4 Steps to Successful Strategy Execution

By Indeed Editorial Team

June 22, 2021

Strategy execution is the implementation of a plan that defines specific tasks and goals. If your role includes implementing strategies in the workplace, then learning more about strategy execution could be useful. In this article, we discuss strategy execution, the main approaches that businesses use to implement a strategy, four steps to successful strategy execution and tips to guide you.

What is strategy execution?

Strategic execution is the implementation of a strategic plan used to achieve an organization's goals. Strategic execution uses processes, systems or a series of decisions to clarify goals for employees and define steps or actions the company needs to take in order to reach its goals. It's helpful to consider which of these approaches is best to implement your strategy.

Related: Business Strategy vs. Corporate Strategy: What's the Difference?

What are the benefits of strategy execution?

Strategy execution can benefit a company and its employees in these ways:

Provides clarity

Strategy execution helps a business to clarify and achieve its goals. It does this by defining tasks and assigning each one to an employee, with details on how and when to complete the task. Strategy execution emphasizes communication and ensures that information gets shared with everyone who needs it.

Increases engagement

Strategic execution engages shareholders, business executives, managers and their teams in the planning process. This is beneficial for accomplishing goals because more people are working toward a common achievement. Engaging employees also aids in job satisfaction by letting them play a role in the decision-making processes that affect them.

Activates initiatives

Strategy execution helps activate company initiatives by implementing plans to further goals. This helps companies with growth and innovation. For example, an initiative may be to diversify the workplace and a strategy can help activate this initiative by including processes that require the company to hire more talent.

Related: Strategic Initiatives: Definition, Characteristics and Types

Mainstream approaches to strategy execution

There are three approaches to strategy execution:

Approach strategy execution as a process

One approach to strategy execution is to view it as a process. A process can help identify important aspects of strategy execution and define the steps a team needs to take in order to implement the strategy. When you approach strategy execution as a process, it's important to identify the following:

  • People: Determining who the strategy involves is an important step in planning the strategy. Consider who your shareholders, employees, business owners, executives and consumers are and how they fit into your strategy.

  • Strategy: Developing a strategy with the goals you want to accomplish and steps to accomplish them is key to strategy execution.

  • Operations: Determine what software systems, teams or workflows to involve in the strategy. Identifying the tools that your team needs to implement the strategy is a benefit of using a process that helps ensure preparedness.

Approach strategy execution as a system

You can also approach strategy execution as a system. A system is an organized set of procedures or principles and managers can use these to guide the execution of strategy. This approach outlines these six stages to implement the strategy:

  1. Develop the strategy. When you develop a strategy, decide on a method for implementing your plan. This involves channels for communication, identification of those the strategy affects and the goals a strategy seeks to accomplish.

  2. Create a plan for the strategy. The second stage of the strategy execution system is to outline the plan for how to accomplish the goals. This plan defines tasks and identifies the employee or team responsible for completing them.

  3. Align the strategy with company goals. It's important that business strategies align with company goals to help the business further its overall goals. You can ensure the strategy helps achieve company goals by choosing performance metrics associated with the goal you want to accomplish.

  4. Coordinate business operations. Coordinating operations means scheduling regular meetings to discuss progress with strategy implementation. It's important to discuss the progress at each stage of implementation in case the strategy needs adjustments.

  5. Monitor performance of the strategy and the team. While strategy execution is in progress, managers can monitor the progress of goals and of each team member. Consider using task management software to help track employee progress and receive updates on task completion.

  6. Test and adjust the strategy. The final stage in a strategy execution system is to test the strategy in your company. It's helpful to implement a new strategy in one department at a time because the small scale helps reduce risk and shows how successful the strategy is.

Related: Benefits of Workflow Management and 13 Best Workflow Management Software

Approach strategy execution as a decision-making process

Some approach strategy execution as a decision-making process. This involves a series of decisions that help implement a strategy. For example, if a sales team uses the decision-making process approach to strategy execution, they would list questions and topics they need to make decisions about, such as their target audience, product offers and marketing budget, and then use the following steps to make their decision:

  1. Identify the issue: Determine the issue and what decision you need to make.

  2. Collect information: Gather details about the problem and who or what your decision may affect.

  3. Consider alternatives: Before deciding, be sure to consider all the possibilities to solve the problem.

  4. Decide: Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each choice and then make your decision.

This approach helps the team to understand the strategy and create a pattern in decision-making that leads to a successful business strategy.

Related: Decision-Making Models: Definitions and Examples

4 steps for strategy execution

You can follow these fours steps to help you execute your strategy:

1. Create a plan for communication

Good communication can help to ensure the success of your execution strategy. Make a plan to facilitate team communication at each step of strategy implementation. Scheduling regular meetings and choosing a channel for daily communication, such as email, can help facilitate communication. Managers can establish clear communication amongst their team by being excellent communicators.

Related: How To Be a Good Communicator

2. Identify goals

In order to execute a strategy, you need to identify your goals and what you want to accomplish, such as updating technology systems to increase efficiency. By identifying goals, managers can develop the steps to reach the goal successfully. For this example, the strategy may involve getting new computers, updating software and training employees how to use the software.

Related: What Are Business Goals? Definition, How To Set Business Goals and Examples

3. Determine tasks and priorities

With goals in mind, managers can determine which tasks to complete in order to accomplish them. It's also helpful to prioritize these tasks so that team members know when to complete each one. In determining tasks, consider who on the team is best suited for each job and ensure they know how and when their task needs to be completed. Using a project management tool, such as a process diagram, can help organize steps in a strategy.

Related: How To Create a Business Process Diagram

4. Evaluate the strategy

The last step of strategy execution is to evaluate your strategy. Using performance metrics, you and your team can determine how the strategy is effective and where you can make improvements. One way to evaluate your strategy is to gather feedback from the team. This can provide valuable insight into goals, task completion, processes and workflows.

Related: 16 Process Metrics To Track

Tips for strategy execution

Here are some tips to help improve strategy execution in your workplace:

Involve the team in planning

Involving any personnel who the strategy includes or affects in strategy execution and development can help with implementation Employees who help develop strategies and create plans to implement them gain a better understanding of the strategy, which can help accomplish steps in the plan quickly. Team members who play a role in creating a strategy may be more accepting of the changes the strategy introduces.

Create a strategy to fit your workplace culture

Consider the culture that exists in your workplace when crafting new strategies. For example, if your workplace culture encourages the use of technology, it would be appropriate to implement a strategy that heavily incorporates computer software. The strengths of your workplace culture can help the implementation of a strategy.

Related: What Is Company Culture? (With Examples)

Help team members stay organized

Organizational skills impact strategy execution positively. Being organizational can help employees keep track of their tasks, communicate regularly and meet goals. It's useful to give team members tools that help them stay organized. For example, process maps can help define and assign tasks. Time-tracking tools could also help manage time more effectively.

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