Methods of company strategy development and Scrum
Developing an organisation strategy is not a trivial task. Not only because this project requires (1) specific competencies, (2) a unique composition of participants, but also because it requires (3) particular organisation of work to deliver a final product (а strategy).
The first two requirements (participants and competencies) are evident and difficult to implement by most small and medium business companies. That is why far from all of them develop strategies, and not all of them do it themselves. Those who decide on this get a disappointing result of work, which sometimes can not even be called a strategy.
Problems of the strategy development process
It turns out that in many companies, the CEO and his deputies cannot develop a strategy at a professional level. This reality is not just sad but also dangerous for the company’s long-term competitiveness.
But the reason is not only their ignorance of strategic methods. We can relatively quickly correct this problem by teaching the correct sequence of strategy development. But there is another problem – they do not know how to organise the process of developing a strategy.
From the whole theory of quality, we know that it is the proper framework of the production process that provides a massive contribution to the quality of the final product. A strategy is a complex product of distributed intellectual efforts of the team, and we cannot overestimate the influence of the process design on the result.
Let us rethink this harsh reality once more: CEO and some deputies are so engaged with operations or incompetent that they fail to create and deliver the strategy of their company! However, they find their way out of this unpleasant situation – they can delegate this crucial task external strategy consultant! However, this decision creates new kinds of problems:
- An external consultant, in most cases, fails to create a strategy that will trigger the alignment.
- The original plan is likely to require a revision in the coming months, but will the team that did not develop the strategy be able to easily and quickly adapt it to the new conditions?
- The company does not build core competencies that maximise its contribution to long-term competitiveness.
Here we will discuss how to fix the situation and avoid these problems. We will find how to fuse the strategy development process and the SCRUM project management framework and how this will affect the success of the strategy implementation.
What innovations will help improve the quality of strategies?
In solving such problems for our clients, we have created a real managerial innovation – the Strategium Space Scrum: a fusion of the framework of developing a development strategy and the method of flexible project management Scrum.
The Strategium Space Scrum simplifies and speeds up the process of developing a strategy, increases the quality of the plan and the likelihood of its implementation.
We will describe this approach later, and now its time to tell about why this combination of methods turned out to be possible.
How to put things in order in a variety of strategic approaches and methods of analysis?
Over the past few decades, the number of techniques and frameworks of strategic analysis and approaches to strategic planning has increased to the extent when it is not possible to cover this without a systematic view. Previous attempts to classify this knowledge turned into big books that can not be practically used in work.
And then a new classification method emerged – the Periodic Strategic System (by Dmitri Rytsev) – useful classification of strategic approaches for practitioners.
This innovation has significantly advanced not just the systematisation of knowledge in the strategic changes management, but also enhanced their practical application. This periodic Table helps to establish logical relationships between various methods and concepts and facilitates the task of mastering an extensive array of strategic knowledge and their practical use in an organisation.
By inventing the Periodic Strategy Table, we dramatically simplified the way to learn and progress in this area. The Table facilitates the task of mastering a massive array of vital knowledge. It also helps to imbreed these new capabilities to the corporate DNA.
Rytsev’s Periodic Table of Strategic Elements
This Table helps to solve the problem of building up strategic competencies in companies. You can now break this work up into clear steps. Now the availability of trained employees who can develop a good strategy depends only on the priorities of top-management and the availability of time required for training.
Thus, the problem of what to learn was simplified both for companies and individuals. But the Periodic Table also helps to clarify the process structure of strategic management. However, the problem of managing the strategy development process remained relevant. The Table does not contain obvious interrelation between the sequential or parallel application of the methods. So we continued the research, and that is what we get in result.
Is it possible to develop a strategy using SCRUM?
To get the logical maturity of enterprise strategic transformation concept, it lacked one crucial detail: the proven approach to project management – a real tool to make changes happen.
We found a method which perfectly fits into our new holistic concept – the Dynamic Multi-Layered System of Strategic Transformation. That concept helps us to create strategy focused enterprises.
What is that missing ingredient?
hat was SCRUM – 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 for the development of 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 the development of businesses, organisations, countries, cities and any 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, in general, is designed to create software. Perhaps they are right.
However, what is a strategy if not a programme? Not computer software, of course, but the schedule for the organisation (or any other social system).They are very similar, are not them?
The computer program is a description of variables and an action plan for the components of a computer and its software to achieve the desired result. The strategy is a description of variables, approaches and an action plan for the parts of the organisation to achieve a result (vision and strategic goals).
As you may see, everything is quite similar. This similarity of objects and methods made it possible to apply Scrum in our methodology and create the Strategium Space Scrum.
Strategy and strategic management are among the most challenging concepts that a manager has to master at a particular stage of the career. With our new developments and management innovations, these approaches can be learned and implemented by a team of any level.
And the sooner your team do this, the better. Because the scale and systematic thinking are what expands the horizons of companies and people. These abilities also enhance development in the career and life of every individual. The capability to apply modern management methods is a significant milestone to success.
How to get these capabilities? There is a solution.
The more efficient way to develop strategies. How to master it?
The task of this article does not include a detailed explanation of our methodology; you can see it in our open lessons.
There is also a unique training program to make the development of your organisation’s strategy logical, understandable and feasible. To succeed, you need to study and practice the Strategium Space Scrum method.
The task of this article does not include a detailed explanation of our methodology; you can see it in our open lessons. There is also a unique training program to make the development of your organisation’s strategy logical, understandable and feasible. To succeed, you need to study and practice the Strategium Space Scrum method.
This method has two different applications:
- Organisational strategic planning (corporate, business, functional strategies ) strategies
- Individual strategic planning (personal strategies)
You can master both of them in the framework of advanced online courses. You can learn the approaches to the development of the excellent plan, the ways to organise this work through the separate stages (sprints), as well as other features of the method.
As you see, we have extended this method to the related area – personal strategic planning. If you have not decided on your career and if you are still thinking about choosing a future path or about implementing a sizeable strategic project in your life, we suggest you pay attention to the course on developing personal long-term plans.
Besides the fact that you will create your strategy, you will learn several useful methods of strategic analysis and elements of the scrum method.
Every manager and the one who wants to become a leader has a choice:
- to manage and develop themselves in the conditions of managerial chaos and manual control
- to work according to clear and high-quality long-term plan, quickly adapting it to the continually changing environment if necessary (according to the Strategium Space Scrum framework)
We help organisations to make the strategy development process logical, understandable and feasible.
Leave us a message if you are ready to study our Strategium Space Scrum framework online.
Our online course gives you timeless knowledge. 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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