Developing strategic management solutions
Developing strategic management solutions is key to running a business
There are no shortages of consultancy firms, software applications or management methodologies all ready and willing to help you manage your business or department.
Everyone, it seems, has the answer.
What’s interesting are the structures or underlying processes of nearly these always share a number of common attributes. These characteristics are what form the basis for developing strategic management solutions.
Strategic management solutions are essentially the controls and processes a company incorporates to maximize productivity, effectively combat competition and ultimately become more profitable.
4 Stages of Strategic Management
· Determining a firm’s mission, values and objectives: Sounds simple right? We know who we are and who we want to be. Perhaps, but implementing strategic management solutions requires clearly and comprehensively defining the objectives of an organization and the manner in which they intend to reach those objectives. Not in terms of the specific steps, that will come later. Rather, what are the moral and ethical standards by which the company will operate? What are the core values you refuse to compromise on? Defining these, sharing the results and securing buy-in from all stakeholders has to occur before strategic management can take place.
· Developing plans and the projects needed to support those plans: Reaching critical objectives requires each stakeholder to have a clear indication of their role, expectations and the benefit of completing the project of plan effectively. Nothing will destroy productivity faster than asking a person to “just get it done” without defining the How and Why, let alone securing their buy-in.
· Allocating resources to implement the plans and projects: Determining what it’s going to take in terms of manpower and other resources is the next stage in developing strategic management solutions. Defining and then assigning tasks is only part of this stage. Ensuring stakeholders are equipped to be successful is crucial. Do they have the training, equipment and time needed to complete the task effectively? If so great, if not it is incumbent on the leader to make certain they get the tools they need beforehand.
· Monitor and reassess consistently: Yahoo! Multiple strategic management solutions have been developed and implemented, well done. But a business is nothing if not ever-changing, as are the people that make it successful. Develop a structured procedure for monitoring the solutions and be prepared to make changes when needed; and they will be needed. Even in the unlikely event everything were to remain the same internally, external factors such as the economy and competition will invariably impact the business.
Balanced scorecards are often used to monitor and evaluate progress as well as the overall effectiveness of a company’s strategic management solutions. These are what amount to structured reports, often automated, that track the execution of key activities by staff and project owners.
A relatively recent change in the use of balanced scorecards, and by all accounts a good one, is including input and reporting from all stakeholders. And that includes those not directly involved with implementing the solution. For example, strategic management solutions developed to streamline accounts payable is likely to impact a great deal more than your finance staff.
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