The best strategy will fail unless it is coupled to effective execution. Yet driving effective execution is an issue with which the best of companies sometimes struggle. Establishing and maintaining an overview of how key goals are linked to specific projects and activities in the face of constant change requires both discipline and an effective tool set.
A wide range of organizations have successfully managed strategy execution and complex change using the One Page Strategic Plan. This is an integrated approach to implementation planning, program management and progress control. It delivers a communicable strategy that is ‘owned’ by key actors throughout the organization. It does this by:
- Developing and summarizes the strategy using a One Page wall chart that is logical and easy to understand. It recognises that there is often a complex relationship between enablers and results, defines measurable steps in both areas and strikes a balance between overview and detail.
- Stimulating development of stretching but achievable plans; it uses a logical series of work stages and milestone decisions, ‘reasons back’ from stretch targets for results towards ways to achieve these, and creates flexibility by treating results and enablers as linked but separate.
- Using a participative approach that encourages creativity and ownership; it is driven by the leadership team rather than a select group, draws out good ideas from within the business and fits these into a strategic context, but also emphasises ownership of delivery of enablers as well as business results.
The resulting plan is summarised on a ‘one page’ wall chart that shows how all elements of the plan link to one another. Because goals, enablers and projects are linked but shown separately, it is relatively easy to assess the impact of changes. This makes the chart and associated documentation a powerful program management tool.