Strategy in Action— From Old to New School
Have you bumped with a written strategy in your company? Is not it weird as different words are used indistinctly to refer to the same thing in the text?
Many companies know that modeling can bring advantages during the software development cycle, but the same practice is not being used to model strategy. Someone could argue: what are the benefits?
Some of them are: a standardised communication, avoidance of bias, opportunity to compare the impact between the strategies, its dependencies and/or interdependencies and opportunity to solve problems in the advance. Furthermore, a model can be a good reference to everybody contributes.
There are a lot of tools and models to model strategy and I will adopt ArchiMate here. However, regarding the complexity of this subject and the short size an article needs to have, I will focus on the main points on how to model a strategy.
Some companies don't use theory to create their strategies and the classics still are a good opportunity to contribute to strategy modeling. Let's use the picture below as a reference to evaluate how the strategy formulation evolved so far.
On the bottom left side, we have a hierarchy view on how strategy is positioned between values, actions and implementations. When you zoom out the Balanced Scorecard or BSC (picture on the bottom right side) it is possible to realize that 4 layers bring (according Kaplan and Norton) the most benefits to the company. At the top of the picture we have a Business Model Canvas (BMC) that was created based on the doctoral dissertation of Alexander Osterwalder as a tool that describes the rationale for how an organization creates, captures, and delivers value to its various internal and external stakeholders. When you analyse the main blocks of concept (attention for the customer, attention for the organisation and accountability) it is possible to see the incorporation of BSC layers disposed in a different way where Internal Business Processes and Learning and Growth agglutinated in the attention for the organisation. But when you move your attention to the pyramid model, it is not possible to see a direct correspondence to Mission and Values. As BMC is focused on what the company must do to be succeeded, the part of "what we want to improve" became a secondary focus that I already approached in my previous articles where I discussed how Lean Six Sigma influenced companies until now and how efficiency and efficacy can be applied in practical case in the article OutSystems Productivity Improvement from Another Perspective. By the way, if I could put this last article in a simpler way, I would use this formula to translate all: “Productivity = Efficiency + Efficacy or Productivity =’Doing things right’ + ‘Doing the right things’ “(Roghanian et all, 2012).
ArchiMate is one of the tools that can be used to model company's strategy and you can find articles mapping the business model canvas to it. A quick reference card will help you to understand the elements and concepts associated with them and after a quick view on it, you will not find anything related to Mission and Vision. Yes, there is no a direct relationship! So, we need more information to adapt it.
Vision can also seem as something that “articulates a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future for the organisation, a condition that is better in some important ways than what now exists” (Campbell and Yeung, 1991) and based on that premise we can associate it as a goal component of ArchiMate.
I saw some references regarding Mission as a goal (Aldina et all, 2015) but I have a different perception. Once Mission provides "core concepts" to the company, it provides direction to the Vision and that way I intend that mission can be correlated to the Driver element.
Now it is time to create a basic diagram and I will use TED as an example.
TED, as acronym of Technology, Entertainment and Design, has a two-word mission statement that shines through in every Talk you’ve seen the company publish on the internet: Spread Ideas. You will not find a vision company statement, but sometimes it is implicit or can be captured as a goal according the picture below.
Through this simple example you will see that modeling implies in interpretation and refinement. Even if you have a wrong idea in the beginning, it is possible to check with the company owners, or stakeholders, what is the real concept that should be applied.
The productivity part addressed in the previous topic can be incorporated through Value Streams and components of Business layers that can be a subject of future article.
Well, you might be thinking to yourself at this moment: Luciano wrote a lot of things and only presented 2 components in a diagram at the end, (w*f) is this useful?
Well, it depends on what you want to do with I wrote. Have you already imagined what could happen with a company that started a strategy in the wrong way?
I wish you a nice week!
Aldina, A., Iacob, M.E, Hillegersberg, J.V, Quartel, D., Bodenstaff, L. Franken, H. (2015). Modelling strategy with ArchiMate, SAC ’15: Proceedings of the 30th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, pp.1211–1218
Campbell and Yeung (1991). Brief Case: Mission, Vision and Strategic Intent. Long Range Planning, Vol. 24, №4, pp. 145 to 147.
Roghanian, Parastoo; Rasli, Amran; Gheysari, Hamed; (2012). Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences 40, pp. 550–556.