Monday, 28 January 2019

Strategy a difficult lesson.

Traditional strategy theories based on the VMOST type approach and those of Porter and Mintzberg present unconvincing output among students.  Mission, goals and vision are easily stated but the problem comes when trying to teach people to convert these into meaningful actions. There seems to be a missing link ,a gulf if you like, between traditional corporate strategy statements and operating model design.

The development of the business model canvas helps here greatly but it still fails to appear in the main textbooks that stick to the older strategic planning tools and theories.

The business model and the expansion of the "how to" part of that model - the operating model is key.

What we need to do is to try to connect up the steps in "strategy to reality" or "strategy to execution" from these currently isolated separate steps into a more continuous development that logically takes us through iterative developing steps towards a sensible outcome that is meaningful in both strategic and day to day terms.

The four steps to success - strategy operating model development implementation and control need to have tools and techniques that create a much more visible end to end process rather than being stuck in their own worlds.

Strategists, architects, project managers and finally the operational managers ,who have to realise the strategy day to day,  all talk different languages and use different approaches that seem to pull everyone in towards the middle of their own area of expertise.

This year we hope to expand on this thinking as we develop a strategy to execution storyboard to help people link strategy through to business as usual using a set of simple tools and approaches.

I have been trialing these ideas with our third year undergraduate students who are studying the UK's only specialist degree in insurance. The Strategic Management Module has given me a great opportunity as a lecturer to try to stitch the parts together and make some sense of the stages that traditionally are taught in a separate way.

I will keep you posted!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

2019 A New Year and a post more.

This blog has been running for since 2013 and I should post more, I know. It is easy to forget or focus on other things. So let me start the year with better intentions with a new brief post.

As I start 2019 I see  reduction in the interest in business architecture as a term and a discipline as in recent years it seems unfortunately to have been absorbed and assimilated by the "Borg" of I.T. Self important guilds and bodies have just, to be frank,  certificated it to death.

What is clear though is that the underlying techniques and tools still are in demand, but from business people in operations and from elsewhere outside of the I .T. department. In reality the term business architecture is not in their vocabulary at all but what they do is. I suppose in truth it doesn't really matter as we should not be marketing a discipline or role as such, which has been quite common over the years, but what is important is the promotion of the right type of good solid design methods.

Marketing the discipline has passed; let us now focus on the outcomes and how to achieve those outcomes instead.

  1. What is the future operation going to look like and why? 
  2. How do I communicate why we are moving this way? 
  3. How do I analyse this poorly presented strategy?
  4. How do I avoid transformation failure and unnecessary expenditure?
  5. Are buzzword topics  necessary or are they a distraction?
  6. How do I plan what to build and when?
Some key questions, a sample set among many others,   that will be answered in 2019.

Happy New Year.....