Implementing Strategy: What Projects Should Be All About

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

What’s the difference between implementing anything and implementing strategy? The answer begins with understanding what a strategy is. According to businessdictionary.com, strategy is:

“A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.”

Peter Drucker, the ultimate guru when it comes to modern management and strategy, believed that strategy was an organization’s approach to achieving its desired outcomes in an environment that was often unpredictable. To be strategic in nature, the approach had to consider the following (adapted from “Drucker’s 10 Principles For Developing a Business Strategy” by William Cohen, Ph.D.):

  • The opportunities the company wants to pursue, and what risk is it willing to take to achieve the related outcomes
  • The structure the organization will need to have in order to achieve those outcomes;
  • The trade-offs that can be entertained related to time and money; in-house execution versus mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures.

Based on these definitions, it would seem that any plan designed to bring about an intended outcome is a strategy. So thus far, the difference between implementing strategy and implementing anything are the same. But let’s dive deeper. Businessjargons.com defines strategy implementation as:

“&…

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