Strategic Processes Modeling

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Strategic Processes Modeling
What are the critical strategic processes your functional departments and business units perform that drive or enable your organization to achieve its strategic intent?
Not knowing can put your organization at risk and greatly diminish its ability to accomplish its strategic goals.  Broken or non-existent links create significant vulnerabilities and exposures to unfulfilled objectives. Many times unaware or unsuspected until it’s too late.
If you don’t know, you’re not alone.  But, to know puts you far ahead of your competition.  And knowing will literally change your thinking as well as that of your leaders and managers when it comes to developing, executing, and accomplishing your strategic intent.
Determining Which Processes Are Essential
The challenge.  Select the processes which are absolutely necessary, indispensable, and/or requisite to achieving strategic success.  Identify the processes affecting strategy.  What are the essential processes that drive your strategy?
Using Key Factors for Qualifying and Selecting Strategic Processes
The factors for identifying, assessing, and evaluating strategic processes become the basis for linking what departments and business units do by way of providing services that are directly related to implementing and executing the organization’s strategic goals. It’s not about getting the payroll out on time, or how good we are at recurring journal entries, or keeping the desktops and printers running, it’s about creating and sustaining a future.
Applying the Methodology
The factors (primary, secondary, and tertiary) used in the strategic processes modeling become the catalyst and template for applying a logical and rationale approach.  Each factor has a calculation convention, assessment, and/or selection methodology.  The factors are
1. Weight
Weight is the gravity of the process relative to strategic outcomes.  In other words, how much weight does the process display as a relevancy to strategic accomplishment?
2. Earned Value
To what degree is this process used as an indicator of monitoring whether or not we are on track (actual) with our strategic intent (planned)?
3. Primary Status
How would this process be recognized in the market as being of primary status?  In other words, would there be a flow of recognition or endorsement for this process as being one of high primary status?
4. Direct Contribution
To what degree does this process directly contribute to the goals against which the company’s strategic accomplishments are measured?
5. Association
For illustration, let’s use the generic strategic goals of
(1) Grow Sales, (2) Reduce Costs, (3) Improve Service, and (4) Produce Efficiently. Next, map the association of the critical processes to the four point strategy.
6. Dependency
Does the process derive its makeup and composition from things controlled, such as people, physical, financial, policies, and practices.  Or derive from things managed, such as culture, reputation, goodwill, customer satisfaction, and employee opinion.
Does the process derive its makeup and composition from things uncontrolled, such as market forces, customer behaviors, political climate, acts of nature, global conditions, government regulation.  Or derive from things unknown, such as competitive attacks, new entrants, next big thing, and disruptive technologies.
7. Integration
Let’s consider the process in terms of its symmetry and proportional balance, particularly in regards to its position and equality around the axis of strategic intent.  In other words, does the process carry its weight among its peers?  To be effective, the collective processes must form a tight integrated whole.
8. Interactions
What contribution, direct or inverse, is required in terms of work activities to facilitate or enable the process to exist and function?  In other words, how many work activities does it take to produce the process of “providing financial analysis”? Many times work activities rely on other work activities for completion.  This interchange is known as “possible interactions” (P/I) and can be calculated using a formula where “events” represents work activities
9. Spread
Spread is about focus, contribution, and distribution.  To what degree do the functional department processes focus on and contribute to enabling, driving, and fulfilling the organization’s strategy?  In other words, where do the drivers reside and how do they impact the organization’s long-term sustainability?
10. Isolation
Isolation is about dependency, narrowness, and risk.  Which strategic processes put the organization’s strategy at risk?  In other words, to what extent are processes scrutinized for validity, reliability, and bias?  Have the processes been checked, challenged, corroborated, and accepted with consensus?
11. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Level
Let’s consider the level of knowledge, skills, and abilities of those who are responsible for the delivery of each strategic process using a scale of mastery, professional, or basic.
12. Degree of Difficulty and Control
Let’s consider the degree of difficulty in delivering the strategic process.  For this measurement, consider words like; rigorous, laborious, arduous, and strenuous to make a judgment.  Also, to deliver the process, do you have control of all the key parts?   
13. Form and Presentation
Communicating findings, results, and outcomes through structured presentation and sound interpretation practices is imperative. 
14. Resource Allocation and Priority
When setting resource priorities and allocations you will necessarily need to consider both the importance and effectiveness for each strategic process.  Additionally, you will need to determine the priority based upon your perception of the processes contribution.
15. Measurement
Is our strategy more successful because of this process?  What would happen if this process was done away with?  Does this process help us focus on our strategic intent?  Does this process contribute to our knowledge of the direction our strategy is moving?  In other words, does it
• enhance the execution of our strategy?
• impede the execution of our strategy?
• cause us to change our strategic direction?
Next Steps
Identifying, assessing, and evaluating strategic processes can be a daunting task.  But even more daunting is ignoring and not knowing, putting your organization’s future at risk.  Yes, it will take some hard thinking.  Some strenuous activity.  And, even a few setbacks.  To do otherwise, is not a solution. 
Costs vary according to the scope of the client’s project.  Typically, projects of this type take from two to six months to complete and require dedicated and active participation from the client organization. 
The Ryan Group, Inc.
(214) 613-2582  
Wayne Davis   

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