“Strategy without execution is just an idea.”
In our experience, based on the 300+ programs we have executed, we suggest you consider these five things to increase your confidence in managing program success and capital spend:
Avoid unintended consequences and out-of-control costs. Ask yourself, “Have I considered all the impacts on my entire value chain and staff?” This needs to happen before you start.
Similarly, ensure you understand the entire project portfolio and combined interdependencies – not just your portion of the project. Far too often, organizations fail to understand the end-to-end impact on their organization and grind to a halt halfway through the project.
Ensure your organization is capable of executing before you begin. We advise that you do not undertake a project without knowing if you have the capability or capacity to execute it fully. Fix capability or capacity gaps first, then start your project. Want to increase your efficiency and better use capital? Don’t start projects that you know you can’t finish.
Know where you are starting from. If you factually baseline what is happening today, you can better understand the magnitude of change. Define success as a measurable outcome that aligns with your strategic goals – not “We launched XYZ product to the market by ABC date.” While that may be a component of your goal, you need to align all outcomes with your strategic goals and objectives to realize the success of any initiative.
“Always start with the end in mind. Adoption is critical.“
Get to the source by addressing the root cause, not just the symptom. Are you able to execute your strategies in the way you envision? If not, understand precisely what’s causing the disconnect. Avoid looking at a symptom, such as, “My tech team is always over budget” or “We haven’t successfully launched a project on time in three years” without looking for the root cause of these breakdowns against the strategic objectives. Ensure you are doing the right projects in the right order and are solving the right problems.
Don’t underestimate the cost and effort to drive adoption and actual benefits realization. Our clients routinely struggle to include in their end-to-end plans the tasks, effort, and costs required to drive adoption. Think through what happens after the product is built or the technology is put into production and ensure this is properly accounted for in your business case and project plan. Said differently, make sure you incorporate the customer’s point of view into the project so that your efforts are closely correlated to your customer experience and product needs.