Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Strategic Planning - You must have a plan

My employer organized a strategic planning offsite two years ago for what was known as "The Management Team". The Management Team consisted of the directors of the ten, already established, business units within the organization.  The offsite would be to discuss what the strategic plan would be for the next 5-10 years.  The team was tasked by the CEO to identify important business goals that would be needed to increase software needs and requirements within government and industrial communities.

The first mistake, I believe, is there wasn't a preplanned agenda.  As stated in the article "The Real Value of Strategic Planning",  a group can not just jump in to a restructuring conversation without prior preparation.  This group needed to evaluate all the processes and establish a baseline of where the company stood at that moment. This group needed to identify a specific strategic concept and then identify the capabilities of each business unit that would get them to the established goal.

The take away from the offsite was that the management team changed their name to Executive Leadership Team and reduced the number of business units from 10 to 4 Research/Engineering directorates and 3 operational units.  Each directorate would establish their own criteria for success and the 3 operational units would keep them abreast of finance and operational issues.  That was two years ago - since then there has been no updates on how the new organization was meeting the initial goals that were set at the offsite. 

The take away from this week's readings are that the Executive Leadership Team, at my company, needs a training session on how to cohesively come up with a corporate vision and then how to establish strategic goals.  They also need to have training on how to create a valuable Balanced Scorecard. This would give them valuable insight into what would be required to meet all of the goals required to succeed in today's competitive software engineering environment.

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