blog overview
Hasse Jansen, 03 Aug '16

4 Key Obstacles in Strategy Implementation and How to Overcome Them

To achieve success you’ll need to both formulate a good strategy and flawlessly execute that strategy. Here’s how to move past four key strategy execution obstacles.

Developing a great strategy is a vital part of your business, but it certainly isn’t the only part of the process that determines your success. After all, you can make everything look great on a PowerPoint presentation for your team, but actually executing that strategy usually turns out to be a much more difficult task. And at the end of the day, a plan is only as good as its execution.

In our experience, we’ve found that there are four main obstacles that most businesses struggle to overcome in their efforts to successfully implement a strategy. Here’s a brief look at these four obstacles, and how you can jump them.

1. Planning the Sequence

The Obstacle - One of the most difficult challenges to implementing a strategy is prioritizing your efforts and determining the timing, sequence, and resources required to successfully accomplish each step in your plan. Failure to determine the proper sequence of your strategy—as well as which steps are most important to its success—can undermine your entire operation.

The Jump - Using Boardview you can map the cause and effect of different parts of your strategy so you can determine which processes deliver the greatest ROI and which methods detract from your overall goal. This in turn will allow you to align short-term goals and tactics with long-term goals as you prepare to present your strategy to your team.

2. Lack of Resources

The Obstacle - Whether your business is a startup or a well-established brand, you never seem to have enough resources to accomplish everything you’d like to achieve. While this is more commonly a problem for small companies that don’t have as many employees or are subject to budget restraints, every business experiences it to some degree.

The Jump - To minimize the effect of resource shortages, companies need to prioritize their resource allocation based on value contribution. Once you’ve determined which strategies are most critical, you can ensure that resources are distributed appropriately and don’t go to waste, so you’ll generate the most value for the money spent.

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3. Aligning Team Members

The Obstacle - In just about any industry, teamwork is essential for accomplishing the overarching goals. Unfortunately, poor communication between departments or team members has proven to be the downfall of even the greatest strategies.

The Jump - Features such as the Boardview Tree are ideal to keep everyone aligned on the why behind your efforts and to make sure your team is adequately informed regarding the implementation of a new strategy. It allows your entire team to work in the same overview, visualizing the strategy in a collaborative setting and avoiding miscommunications.

4. Resistance to Change

The Obstacle - This can be a particularly tricky one. Typically, the greater the required change, the greater the resistance may be. This is true especially if revised strategies require that you reorganize a department or adjust employee responsibilities. The resistance can undermine the successful implementation of your strategy as employees contribute half-heartedly to your efforts.

The Jump - If you tackle the first three obstacles and develop a logical strategy map and transparent overview to demonstrate the value of the changes to your team, the resistance to change will be greatly reduced. Or, if you’re really on top of your game, your team may even welcome change.

On their own, neither good strategy nor good execution will bring you the success you’re after. Your business will never achieve success without great execution. Nor will you be successful if you flawlessly execute a poorly-crafted strategy that fails to deliver on your most important goals. Luckily, flawless strategy and execution are by no means mutually exclusive. When you’re doing it right, you can have both!

Start by writing down some of your goals on posts-it’s. Discover how your goals relate to each other and put them in a tree structure to draft your initial agile strategy. Then, take your experiment online and prove what you’ve just learned. Conquer the four key obstacles to strategy implementation as if they never existed, and execute your strategy like a champ.

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