“In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell.” This quote from Jack Welch goes some way to conveying the importance of implementation and execution.
“In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell.“
This observation is confirmed time and time again in practice: a strategic plan is only as good as its operational implementation. A lack of implementation experience typically leads to unnecessary start-up delays, avoidable diversions or simple deviations from the objective, all of which lead to unplanned overheads and, not infrequently, to the failure of the entire business plan. A certain degree of deviation from the plan is not a rarity and can ultimately never be prevented completely; however, it’s vital to initiate appropriate counter-measures at an early stage. Overall, experience gathered from various projects and across a number of sectors has shown that successful implementation requires the right framework conditions. From dedicated implementation teams with clear responsibilities to a clear project structure and the assignment of a project sponsor in top management, it’s important to for the project to be supported as effectively as possible.
With this in mind, the field of execution encompasses the following six areas of action:
- Project management office (PMO): that is, an organisational unit providing systematic support for the implementation of growth and restructuring projects, from the identification of measures, methodological expertise and the provision of tools to progress monitoring and executive reporting.
- Performance management: that is, establishing continuous measurability of current e-commerce performance through dedicated performance cockpits with transparent representation of relevant KPIs.
- Profit improvement team (PIT): that is, the deployment of a specific team comprised of individual experts with long-standing operational experience in restructuring and turnaround projects.
- Task forces for implementation: that is, the provision of a dedicated implementation team comprised of task-specific e-commerce and digitalisation experts for accelerated, systematic implementation.
- Recruiting: that is, support in the development of a dedicated e-commerce organisational unit staffed by skilled, committed employees.
- Digital advisory board: that is, support in forming a digital advisory body staffed by external experts to confront the challenges of the company’s particular business model (sharing of new ideas and perspectives, digital expertise, etc.).
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Markus Fost, MBA, is an expert in e-commerce, online business models and digital transformation, with broad experience in the fields of strategy, organisation, corporate finance and operational restructuring.Learn more