Introduction to the Strategy Execution Maturity model

Strategy Execution Maturity Model – an introduction

One of the things we often come across among both prospects and customers is the request for advice. Our experience with global businesses has equipped the team with deep insights into a variety of the elements of strategy execution. We are though a software company not a consulting company. For the past 18 months, Paul Docherty our founder has been developing a strategy execution maturity model for strategy execution. We’ve tested this with our consortium attendees as well as with general survey respondents. This post will share the model at a high level. In the near future we’ll be discussing the implications of the model in depth.

As you might expect, we’ve adopted a 4 stage model. Let’s take a look at each of these stages:

Stage 1 – Traditional. This first stage is characterized (from a strategy execution perspective) by a reliance on bottom up budgeting to drive investment and activity and the traditional HR objective management process in which individual either choose or are given a variety of objectives for the year which apparently support the company strategy.

Stage 2 – Disciplined. Organizations at this stage will typically have adopted and developed expertise in project management methodologies. A relatively mature Operational Excellence /Lean Six Sigma function or similar will be delivering “bottom up” benefits often in the form of cost savings and increased efficiency. Additionally, these organizations are likely to be adopting a basic performance management framework. Note this is not an HR framework but a structured approach to metric management. A key element of the defined stage is that businesses at this stage are beginning to develop elements of the culture and capability required to progress to the next level.

Stage 3 – Aligned. The key factor distinguishing organizations at this level is the commencement of a top down approach to execution through the adoption of a formal (though not necessarily complex) method for execution. In some cases this my e through the advanced use of the Balanced Scorecard approach in which the scorecard is used to change mindsets rather than functioning purely as a metric tool. In many other cases, companies will choose Hoshin Planning as the best method for a structured top down cascade and alignment. We do also see simple planning tables and occasionally home grown approaches being used. Businesses will struggle to achieve alignment (stage 3) without a sufficient level of central governance. Whatever this body is called governance from the center is essential for effective strategy deployment.

Stage 4 – Integrated. Realistically there are probably fewer than 100 businesses globally who’ve achieved this level. Companies at this stage will be focused on refining the culture, capabilities and processes required for effective execution. As we know, the culture component can take years to get right. It might be argued that the process element is the easiest. Having said that there are a number of process areas required to fully support strategy execution. In my view, capabilities develop from working with process and encountering the related issues.

Grant Crow
    Grant Crow   
    Originally from South Africa, my family and I have been in the UK for 15 years, so we're used to the weather but have not forgotten how to barbecue! Most of my career has revolved around helping small fast growth companies to scale and i-nexus is no exception. I and the team at i-nexus, believe passionately in the power of Integrated Strategy Execution and in helping global customers to achieve their potential


    Mar 8, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Hello Mr Grant
    Did you publish your STRATEGY EXECUTION MATURITY MODEL in an scientific journal?

    Sep 16, 2015 at 8:13 PM

    Thank you Grant!

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