blog overview
Goal Setting
Hasse Jansen, 06 Oct '16

The Five Stages of the Strategic Management Process

Reading tons of great articles makes you well-informed, but it won’t transform your organization until you apply that newly acquired knowledge. With Boardview you can.

A popular article called “The Five Stages of the Strategic Management Process” skillfully describes how to do strategic management properly. It is a particularly well-rounded article and instinctively we thought “how will this apply to Boardview functionality”?.

Surely, reading (many many) articles on strategy execution is better than not really knowing anything about it and just hoping for the best. But from what we’ve experienced over the years, familiarizing yourself with strategy execution best practices isn’t the bottle neck in most organizations: it’s the execution of the execution strategy. And with Boardview you can do just that.

Sticking to the original article’s five-step layout, we’ve mapped out how Boardview can help you take each one of the steps. It’s a ‘how to’ article on the original ‘how to’ article, so to speak.

In this article, we’ll walk you through these five stages:

  1. Goal setting - Parents and Childs… and the C suite
  2. Analysis - Internal and external
  3. Strategy Formulation - Effort and Impact (and KPIs)
  4. Strategy Implementation - Goals and Tasks
  5. Remaining Agile - Evaluation and Control

1. Goal setting - Parents and Childs… and the C suite

What the original article says about “Goal setting”:

  • The purpose of goal-setting is to clarify the vision for your business
  • Define both short- and long-term objectives
  • Identify the process by which to accomplish your objective
  • Give each person a task with which he can succeed

How you would do it in Boardview:

A. Defining the parent

Set a long-term organization-wide strategic goal. This is the one goal all members of the organization should be able to reproduce and chant at any time. The goal has to be emotionally compelling but not just a daydream: it should be clear what success looks like.

Do this in the Boardview app:

Create one Parent goal at the very top of your Growth Map.

B. Defining the children

Now define short-term goals that help you achieve the long-term goal defined earlier. Think about the necessary ingredients to achieving the bigger goal. Generally, there are two to five child goals that need to be achieved in order to have a shot at achieving the parent.

Do this in the Boardview app:

Create (two to five) second level goals right underneath the Parent goal.

Boardview-Value-Map-2

C. Create early top-level buy-in

Now you’ve defined your top priorities, and have mapped out how they relate to each other, it’s time to create some early buy-in from the C suite. Before you start to become specific about how any of this will be achieved, make sure everyone around the boardroom table is on the same strategic page, and everyone agrees on the goals to be pursued. Present the abstract framework early on in the process, so you don’t waste time planning (or even performing) tasks working towards an unapproved goal and its branch of subgoals.

Do this in the Boardview app:

Show the C suite the initial Growth Map in Boardview to give them a quick yet crystal clear overview.

2. Analysis - Internal and external

What the original article says about “Analysis”:

  • Gather information and data relevant to accomplishing your vision
  • Understand the needs of the business as a sustainable entity
  • Examine any external or internal issues that can affect your goals and objectives

How you would do it in Boardview:

When the initial goals making up the strategic framework is agreed upon, it’s time to assess your company’s capability to actually achieve the pursued goals. Conduct a quick SWOT analysis for all goals you’ve set to take into account internal and external factors.

A. Internal Capabilities and resources

Look at your company’s internal capabilities and available resources: consider strengths and weaknesses. Consider your company’s track record, the current state of internal operations and team performance to estimate the feasibility of your goal. Which result can you expect based on your own historical numbers? Determine how likely is it your company will be able to achieve the goals you’ve set.

B. External Market

Now you’ve investigated your company’s capabilities, it’s time to compare them to the competitions’: consider weaknesses and threats. Gather market data that’s relevant for each of your aspired goals. What do the numbers say? How does the benchmark data stack up to the feasibility estimation (based on internal capabilities) you’ve made?

Do you expect to be able to outperform the market in the pursuit of one or more of your goals? If you can spot a potential competitive advantage, go for it!

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3. Strategy Formulation - Effort and Impact (and KPIs)

What the original article says about “Strategy Formulation”:

  • Determine what resources the business currently has to reach the defined goals
  • Identify any areas for which the business must seek external resources
  • Goals should be prioritized by their importance to your success

How you would do it in Boardview:

Apply the results from the ‘Analysis’ phase (2) to the goals you’ve defined in the ‘Goal Setting’ phase (1).

A. Effort

Determine how important each of the child goals are for achieving the parent goal. It’s likely you’ll find that the achievement of one or more specific child goal is more important than others. Achieving these child goals will really make an ‘impact’ and will get you a long way towards achieving your parent goal.

