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Why do so many companies find it so easy to come up with great ideas but struggle to see these strategies through to execution?

A dark photo of a hand touching a van der graff generator

Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or abattle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling.
Naveen Jain

Simplistically, when constructing a building you start at the foundations (current state), gather the requirements (power, water, plumbing, plans etc) before the build has begun. The architect’s plan shows the finished product (future state), which the builder will review, cost and identify if there are any omissions or risks (gap analysis).

It’s all very understandable, logical and sound, that’s why not too many buildings fall down. In the end, it is a process that is planned, costed, agreed and delivered on time (in most cases).

At BAPL, we see many companies with a plethora of great ideas on how to improve their business however the company fails continually to deliver ideas through to operations. Projects often fail to take a strategic view to deliver successful business benefits.

Additionally, strategies often lack exceptional analysis, metrics and the details required to measure if the execution has been successful. Time after time, we have reviewed business cases that lack the exceptional analysis required to manage outcomes through to operational delivery and successful benefits realisation. Over documented business cases of 70+ pages containing duplicated information, which is obviously trying to justify the project. If the project is based on a strategy that does not stack up even after good analysis is applied, then choose another project rather than wasting company money on a poor idea.

A major factor in this failing from strategy to execution is bidirectional requirements traceability. Traceability from the strategy to the solution, and execution in everyday operations within business units (and back again). If starting with a solution, trace back to the problem or opportunity it resolves. If starting from the strategy, making sure the solution delivers the expected outcomes.  Implementing good traceability from the initial strategic planning right the way to delivering the new capability is the step in the right direction for success.

So start with the Why, use a service for benefits tracing & management and business case definition from a Business Analysis company, to keep the strategy linked to execution and the execution linked to strategy.

Have you ever seen an organisation with a great idea(s) fail to execute this into everyday operations?

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