Addressing Competitive Advantage with Sustainability - Part 4

After the completion of the business motivational model as described in my previous blog and before you can set out and start putting your plans into actions, you will first need to determine the organizational ability to achieve the stated strategy and objectives. This is an important stage because it elicits whether the organization is actually prepared to commence with the vision and mission, or whether there are organizational changes or investments that need to be conducted beforehand.

The most important aspect of this oversight is ascertaining the maturity of impacted organizational capabilities, and how current in-flight initiatives will impact the capability in the short term. Next, build a discussion document as to what further initiatives are required to meet the organizations strategic intent. This discussion document can then be used to underpin focused discussions with change management and stakeholder representatives as to how to link new initiatives to current programmes or alternatively establish new programmes to complete the strategy execution.

The mapping of disparate initiatives to the impacted capabilities will serve to surface two aspects of the organizations intent to provide sustainability for the organization.

1. Project concentration in a given capability

The number of projects which link to a given capability, and the level of overlap in their requirement definitions will provide insights as to the success of strategy communication across the organization. Architects will be required to surface an alternate streamlined approach, which will develop a solution which is created once and used by all. This approach will free up resources which can be used by other under resourced initiatives, as well as returning unused funding to the central pool for reallocation to underfunded projects.

This exercise should address both proposed new projects as well as in-flight initiatives from a previous change management programme to achieve a true estimation of the workload required to execute the strategy.

2. Amount of funding allocated to a given capability in relation to the strategy.

Any funding allocation which exceeds a pre-determined percentage of the organizations project fund will indicate where the organization believes their main efforts should be applied, this may or may not gel with the proposed strategy, and when a mismatch is discovered it should be addressed with the stakeholder.

The issue that architects will face however is that organizations are segmented into divisions (verticals) with reward schemes attached to contributions to overall profitability, and as a result very few divisions are open to collaboration which may dilute the reward pool. Projects once mapped to the underlying capability will assist in identifying duplications of effort across the organizational divisions in a particular capability, and open discussions as to who will develop the service on behalf of the other participants on a build once, use by all scenario basis.

The reduction in the number of projects impacting a given capability will go a long way to improving oversight of progress made, and the potential cost savings can be applied to either accelerate lagging initiatives, address short-term skills shortages, or the production of learning material for organizational personnel upliftment.

Organizations that are represented in multiple locations may replicate this approach and the results can be returned as input into a collaborative view of the state of a particular capabilities across the globe and assist with business model discussions on a centralised, de-centralised, or hybrid approach to strategy execution.