Who ever thought 2020 would turn out like it did? Now you’re moving your company to 2021 and hopefully, you are developing a new strategy (a new plan) to execute. Not only do you create it, you add your voice to it. The company needs your voice backing the 2021 strategy. There is continued fear, thanks to the media, that can only be squelched by you…the CEO.
As you move into 2021, you’ll want to have the right data and right team members at the table. Stepping forward into the unknown is what companies do every day, but the unknown of today is much, much bigger.
Your strategy is your roadmap. Whether you’re looking to
- identify your customer’s new/real needs,
- set new business priorities,
- outline plans for scaling your operation,
- determine a product roadmap for new products/services…you’ll need a strategy.
Coming to the realization that your company needs a solid, strategic plan for 2021 is a no brainer. Here are 6 simple steps to help you create and deliver an effective business strategy:
- Collect and review the data
To know where you’re heading, you have to know where you are right now. Pull out your metrics for 2020 and review. If needed, you may need outside data analytics to help you focus on core KPIs that drive your business.
- What worked well?
- What could have been better?
- Where are the opportunities for 2021?
- What, in our client’s needs (by segment) has changed that requires us to make necessary changes to meet their needs?
- SWOT Analysis- In the SWOT Analysis, what is Plan A and Plan B. Based on 2020, you will want alternatives for successful execution.
- The most important part of this process – have the right people at the table to break this down.
- Articulate or modify your vision statement
The direction of your company, your vision statement, needs to be simply and clearly stated for all to know and understand. What is your purpose, and what values do you aspire to live out.
- Articulate or modify your mission statement
The company’s purpose for existence and core objectives are defined in the mission statement. This focuses on what needs done in the short term to realize a long-term vision (3 to 5 years).
- What do we do?
- How do we do it?
- Customers we serve?
- Transformational value we bring to our customers?
- Identify strategic objectives
At this stage, the aim is to develop a set of high-level objectives for each areas of the business. Why? They need to be aligned to the vision and mission of the company. If not, you’ll have dissension and splinters within your company. These strategic objectives need to highlight the priorities and inform the plans that will ensure delivery of the company’s vision and mission.
By taking a look back at your review in step one, in particular the SWOT analysis, you can incorporate any identified strengths and weaknesses into your objectives. It is imperative that your objectives must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related). Your objectives must include how it will be measured (or KPI’s), people responsible for each area or process, necessary resource allocation and necessary budget.
We now bring substance to the objectives by translating these strategic objectives into detailed, short-term, measurable results. Processes identified, who is responsible and measurable KPIs. This may include key resources or partners/vendors needed to make successful delivery of your solutions to meet your customer’s needs.
We focus on 3 key things: 1. measurable results 2. communicating to key stakeholders and their communication through the ranks 3. what they need to do and when.
Like agile development in software development, you need agile execution, called short sprints, to execute the strategy in practice. (Sprint defined- sprint is one timeboxed iteration of a continuous development cycle. Within a sprint, planned amount of work has to be completed by the team, made ready for review and measured.)
- Performance Management
With all this planning, it now comes down to having the right people, right processes and right technology to execute. Weekly measurement, definitely monthly, may be needed early 2021, so that you can correct course if changes occur or you realize the assumptions were wrong. Should another pandemic rise up, your ecosystem may be impaired.
Managing and monitoring a whole strategy is a complex task, so knowing what KPIs drive your organization will need to be continually monitored. You can’t afford to be slow in making changes (i.e. replacing a leader) in this market. Time is of the essence, and courageous decisions will need to be made.
Good luck in 2021. If our team can assist you in strategy or execution, please contact us at [email protected].
Attached is a Strategy and Accountability Tool, by customer segment, hat may be helpful. Click here to get