Strategic formulation is a combination of three main processes which are as follows:

  • Performing a situation analysis, self-evaluation and competitor analysis: both internal and external; both micro-environmental and macro-environmental.
  • Concurrent with this assessment, objectives are set. These objectives should be parallel to a timeline; some are in the short-term and others on the long-term. This involves crafting vision statements (long term view of a possible future), mission statements (the role that the organization gives itself in society), overall corporate objectives (both financial and strategic), strategic business unit objectives (both financial and strategic), and tactical objectives.
  •  
  •  
  • These objectives should, in the light of the situation analysis, suggest a strategic plan. The plan provides the details of how to achieve these objectives.

Strategy implementation

  • Allocation and management of sufficient resources (financial, personnel, operational support, time, technology support)
  • Establishing a chain of command or some alternative structure (such as cross functional teams)
  • Assigning responsibility of specific tasks or processes to specific individuals or groups
  • It also involves managing the process. This includes monitoring results, comparing to benchmarks and best practices, evaluating the efficacy and efficiency of the process, controlling for variances, and making adjustments to the process as necessary.
  • When implementing specific programs, this involves acquiring the requisite resources, developing the process, training, process testing, documentation, and integration with (and/or conversion from) legacy processes.

Thus, when the strategy implementation processes, there have been many problems arising such as human relations and/or the employee-communication. At this stage, the greatest implementation problem usually involves marketing strategy, with emphasis on the appropriate timing of new products. An organization, with an effective management, should try to implement its plans without signalling the fact to its competitors.

In order for a policy to work, there must be a level of consistency from every person in an organization, including from the management. This is what needs to occur on the tactical level of management as well as strategic.

Strategy evaluation

  • Measuring the effectiveness of the organizational strategy, it's extremely important to conduct a SWOT analysis to figure out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (both internal and external) of the entity in question. This may require to take certain precautionary measures or even to change the entire strategy.

In corporate strategy, Johnson and Scholes present a model in which strategic options are evaluated against three key success criteria:

  • Suitability (would it work?)
  • Feasibility (can it be made to work?)
  • Acceptability (will they work it?)

Suitability

Suitability deals with the overall rationale of the strategy. The key point to consider is whether the strategy would address the key strategic issues underlined by the organisation's strategic position.

  • Does it make economic sense?
  • Would the organization obtain economies of scale, economies of scope or experience economy?
  • Would it be suitable in terms of environment and capabilities?

Tools that can be used to evaluate suitability include:

  • Ranking strategic options
  • Decision trees
  • What-if analysis

Feasibility

Feasibility is concerned with the resources required to implement the strategy are available, can be developed or obtained. Resources include funding, people, time and information.

Tools that can be used to evaluate feasibility include:

  • cash flow analysis and forecasting
  • break-even analysis
  • resource deployment analysis

Acceptability

Acceptability is concerned with the expectations of the identified stakeholders (mainly shareholders, employees and customers) with the expected performance outcomes, which can be return, risk and stakeholder reactions.

  • Return deals with the benefits expected by the stakeholders (financial and non-financial). For example, shareholders would expect the increase of their wealth, employees would expect improvement in their careers and customers would expect better value for money.
  • Risk deals with the probability and consequences of failure of a strategy (financial and non-financial).
  • Stakeholder reactions deals with anticipating the likely reaction of stakeholders. Shareholders could oppose the issuing of new shares, employees and unions could oppose outsourcing for fear of losing their jobs, customers could have concerns over a merger with regards to quality and support.

 

General approaches

In general terms, there are two main approaches, which are opposite but complement each other in some ways, to strategic management:

  • The Industrial Organizational Approach
    • based on economic theory — deals with issues like competitive rivalry, resource allocation, economies of scale
    • assumptions — rationality, self discipline behaviour, profit maximization
  • The Sociological Approach
    • deals primarily with human interactions
    • assumptions — bounded rationality, satisfying behaviour, profit sub-optimality. An example of a company that currently operates this way is Google

Strategic management techniques can be viewed as bottom-up, top-down, or collaborative processes. In the bottom-up approach, employees submit proposals to their managers who, in turn, funnel the best ideas further up the organization. This is often accomplished by a capital budgeting process. Proposals are assessed using financial criteria such as return on investment or cost-benefit analysis. Cost underestimation and benefit overestimation are major sources of error. The proposals that are approved form the substance of a new strategy, all of which is done without a grand strategic design or a strategic architect. The top-down approach is the most common by far. In it, the CEO, possibly with the assistance of a strategic planning team, decides on the overall direction the company should take. Some organizations are starting to experiment with collaborative strategic planning techniques that recognize the emergent nature of strategic decisions.

