So now that we have an idea of what Strategy Deployment is, we can begin to answer the next question: “How does strategy deployment work?”
The short answer is people. As part of the Lean efficiency science, Strategy Deployment places tremendous importance on frontline associates in a company. Associates are not mere cogs in a wheel – they are intelligent contributors to the design and execution processes.
Not only do associates have the right to be successful at their job each and every time they do it, they are far and away the most important resource of any company. The answer to “how does strategy deployment work,” is not just “the CEO” or executive, or “the company’s top salesman” whose numbers are unbeatable.
The company is not successful because of one or two team members. The organization is successful when every team member plays his or her role effectively.
The two fathers of Lean Six Sigma science, Dr. W. Edward Deming and Taiichi Ohno, were very aware of this importance of associates, and of how leaders should cultivate the work environment that comes from respecting the creativity of employees. Employees play a big role in the three levels of strategy deployment.
Where Do You Start? Purpose
Efficiency starts with purpose. This is embodied in the aim of the system, or “why we exist statement”. No associate is going to work as hard as he or she can and do so successfully if the goal he is striving for is unclear.
Effective leaders, Dr. Deming says, are those who understand and convey to their associates the meaning of what they do. Effective leaders teach all the team members what the aim of the organization is, and then show how their individual roles assist in attaining that aim. Everyone in the organization must be focused on the aim of the organization – clarity of purpose is key.
For any given company, the primary goal should be customer satisfaction. Every team member, from the frontline worker to the CEO, should have as their primary focus the fulfillment of the strategy which will meet customer needs and demands. This is one reason associates are so important in a company – they are in a uniquely powerful position to actually deliver satisfactory results to each client.
How Do You Accomplish That Purpose? Business Strategies
The next level of strategy deployment are business strategies. These are the strategies the organization will employ to fulfill its aim or purpose. With the primary aim of the organization in mind, each department of the company can complete its initiatives, and fulfill its performance objectives, to the benefit of the whole.
In a company of any size, well-executive business strategies are what sets them apart from the competition. Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.
How Do You Measure Those Strategies? Functional Objectives and Performance Measures
The final level of strategy deployment are functional objectives and performance measures. These are the leading and lagging indicators of overall business strategy success.
When deploying the business strategy for the purpose of achieving the aim of the system, functional objectives (lagging indicators) are established, and achieved via initiatives which are measured through specific performance measures (leading indicators). These cascading, and linked indicators, measure the company’s progress towards accomplishing its aim.
By having SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and trackable) objectives and measures, an organization is able to track progress daily, weekly, and monthly – instead of getting to the end of the year and realizing they were not successful in fulfilling their strategy that year.
Overall, the strategy deployment process works like this: everyone in the company or organization (front-line associates, supervisors, department directors, and executives) get on the same page to fulfill the aim of the organization.
Once they are all focused on the organizational purpose and strategy, the leaders can then support the collaborative team effort, thereby fulfilling organizational objectives, and performance measures.
Employee trust and engagement grows, and customer loyalty is achieved. That is how strategy deployment works, and why it is so important.