Do this in the Boardview app:

Specify each of the child goals’ required effort, taking into account Strengths and Weaknesses and possible additional effort for ‘to be acquired’ capabilities or resources.

B. Impact

Doing business is complex and unpredictable, so it may happen your calendar says it’s the end of the month while your monthly to-do list stubbornly looks like it is only the 17th. Expecting to be able to put in all the required effort and achieve all pursued goals is unrealistic, in most cases.

The trick is to make the best out of a perpetually ‘shorter than ideal’ months by applying structure. Look for 80-20 relationships: is there a child goal where putting in 20% of the work would effectuate 80% of the desired effect on the achievement of the parent goal?

Do this in the Boardview app:

Specify each of the child goals’ impact, taking into account Opportunities and Threats and possible competitive advantages from achieving one child goal instead of another.

Logically, high required effort may be justified by even higher impact. You’re looking for a favourable ratio. The Boardview goal ‘Score’ takes into account this ratio, and automatically updates the score of individual child goals when you adjust the impact of their parent goal.

When a parent goal becomes more important, so too does the achievement of its child goals, relative to other parent goals’ children. It’s pretty nifty.

Boardview impact effort goal card

C. “I aim for…” - KPI

Although we do think the original article is awesome, we disagree on one thing. Originally listed in stage 5 under “Evaluation and control”, we believe KPIs could best be determined earlier on in the process, here in stage 3.

Along with specifying Effort and Impact, we believe now is the right time to look for suitable metrics to accurately measure goal success. Use this glorious list of KPIs called The Periodic Table of Marketing Signals to find a set of KPIs that suits your goals.

Do this in the Boardview app:

Always be clear about when it’s time to celebrate. Specify ‘how much’ of ‘what’ you require for success: under “I aim for…” fill out a ‘value’ and ‘metric’. Collecting ‘200’ more ‘trial subscriptions’ would be our cue to drink ‘12’ more ‘glasses of Champagne’

Boardview I aim for

4. Strategy Implementation - Goals and Tasks

What the original article says about “Strategy Implementation”:

  • Be clear about everyone’s responsibilities and duties, and how they fit in with the overall goal
  • Secure the resources needed to execute tasks

How you would do it in Boardview:

It’s time to take action and make stuff happen. Now that priorities are clear (and some of your initial goals haven’t made the cut), it’s time to specify concrete activities that should help achieve the pursued goals.

Every employee involved receives a set of responsibilities and tasks to be performed. Every single task is connected to a goal. And performing every task as planned should give you a decent shot at achieving the goal. Orphan tasks that don’t serve any goal should be thrown out.

Consider using the RA(CI) model, appointing someone to be Accountable for the goal achievement and someone to be Responsible for the performing of tasks. That way, you’ll get the best coupling of tasks and goals.

Then, go live!

Do this in the Boardview app:

For every goal, list a number of tasks. The goal owner and the performer of tasks should keep in close contact to remain aligned at all times. Put your goals in a ‘collection’ to structure the order of implementation, and to pursue goals per quarter, month or sprint.

Tasks:

Boardview tasks

Collections:

Boardview-Tile-View

5. Remaining Agile - Evaluation and Control

What the original article says about “Evaluation and Control”:

  • Determine your progress by measuring the actual results versus the plan
  • If the strategy is not moving toward its goal, take corrective actions
  • Any data gained in this stage should be retained to help with any future strategies

How you would do it in Boardview:

The original article mentioned KPIs in this section, but we’ve described their role in stage 3.

Now that the project is up and running, always keep a finger on the pulse. Even if you’ve done your planning meticulously, there will always be surprises.

Maybe some tasks didn’t bring you as close to achieving the goals as expected. That shouldn’t be a problem if you stay agile. Have a look at your performance data and adjust your course.

If it turns out internal operations are going better or worse than expected, adjust tasks and projected effort. If external market conditions change, you may want to adjust the projected impact of existing goals, or you could create additional goals or scratch superfluous ones.

Do this in the Boardview app:

It’s easy to keep your team up to date using Boardview. The visual layout of the Growth Map should give you a great overview of the goings on at all times.

For when you aren’t logged into the tool, you’ll receive a beautiful infographic in your inbox to keep you updated on how things are going in your team whenever you want.

To act upon new insights, you can plan new tasks or make adjustments in goal effort or impact. Or drag and drop entire goals anywhere around the Growth Map. This will trigger automatic recalculation of priorities. Keeping your strategy always up to date has never been this easy.

boardview infogrpahic

You can now be certain your efforts will always have the highest possible impact on the bottom line.

Now then, the moment of truth. You’ve made it to the bottom of this post and it’s time to get to work.


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