Fast and Reliable Method to Develop a Strategy
Developing a strategy is not a trivial task. This task requires (1) specific competencies, (2) a unique composition of participants, and (3) a particular framework to deliver a final product (а strategy).
The first two requirements (participants and competencies) are evident and challenging to meet by most small and medium companies. That is why not all companies develop strategies, and those undertaking the task do not always do so themselves. Those who do it in-house get a poor quality strategic plan, which sometimes cannot even be called a strategy.
Problems in the Strategy Development Process
In many companies, CEOs and deputy CEOs are unable to develop a strategy professionally. This reality is not only unfortunate but also dangerous to the long-term competitiveness of the company.
But the reason is not just ignorance of strategic methods. We can remedy this problem relatively quickly by training the team in strategy development methods. But there is another problem: they do not know how to organise the strategic process properly.
We know from quality theory that proper organisation of the production process contributes significantly to the quality of the final product. Strategy is a complex product of the distributed intellectual effort of a team. Therefore, no one can overestimate the impact of process design on the outcome.
Let’s rethink this stark reality once again. The CEO and some of his deputies are so busy with operations or incompetent that they cannot create a strategy for their company! Sometimes they find a way out of this situation by delegating this crucial task to an external strategy consultant. However, this solution creates new problems:
- In most cases, an external consultant will not create a strategy that will trigger the alignment process.
- Most likely, the initial plan will need to be revised in the coming months. A team that did not develop the plan will not redesign it quickly to fit the new environment.
- The company is not creating the core competencies that maximise its long-term competitiveness.
In this article, we will discuss how to fix the situation and avoid these problems. In addition, we will find out how to combine the strategy development process and the Scrum approach to project management. Finally, we will also look at how this can affect strategy implementation.
What Innovations will Help Improve the Quality of Strategies?
To solve these problems, we introduced a real management innovation. We have combined an advanced method of strategy development with one of the agile approaches. As a result, our method simplifies and accelerates strategy development, increasing the quality of the plan and the likelihood of its implementation.
Why is this combination possible?
First of all, we had to bring order to the variety of strategic approaches and methods.
The number of frameworks for strategic analysis and approaches to strategic planning has grown tremendously in recent decades. However, it is not possible to use them without a systematic view. Previous attempts to categorise this field of knowledge have turned into monographs that are difficult to work with.
And we have developed a process-oriented classification of strategic approaches – the Periodic Strategic Table (by Dmitri Rytsev).
This classification of methods in the field of strategic management has facilitated their practical application. In addition, this periodic table helps to establish logical links between different approaches and concepts. In this way, it enables the implementation of the vast body of strategic knowledge in organisations.
By inventing the Periodic Strategy Table, we dramatically simplified learning this area of knowledge. The Table facilitates mastering a massive array of vital knowledge. It also helps to imbreed new capabilities to the corporate DNA.
Rytsev’s Periodic Table of Strategic Elements
This Table helps to build up strategic competencies in companies. You can break this work up into clear steps. For example, staff availability to develop a sound strategy now depends only on top management priorities and the time available for training.
In this way, the problem of strategy learning has been simplified for companies and people. But the Periodic Table also helps to clarify the strategic management process.
Is it Possible to Develop a Strategy Using SCRUM?
However, the problem of managing the strategy development process remains relevant. In addition, a framework is needed on how to apply the methods from the table. Therefore, we had to continue the research.
The logical maturity of the enterprise strategic transformation concept lacked one crucial detail: the proven approach to project management – a simple tool to make changes happen.
Our Dynamic Multi-Level Strategic Transformation Framework concept helps us create strategy-driven businesses. We have found the missing ingredient for this holistic conception.
What is that missing ingredient?
SCRUM was a revolutionary approach to building teams, beating deadlines, and boosting productivity developed by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber. This framework ideally fits for the development of new strategies.
Let’s see why?
No one has any doubt that strategy is not just a complex product; it’s a creative, iterative and dynamically changing result of team intellectual efforts.
As you know, the SCRUM method was created specifically to develop such complex products, for example, software. It is also intended to solve complex adaptive problems. These features are highly relevant to the strategy development process.
The resolution of adaptive problems is one of the most critical areas in developing businesses, organisations, countries, cities, and other social systems. We find ways to solve these problems while developing strategies.
*Scrum is an agile framework for managing work with an emphasis on software development. It is designed for teams of three to nine developers who break their work into actions and complete them within timeboxed iterations, called Sprints (30 days or less) and track progress and re-plan in 15-minute stand-up meetings, called Daily Scrums. Approaches to coordinating the work of multiple scrum teams in larger organisations include Large-scale Scrum (LeSS), Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and other. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(software_development)
How Can SCRUM be Applied to the Development of Strategies?
Some might argue that SCRUM, in particular, and AGILE approaches, are generally designed to create software. Perhaps they are right.
However, what is a strategic plan, if not software? Not a computer software, of course, but a clear timetable for the organisation and its parts. They are very similar, aren’t they?
Computer software describes variables and an action plan for computer components to achieve the desired outcome. For example, a strategic plan describes variables, approaches and an action plan for an organisation to achieve a result (vision and strategic goals).
As you can see, there is something in common. This similarity of objects and methods made it possible to apply Scrum to our methodology and create the RSDM: Rapid Strategy Development Method (Rytsev’s Method).
Strategy and strategic management are among the most challenging concepts a manager must master at a particular career stage. However, with our management innovations, these concepts can be learned and implemented by any team.
And the sooner your team do this, the better. Because strategic and systematic thinking expands the horizons of companies and people. These abilities also enhance the career and life of every individual. The capability to apply modern management methods is a significant milestone to success.
How to obtain these capabilities? There is a solution.
RSDM – the More Efficient Way to Develop Strategies
You can see the standard composition of the steps in the method in the illustration below. It is essential to understand that individual steps can easily be replaced or supplemented according to the process-oriented approach from the Rytsev table.
There is also a unique training program to develop your strategy logically, understandable, and feasible. To succeed, you need to study and practice the RSD method.
This method has two different applications:
- Organisational strategic planning (corporate, business, functional strategies).
- Individual strategic planning (personal strategies).
You can learn both in our advanced online courses. In addition, you will discover approaches to developing strategic plans and doing this work through individual steps (sprints).
As you can see, we have extended this method to a related area – personal strategic planning. For example, suppose that you have not yet decided on a career and are still thinking about choosing a future path or implementing ambitious goals for your life. In this case, we suggest that you pay attention to developing personal strategic plans.
Besides the fact that you will create your strategy, you will learn several valuable methods of strategic analysis.
Every manager and the one who wants to become a leader has a choice:
- to manage and develop themselves inside managerial chaos and manual control,
- to work according to a clear long-term plan, adapting it to the continually changing environment if necessary (according to the RSDM framework).
We help organisations to make the strategy development process logical, understandable and feasible.
Our online course gives you timeless knowledge. As a result, you will increase your efficiency, competence and value in the market and, therefore, improve your career prospects.©Deem Rytsev - the author is the founder of Strategium.Space and NooSphereum.Org and specializes in strategic management in his scientific and business activities.
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