DIMCA’s management consulting refers to both the industry of, and the practice of, helping organizations improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing business problems and development of plans for improvement.

Organizations hire DIMCA’s services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice, access to the consultants' specialized expertise, or simply as extra temporary help during a one-time project, where the hiring of more permanent employees is not required.

Because of DIMCA’s exposure to and relationships with numerous organisations, DIMCA is also aware of industry "best practices".

DIMCA can also provide organizational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. DIMCA can bring her own, proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems, and to serve as the basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing business tasks.

Organizations and processes

 

  • Major organizational transformations: acquisitions; partnerships; turnarounds; restructurings; expansions; etc.
  • Implementation of major changes in procedures and company culture during restructuring
  • Business restructuring and process re-engineering
  • Outsourcing, business consolidation, and knowledge transfer
  • Performance assessments
  • Resource allocation
  • Cost-based management (e.g., ABC)
  • Merger and partnership planning and implementation

Operational effectiveness

“You don’t hear things that are bad about your company unless you ask.”                     -- Thomas J. Watson (1874-1956) --

 

Why Use Health-checks?

It is well known that in most business arenas, the cost of correcting an issue is many times the cost of preventing it. Looming problems can go undetected or be ignored because the project team has faith that if they just follow the plan the benefits will materialise.

At an enterprise level, conducting Health-checks on a sample of projects enables common issues and non-compliances to be captured and resolved in a cost-effective way and applied to future projects.

The DIMCA project health check compare project performance against established good practices based on several projects methods.



The health check would compare project performance against good practices in the areas of:

Project Processes

Starting up, planning, day to day control, governance, closure and learning

Project Approaches

Organisation, roles, control of risk and quality, change management, configuration management, credible plans

Project Techniques

Finance and business cases, definition of deliverables, change requests, issue handling, quality review, estimation, scheduling, dependency management, status monitoring and reporting



Success Factors

Capability to understand & intervene in projects includes management of:

- Complexity

- Uncertainty

- Risks



It needs:

- Creative-reflective managers

- Smart tools

- Tailored practices

Definitions and structures

Vision definition

The Vision Statement provides a customer-facing definition of what to expect from the transformed business - its capabilities, service levels, costs and so on. The changed business might be to deliver a particular service, to perform the same service but in a more efficient way, or to be better than the competition.

Blueprint

The Blueprint defines the structure and composition of the changed organisation that, after delivery, should demonstrate the capabilities expressed in the Vision Statement. The Blueprint is a detailed description of what the organisation looks like in terms of its business processes, people, information systems and facilities and its data. It is used to maintain the focus of the programme on the delivery of the new capability.

Programme Mandate

The Programme Mandate is the trigger for the programme. The programme mandate should describe the strategic requirements of the programme and clearly map back to the overall strategic plans of the organisation.  It must describe the business changes that will result and how these impact existing services and strategies

Business case

The Business Case is used to obtain management commitment and approval for investment in business change, through rationale for the investment. The Business Case provides a framework for planning and management of the business change. The ongoing viability of the programme will be monitored against the Business Case at least at the end of every key stage within the programme.

Benefit profile

The benefit profile provides a full description of each benefit. The identification, monitoring and measurements of benefits are a fundamental part of successful Programme Management.

Benefit realisation plan

The Benefits Realisation Plan is a complete view of all the Benefit Profiles in the form of a schedule defining when each benefit or groups of benefits will be realised and any handover activities that are required. This plan will be developed alongside the Programme Plan and Business Case to ensure close alignment between delivery of capability and realisation of benefits against associated costs and risks.

