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Your vision is starting to come together. Last week we reviewed your business model in the form of your end-to-end process design, which defines your organizations capability to deliver your vision. At this point you should begin to see a number of gaps between your future state (the vision of where you want to go) and your current state (where you are today). These gaps will need to be closed and to do this we need to start action planning.
Start by making a list of all of the gaps that need to be resolved and then brainstorm around each item to determine possible solutions. Assign each solution to a team member and then meet again in a week or two to discuss the results. What you have created is an action list organized around your strategy.
Remember our end-to-end process above? Some of the things that should be on your action list include:
- Cost of inquiries or leads are too high
- Sales conversion is too low
- % on-time delivery is too low
- Improvement projects are too focused on manufacturing
Finalizing Your Strategy
When your team meets again it will be time to decide on your strategy. Some of the proposed solutions will be easy, some hard. Some will take years to implement and some can happen quickly. That is ok because strategy takes years. We can’t change overnight. The important thing to produce is a direction, a target (your vision), and a plan on how to get there.
The final step is to condense the process and what you have learned into a presentation for the world. You will need to tell your customers, employees, other management, shareholders, suppliers, and anyone else. So, you will need a presentation that can be modified. Your presentation is your story of the future. People love and remember stories so tell a good one. I am not talking about a dry presentation of the schedule and the tasks to be completed, but one that tells others what your future looks like. Tell it in a way so that people can experience your vision and you will get their buy-in. Engage the listener’s senses.
Does Your Strategy Work?
How do you know if your strategy aligns with your vision? If it does then you should be creating compelling new product/service offerings for your customers, providing product delivery as defined by your customers, generating attractive returns for your stakeholders, developing the best place to work for our employees, and operating value-creating partnerships with your suppliers. In short, you should be seeing success in multiple areas of your organization.
Now you know that your strategy is working. If it continues over time, then it’s aligned with your vision too. If you notice opportunities for improvement, then that is great as well. Now you have a focus of what to work on in the future. Either way, you now have a strategy for your business model.
To learn more about using process improvement programs for your organization, attend the next How to Align a System of People and Processes for Results class. If you are eager to learn more about creating more order out of the chaos you are feeling at work, then the How to Create Well-Defined Processes class is right for you.