Strategic Planning Does Not Work

…unless you have an execution plan.

I was at a picnic recently on a beautiful island in Georgian Bay and chatting with an employee of one of the world’s most prestigious, strategic planning and consulting organizations.  Here is what I heard… “We are full of MBA’s who know how to look at the future, see the big picture and create amazing strategic plans but they have no idea how to implement.  They don’t understand what it takes to make a plan happen – especially when it comes to resourcing.”

My friend, Mona Mitchell, and I have just released our new book 7 Elements of Strategy Execution. In it, we describe seven areas that need to be addressed when implementing a strategic plan.  Proper resourcing (the right team in the book) is one of them.

Here is the key to the problem: most organizations don’t realize that their strategic plan is actually a new, very large project or program and it needs to be dealt with as such.  The first question that any good project or program manager will ask at the front end of a project is “do we have enough resources to make this happen?”  Do we have enough people, the right people to ensure success?

Without addressing your resourcing right up front – the plan is not going to happen.

So, when the ‘suits’ come in to create a new plan – be sure they address the bigger question – how are we going to make this work?

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3 thoughts on “Strategic Planning Does Not Work”

  1. The ‘suits’ don’t care. Resourcing isn’t their job. All this was closely reviewed in The Business Case, and seeing as it aligned with The Strategic Plan, it was approved.
    Now, “Make it so!”.

  2. The first thing that the PM should ask is, “What are we trying to achieve and how will know when we are successful?”, the second question is, “what talent do we need to make achieve those results?”.

    What I often see as the first question is, what technology are we going to use? Who cares, is usually my answer and that is not typically what people want to hear.

  3. Hey David, The same goes for young companies. The entrepreneur wants the business to grow but forgets the need to hire people that can do some of the mundane jobs. The owner becomes overworked and cannot keep up to demand/ The customers get upset and business goes away. There is a careful balance between growing and knowing when to hire more to get the job done.

    All the best. Keep on writing.

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