Anyone who has a role in their organisation’s strategic planning and execution will be well aware of the numerous risks and challenges involved.
Even in a business era that espouses teamwork and collaboration more than ever before, disjointed strategic planning and the formation of departmental silos are still all too common occurrences. According to Craig Catley, director at StrategyBlocks, the main issue for businesses is that there are just too many versions of the same strategy floating around.
“The problem in a lot of industries is that there is quite a bit of confusion, simply because there are multiple versions of the strategic plan, and this can lead to organisations getting really bogged down,” he says.
“In fact, some spend so much time debating or trying to get different parts of the business aligned with the strategy that they never get round to executing the strategy at all.”
For instance, many businesses seem to operate with two different and disconnected strategies. First there is an “official”, high-level corporate plan that is published and almost immediately becomes static and out of date. Thus “unofficial” employee editions are borne out of the needs of individual departments, and these eventually fail to resemble the original plan.
Additionally, when you factor in the separate operational plans used by individual business units, it’s easy to see that there are simply too many plans.
“They’re just not coming together in unified, standardised strategic plan that aligns with the whole organisation,” Mr Catley says.
StrategyBlocks rises to meet the challenge
StrategyBlocks strategy planning software provides an effective solution to this widespread business problem. It brings together the entire organisation in a highly visual framework to eliminate inconsistencies, enhance collaboration and help speed the strategy to its execution.
But what sets it apart from every other solution out there?
“Many of the tools in the market are very operational, they’re quite formulaic and process-driven,” says Mr Catley.
“To achieve a strategic goal, you need to decompose high-level ideas down to their component parts, and monitor the influences: effort, key indicators, risk and investment. As an executive you will want to see all these contributing factors all from the same page to accurately and quickly monitor execution.”
“Other products are not particularly visual and don’t provide any form of dashboard. There’s no graphical front end to allow you to monitor the health of execution – and that’s always been a key differentiator for StrategyBlocks.”
What lies ahead for StrategyBlocks?
Those who are already using the software – and indeed those considering adopting it in the near future – will be pleased to hear about some exciting updates and new features lined up this year.
According to Mr Catley, there are three major software updates in the pipeline, the biggest of which is the shift to the HTML5 platform. This essentially means that the software can now scale to any device you happen to be viewing the strategy on, catering for a wider range of browsers and hardware such as tablets.
StrategyBlocks will also implement a completely revamped system for the management of KPIs, introducing a whole new scorecard format. Organisations will therefore be able to access vital figures more quickly and gain a better view of its strategic health.
In addition, a new KPI database will allow businesses to seamlessly and instantly integrate existing KPIs into the StrategyBlocks interface.
Mr Catley says these initiatives will help StrategyBlocks continue to achieve its goal of enhancing employee collaboration and engagement when executing the strategy.
“People really want to feel like they’re part of the strategy, they don’t want to feel disenfranchised from it,” he says.
“It’s well known that 85 per cent of people don’t know what their organisation’s mission statement is, and we’re just trying to get them more engaged.”