Programme Brief

The Programme Brief is developed in Identifying a Programme Process and is the starting point for the programme definition. The purpose of this document is to provide an outline justification for the programme including its objectives, risks, cost, timescale and effort estimates. The creation of the Programme Brief avoids having to spend a large amount of time and effort on the full definition prior to deciding whether to continue or not

Stakeholder & communication

A stakeholder inventory is a useful way of mapping the various stakeholders against their interests in the programme and its activities and outcomes. On the basis of this inventory a communicationplan need to be setup.

 

Duties of the programme manager

Define the roadmap as per the vision stated by the programme accountable executive, Plan and design the programme, and proactively monitor its overall progress, resolving issues and initiating corrective action as appropriate

Define the programmes governance framework

Monitors and directs or performs day-to-day operations of the assigned programme to ensure that policies and procedures are being followed, that goals and objectives are met, and that services and projects are being accomplished efficiently and effectively; takes corrective action as necessary and, where subordinates are present, may relieve them of the most difficult, sensitive or controversial projects within the programme.

Develops and monitors the programmes budget; oversees financial well-being of the programme by analyzing cost effectiveness and exercising cost controls; prepares, submits and justifies budget enhancement requests to the programme Accountable executive.

Confers with and represents the programme in meetings with other departments and associated; fosters collaborative working relationships to the benefit of the programme.

Prioritizes and allocates available programme resources; reviews and evaluates programme and service delivery, makes recommendation for and executes changes in operations to ensure maximum effective service provision; assists in developing new programme function elements, including researching, compiling and analyzing supporting data.

Ensure the integrity of the programme, focusing inwardly on the internal consistency of the programme; and outwardly on its coherence with infrastructure planning, interfaces with other programme and corporate technical and specialist standards

Manage the programmes budget on behalf of the programme Accountable Executive, monitoring the expenditures and costs against benefits that are realised as the programme progresses

Ensure that the delivery of new products or services from the projects meets requirements and is to the appropriate quality, on time and within budget, in accordance with the programme plan and programme governance arrangements

Manage the dependencies and interfaces between projects

Manage risks to the programmes successful outcome

Initiate extra activities and other management interventions wherever gaps in the programme are identified or issues arise

Produce, and monitor delivery against, the programme benefits profile

Report programme progress at regular intervals to the programme Accountable Executive,

Facilitate the appointment of individuals to the project delivery teams

Ensure maximum efficiency in the allocation of resources and skills within the Project Portfolio

Ensure staff assigned to the programme are fully aware of their responsibilities, and conduct assignment reviews for direct-reporting staff on completion of their assignment.

Manage third party contributions to the programme

 

The Blueprint defines the structure and composition of the changed organisation that, after delivery, should demonstrate the capabilities expressed in the Vision Statement. The Blueprint is a detailed description of what the organisation looks like in terms of its business processes, people, information systems and facilities and its data. It is used to maintain the focus of the programme on the delivery of the new capability.

Background

Portfolio management takes a holistic view of a company’s overall strategy. Both IT and business leaders vetprogram proposals by matching them with the company’s strategic objectives. The portfolio should be managed like a financial portfolio; riskier strategic investments (high-growth stocks) are balanced with more conservative investments (cash funds), and the mix is constantly monitored to assess which programs are on track, which need help and which should be shut down. Program and Portfolio management has been moving from an ad hoc set of activities to standard disciplines and formal practices

Definitions and structures

 

The portfolio reflects the strategy of the company and the budget authorised by the board. To manage a portfolio in programs will give the company the optimisation of benefits the company is searching for within the portfolio of the companies’ strategy. Budget from the portfolio should be allocated to each Each program should have a strategic definition and should be translated to a set off achievable projects with a priority schedule. Theprogram manager should report back to the portfolio manager the benefits expected and the return of investment. The portfolio manager should manage the dependencies between programs. The program manager should manage the dependencies between the projects in his program. Within the program priorities should be set and choices should be made for each project in the program within the given program budget. Each program is responsible for the benefits delivery for the full set of projects.

Program and Portfolio management has been moving from an ad hoc set of activities to standard disciplines and formal practices.