The Ten Step Playbook lays out a path to sustainable organization execution that anyone can implement. It’s based upon many years of execution experience, both good and bad, gained through implementing meaningful change and performance improvement in a variety of situations and roles. While specific names may differ for the ideas presented, the foundation principles remain timeless. The ten steps below can be adopted by any organization seeking to secure purposeful and repeatable execution that delivers substantial organization benefit and real competitive advantage.
The Ten Step Playbook for Organization Execution
1. Know Your Customer.
First knowing your customer is an essential element to delivering great execution. The customer can best be understood through their Customer Value Model, which is comprised of four essential elements, Product Portfolio, Responsiveness, Economic Value, and Relationship Management. Building strong customer loyalty that creates a competitive advantage comes from understanding what the customer wants and then giving the customer more of what they want than your competition.
2. Define Your Vision.
The vision enables the organization’s purpose by delivering superior value for your customer. It should drive the overall enterprise direction and establish the core foundation for organizational alignment. Very few organizations offer a compelling vision that engages stakeholders towards a common purpose.
3. Determine Your Goals.
The goal is the long-term aim of the organization. The achievement of a goal will contribute to the attainment of the vision. While broad goals are not time-bound, annual targets should be developed that deliver incremental gains towards the ultimate aim.
4. Assess Your Capabilities.
An organization’s capability can be found in the business systems and processes that drive the organization’s execution of the value proposition. They represent the source of the strategic change or improvement that must be implemented to achieve the goal that delivers the vision. When working with new clients, we find that less than 20% of organizations can identify the business systems and business processes that deliver their value proposition today.
5. Evaluate Your Opportunities.
Opportunities represent the problems, challenges barriers, and disconnects within an organization that must be understood and systematically addressed to deliver strategic change. Opportunities should be studied at the business system and business process levels within the organization. Sorting through these opportunities and rationalizing them into common characteristics is an essential element of understanding how to solve problems and implement our desired strategy.
6. Develop Your Strategy.
Strategy represents what the organization will change or improve in order to achieve its goals. Strategies should generally go out no further than three years and should be managed in one-year buckets that create the environment for focused delivery.
7. Establish Direct Accountabilities.
Because organization accountability is generally organized around the traditional vertical management structure, most organizations do not have clear lines of accountability that relate to how work gets accomplished. This is a major weakness in organization execution management. Excellent execution requires clear accountability established at the business system and process level so that work can be actively managed and improved to create the desired outcome.
8. Implement Purposeful Measurement.
Most KPI’s do not adequately measure the appropriate the actual work that must be executed to deliver customer value. KPI’s are typically at too high of a level and lack any connection to the management of work on the front lines. Work should be measured where it takes place using performance measures that are accurate, timely and meaningful. “Measuring with a purpose” should be the mantra of every organization.
9. Create a Focused Plan.
The plan represents the series of tactics that must be executed to implement a strategy. Traditional organizations often create stand-alone projects designed to solve specific, often narrow problems. To achieve repeatable execution, project plans should be in place to address both business system and process level performance improvement.
10. Actively Manage Execution.
The lack of regular business system and process performance review is one of the most common weaknesses that we find with new clients. This comes from not having a good understanding of the workflow structure and the cause and effect relationships between performance shortfalls and their source. Active management review should happen on a weekly and monthly basis. Keeping close attention to the front lines is basic to best in class organization performance that brings a competitive advantage.
Getting repeatable and excellent execution is not complicated, just not easy to do. The ten steps shown above provide a systematic way to monitor the execution of a vision, strategy, and plan that increase customer satisfaction and improve organizational performance. While most organizations have in place a vision, goals and high-level strategy, we see very few that have the ten steps listed above as a regular element to their organization execution management.
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