How to implement a conceived strategy – 6 secrets of success

Almost every top manager or company owner took part in the strategic session. However, not all of the strategies developed have been fully implemented. Evgeny Dorofeev, an expert at the IIDF accelerator for b2b sales, will tell you why this happens and how to make the strategic session really serve as a starting point for something grandiose.

How to implement a conceived strategy – 6 secrets of success

Working in IIDF and CROC with IT companies, integrators and product teams in corporations, I see in dozens of business units a picture of when there is a strategy but no result. By aligning business elements, such as goal, strategy, tactics, SMART tasks, implementation team, timeline, image of the result, with each other, it is often possible to correct the situation and bring the business to the goal.

The company’s strategy, which is born during the session, is a path to achieving a goal, a set of answers to the question: “What exactly needs to be done to arrive at the goal.”

1. Purpose

Formulate and write a goal. Preferably by SMART. That is, the wording should be specific, measurable, ambitious, but achievable and limited in time.

Working with dozens and hundreds of product teams in IT companies, I see how a large number of people unite and do a lot of difficult work. Unfortunately, sometimes without result. It is important that this work does not remain a process.

Having a well-described image of the result that the company should achieve is the key to the success of forming a good and understandable goal.

Described the result, formulated a goal – ask yourself test questions: “How do we know that we did a good job? How will a bad result differ from a good one? Where is the line between them? What metric or event will tell us that a good result has come?

Here are some examples of bad targets:

  • “Our company needs sales growth”;
  • “All clients should be happy”;
  • “We need to bring products to international markets.”

By themselves, these phrases are very good and positive, but not specific, so they will not work as a goal. The wording is very abstract. It looks like the slogans “Peace. Work. May “or” For all good, against all bad. ”

And here are some good statements of the company’s goals:

  • “According to the results of the 2022 fiscal year, sales revenue should grow by 40% and reach the value of Z million rubles”;
  • “The growth of NPS (Net Promoter Score) across the entire customer base in 2021 must be at least N”;
  • “By the end of 2022, at least three products must have 10+ sales in 5 or more countries with a total revenue of at least N million dollars.”

It is difficult or impossible to decompose an abstract goal into its components, whether we have achieved it unambiguously or not.

A good goal, on the contrary, is easily decomposed into components, it becomes possible to determine the intermediate results that need to be obtained along the path of movement towards it.

2. Agenda management and facilitation

A strategic session should not turn into a pointless discussion or an argument, at the end of which a compromise will not be found between opponents. The opinions of all or most of the participants are very important. It is a difficult task to give the floor to everyone, to listen, to keep the attention and focus of the audience, to take into account the maximum of useful information, insights and conclusions.

A properly designed and implemented discussion format leads to the emergence of strategic session artifacts, with which the team works further.

3. Initiatives

The first results of the session are the initiatives that need to be implemented within the framework of the strategy. This is a list of changes to be implemented. Usually, this is the “what” to do in order to implement the company’s strategy.

Some companies, conducting a strategic session, stop at this stage. The most advanced go further – they decompose initiatives into their components.

4. Tactics

The question “how” to do this very “what” is answered by tactical measures formulated in the next level of decomposition. That is, exactly what actions need to be taken, when, to whom and why.

5. SMART tasks

The division of individual tactical measures into tasks brings the level of strategy abstraction to a minimum. The more specifically the tasks are described, the smaller the zone of uncertainty. And the more clear is the plan for the implementation of the strategy. SMART logic also comes in handy when formulating tasks. It is important not only to clearly describe the tasks, but also to determine the responsible persons, the implementation team, the deadlines, the image of the result that will be obtained through the implementation of these tasks.

Once a strategy is formed, a large number of companies make a fatal mistake. Those who designed the session often think that the strategy will come to fruition on its own. After all, there is a plan, tasks, responsible deadlines.

But, like any plan, the strategy requires updating, updating and making changes during implementation.

6. Adjustment of strategy implementation

At this point, a good solution is to accompany the initiative groups implementing the strategic plan. Meetings in small teams. New facilitation mini-sessions in which alternative paths and tasks are developed. To search for such alternative trajectories of movement towards the goal, the same format of work as in the strategic session, but in a shortened version, is suitable. Several methodologies and frameworks will come in handy that will help reduce uncertainty, collect actions, tasks and hypotheses into a system:

  • HADI cycles – an algorithm of actions that helps to build work on testing hypotheses and their impact on business;
  • Working with hypotheses using the ICE method, which is designed to prioritize growth experiments;
  • Some SCRUM rules as a tool for openly demonstrating the state of the current work.

The main result of applying these tools should be a new work plan with new tasks, but within the framework of the same company goal. This is the main test criterion.

After a month or two, it is worth coming to the teams implementing the initiatives and paying attention to two things: the first is the intermediate results, the second is the company’s goal. If the logic of the teams’ work is correct, the existing intermediate results should bring the team closer to the company’s goal at the required speed.

How to get the most:

  • Formulate a SMART goal;
  • Prepare a suitable format and conduct the session correctly;
  • Form the initiatives that need to be implemented to achieve the goal (what we are doing);
  • Define tactical measures (how we do it);
  • Decompose activities to tasks with deadlines, responsible, image of the result;
  • To accompany the teams in the implementation of initiatives in dynamics.

Photo: Unsplash

Source: RB.RU by

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