A survey by Michael Mankins identified the following breakdown of key problem areas related to strategy failure: Inadequate resourcing 7.5%; Poorly communicated strategy 5.2%; Actions required to execute not clearly defined 4.5%; Culture or silos blocking execution 3.7%; Inadequate performance monitoring 3%; Inadequate consequences or rewards for failure/success 2.7%
Before you hire more people, check out your work levels!
There are typically four to six levels of work needed to deliver the business purpose. This work enables service delivery, adding value for the future and delivering the strategic intent. The goal is to have each level of work set in place, with an individual understanding the work above, accepting responsibility for their own level of work and have clarity regarding the work below.
Problems occur when there are gaps in work or overlapping levels, placing stress on resources. An example of a gap in work is where a senior manager gets frustrated because strategic projects are not completed as operational managers are too busy with the day-to-day.
I was recently confronted by a similar situation where execution of strategy was a concern. Gaps in work levels was the root cause. By simply realigning tasks over a 6 month period and building key skills, the same people delivered transformational improvement.
Before accepting the resourcing issue as a root cause of poor execution, check out levels of work!