic initiatives, established the ongoing implementation processes and governance structure, and provided support for the initial stages of the work.

Following successful execution of the strategy, the business doubled EBIT and secured a successful re-capitalisation of the business.

Performance Improvement Strategy

Construction Materials

Following a deterioration in the market outlook, we were engaged by the management team to support the implementation of a performance improvement strategy.

This involved working with key divisions to identify performance improvement initiatives. These were prioritised, and detailed plans developed for selected initiatives. In parallel, we established the enabling governance structure and ongoing tracking processes, and provided support for the initial stages of the implementation.

By adopting a disciplined and structured approach to the implementation, the client exceeded their initial performance improvement targets, and achieved rapid delivery of benefits.
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