How to overcome the challenge of aligning processes with strategy?

Every executive and / or business owner will know just how hard it is to put their vision into practice. The larger the organization, the more moving parts, the harder it is.

But the challenge isn’t limited to large organizations, even with a handful of employees you have to take your vision and strategy and have your team turn that into action. They’ll all have their own way of doing things which can change your original intent.

The Process Excellence Network have written about this challenge and share the experience of many companies in this study. One of the most important findings from the survey is that process professionals cited the linkage between process and strategy as their most important challenge.

“It is a rare company indeed that is able to consistently get the balance right between having a clear vision that is understood by everyone in the organization and that is supported by the right systems and processes to achieve the results that leadership is looking for.”

Based on their research it’s clear that the World’s largest enterprises are continuously struggling with this. But this is a challenge that any business faces. Being able to effectively demonstrate how the work we do everyday aligns to the vision and goals of the organization. How do I, as a team member, know that my work is contributing to those goals? How do I know I’m doing the right thing everyday? It’s as fundamental as that!

Translating vision and strategy into action

Part of that challenge is in the translation of the vision and strategy into actions that are recognised and understood by everyone. We’ve heard of executives locking themselves away for days at a time to ‘strategize’. Usually followed by a recorded presentation published on the intranet and then the slew of strategic transformation programs manned by external consultants and expensive experts. Presently the noise dies down and things continue as normal, unless of course you happen to be on the receiving end of one of those programs!

For the rest of us we just turn up everyday and do what we did yesterday until someone or something shows us something better. So how do we fix this? Well the good news is that if you’re a small(ish) growing company it’s a lot easier… but just as important, if not more so, that you get it right. The best CEOs will communicate the purpose of their organization just as effectively with their employees as with their customers and shareholders. Knowing what we’re all trying to achieve is the important first step. But operationally translating that into action is the big challenge.

The magic of shared understanding

At Skore we believe one of the key elements of success is shared understanding. When everyone in the room has a shared understanding on a given topic, such as the company vision. Then, at least, we’re all pulling in the same direction. Through simple process visualization Skore helps teams to reach a shared understanding on how things get done. But when it comes to aligning process and strategy Skore has a magic trick up its sleeve for this very situation.

Communicating the vision with Skore

You need to be able to tell the story of your organization, i.e.  what it does do at a very high level. Use a handful of boxes that tell us the key activities performed. You design something, you develop it, you market it, you sell it and you support it (that’s what we do at a software company at least!).

A traditional software company

Now you can start to consider how your strategy will impact how you work. Will you need more people? Will you need to increase development velocity? Are you doing the right type of research? Are you doing the right type of marketing activities?

These are all questions that hang over one or more activities on your high level view. Skore allows you to take each one of those activities and explore it in another level of detail. You literally drill down into the detail and ask those questions again. Given this new level it may throw up further questions. And again you can delve deeper into the detail.

Click the Detail button to explore the next level of detail

Each time you go deeper you get the relevant people involved and you keep the questions to hand so that everyone has a shared understanding of the impact of the change and why you need it. It’s telling a story that goes down one level of detail at a time keeping the relevant people informed without overwhelming them with information.

With Skore you can quickly understand the impact of your vision and strategy on your processes and communicate those effectively to the whole team so that everyone knows what they need to do in order to succeed.

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