In my recent post on Strategic Planning versus Strategic Iteration I discussed three ways in which we need to adjust how we view strategy. In this short post I’ll look at how we can identify the kinds of strategic changes we will need to undertake by asking four crucial questions.
In our recent book Agile Value Delivery: Beyond the Numbers we offered up that “The primary reason for undertaking Portfolios, Programs and Projects is to enable the delivery of realizable Value into Business Operations“. This is the recognition that the primary origin of change in organizations is because something in business operations is not working or that the organization is wanting to go in a different strategic direction; but it starts and ends in business operations.
We also discussed the fact that organizations now face holistic messes rather than discrete problems coupled with increasing rates of change. Leaders need to learn how to lead at the pace of change rather than trying to control change.
Strategic Iteration helps us take an adaptive approach to how we approach the resolution of these holistic messes based on an Observe-Orient-Decide-Act mindset. But how do we specifically identify what we need to change and how do we make needed refinements based on what emerges?
Many organizations and portfolio teams have figured out that you need to take a holistic view of your organization in order to identify required strategic changes. But how do they do that? It starts with asking four crucial questions:
- Where are we intending the strategic goals to be directed? Can be geographic, customer segments, distribution channels, etc.
- Who are the primary players for whom the goals will provide some benefit?
- What capabilities will be needed to do this and if we don’t have them how will we acquire them?
- Which of our existing systems, processes, structures or policies may be affected?
The real fun, as they say, happens once you get started. Strategic Goals and Objectives are statements of intent not statements of a defined scope and plan that cannot be changed.
An Adaptive Strategy based in Strategic Iteration is an approach that allows us to continually refine both our strategic goals and strategic objectives as well as the strategic changes we are targeting based on what emerges once we start to execute our strategies.
In our upcoming webinar on May 25th at 4pm EST we will be discussing our Adaptive Strategy Framework which organizations can use to answer these and many other questions using strategic iteration, rather than strategic planning to solve the holistic messes they now face, by continually refining their approach during execution based on feedback loops of what is working and what isn’t.
The Adaptive Strategy Framework will be provided free for download from our website starting on May 25th following the webinar.
What questions do you ask to identify the strategic changes you need to make to meet your organizations strategic goals? I’d love to hear about them.