Adrian
3 min readMar 24, 2024

--

The Reason behind a Strategy

Strategic Management Series

Many of the efforts that go on in organizations are just castles built into the thin air, and even if some of the architectures are wonderful, without a foundation they tend to crash under their own weight. For example, the investment in a modern BI solution, in an ERP or CRM system, seldom meets an organization’s expectations, and what’s even more unfortunate is that the potential introduced by the investments is only to a small degree harnessed, while the same old problems continue to exist, typically in new contexts.

An architect more likely would ask himself: What would be that foundation needed to support a castle or the whole settlement the castle belongs to? From what needs to be made? How should it be structured? How often needs to be reconsolidated and when? Who will participate in its building and its maintenance? What it still needed to make the infrastructure self-reliant? What other architects do? What’s best practice in the field? Many questions for which the architect needs to find optimal answers.

The strength of an edifice lies in its foundation. Its main purpose is to provide a solid, durable, self-reliant and maintainable structure on which the edifice can be anchored, that can support the current and future load of the edifice, and that keeps the edifice standing in face of calamities. It must therefore address the core challenges faced by the edifice during its lifetime. When one has a group of edifices holding together as a settlement, there’s needed a foundation to support the whole settlement and not only one edifice. Moreover, the foundation needs to be customized to address environment’s characteristics and owners’ plans for further development.

The foundation on which modern organizations build their edifice is a strategy rooted in organizations’ reason of existence (the mission), wishes of becoming (the vision), beliefs (the core values) and fundamental truths (the principles). A strategy , a term borrowed from military, is a set of coordinated and sustainable actions following a set of well-defined goals, actions devised into a plan and designed to create value and overcome an organization’s challenges . Through its character a strategy is the perfect tool for addressing holistically the problems, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses existing in an organization, of aligning the objectives toward the same goals, of providing transparency and common understanding into the status quo and the road ahead.

Having defined a strategy will not make things happen by themselves, one needs also the capabilities of executing the strategy as a whole, one needs clear roles with responsibilities and proper authority. In addition, the strategy needs to be adapted in time to serve its purpose. This might mean changing the level of detail, changing the strategy when opportunities or threats were identified, when goals become obsolete. To make this possible is needed to define several processes to support the strategy through its whole lifecycle and a set of metrics to make the progress visible.

There are organizations that make it without having a written strategy, some go with the inertia provided by the adoption of tools, with the experience of individual workers that through their cooperation provide the improvement needed. In a higher or lower degree there’s a strategy fragmented in each individual or group, however the strategies don’t necessarily converge. The problem with such approaches is that the results are often suboptimal, especially because they are fragmented efforts, more likely with different contradictory goals.

As any other tool a strategy has a potential power that when adequately harnessed can help organizations achieve their (strategic) goals, though it depends on each organization to harness that potential.

Originally published at https://sql-troubles.blogspot.com. Created: May-2019, Last Reviewed: Mar-2024

--

--

Adrian

IT professional/blogger with more than 24 years experience in IT - Software Engineering, BI & Analytics, Data, Project, Quality, Database & Knowledge Management