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Assumptions & Ambiguity be Damned

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Markets are changing faster than typical strategic planning cycles can support. Additionally, digital strategies are increasing interdependencies and exacerbating the strain on execution. Strategic planning often falls short because it’s not as fluid as it needs to be.

One thing we must consider is that there are—typically— a lot of assumptions being made about markets as well as the organization’s capacity to execute. Those assumptions often miss the mark when attempting to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of shareholders and customers. Agile provides the opportunity to create the requisite adaptability to validate and adapt to as we understand our ability to deliver and the realizable value of our strategies.

This talk is targeted at senior managers seeking to understand how to leverage Agile to improve Strategic Execution. This talk will show how to build market sensing into strategic planning, how to design the execution model to provide valuable feedback, and how to prioritize learning to maximize return. The model has been developing over the years and has successfully responded to the assumptions and ambiguity facing firms. The reality is that it’s not that simple, but we have a model that can help.

Learning Outcomes:
• Understand how agile can enable strategy execution in rapidly evolving markets
• Quantify opportunities to accelerate learning to maximize business return
• Determine when and how to prioritize for learning over earning

Published in: Business
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Assumptions & Ambiguity be Damned

  1. 1. ASSUMPTIONS AND AMBIGUITY BE DAMNED
  2. 2. 2 DENNIS STEVENS dennis@leadingagile.com 770-851-8025 www.leadingagile.com twitter.com/dennisstevens facebook.com/leadingagile linkedin.com/in/dennisstevens/
  3. 3. 3 Download the deck from Today’s Talk TEXT AGILITY TO 33777
  4. 4. 4 WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT THE PROBLEM THE MODEL THE APPROACH
  5. 5. 5 HOW TO LEVERAGE AGILE TO IMPROVE STRATEGIC EXECUTION W HAT MAKE S I T HARD TO E X E CUTE YO UR S TRATE G Y
  6. 6. 6 THE EXECUTION PROBLEM S T R AT E G I C F O R M U L AT I O N I S H AR D AN D I T N E E D S TO B E R I G H T: • Long Planning Cycles • Long Term Delivery Commitments • Lots of upfront planning • Rampant Assumptions
  7. 7. 7 THE EXECUTION PROBLEM S T R AT E G I C F O R M U L AT I O N I S H AR D AN D I T N E E D S TO B E R I G H T : • Long Planning Cycles • Long Term Delivery Commitments • Lots of upfront planning • Rampant Assumptions B U T I T ’ S I M P O S S I B L E TO G E T R I G H T: • Missed Requirements & Rework • Misunderstood and Changing Stakeholder Requirements • Mis-aligned Product Fit • Strategy Not Aligned to Delivery • Under Estimation for Operations
  8. 8. 8 THE EXECUTION PROBLEM S T R AT E G I C F O R M U L AT I O N I S H AR D AN D I T N E E D S TO B E R I G H T: • Long Planning Cycles • Long Term Delivery Commitments • Lots of upfront planning • Rampant Assumptions B U T I T ’ S I M P O S S I B L E TO G E T R I G H T: • Missed Requirements & Rework • Misunderstood and Changing Stakeholder Requirements • Mis-aligned Product Fit • Strategy Not Aligned to Delivery • Under Estimation for Operations I T R E S U LT S I N P O O R P E R F O R M AN C E : • Cost Overruns • Workforce Fatigue & Moral Issues • Long Lead Times • Delays in Value Delivery
  9. 9. 9 WHY IS IT SO HARD? E N V I R O N M E N T A L S C A N N I N G M A R K E T S A N D C U S T O M E R S S T R A T E G Y F O R M U L A T I O N C U S T O M E R P R O B L E M S O L U T I O N S T R A T E G Y E X E C U T I O N S O L U T I O N D E S I G N A N D I M P L E M E N T The pace of technology and communication means markets shift faster than ever before so your scans are not current by the time you execute Customers have more choices and lower barriers to switch than ever before so your solutions are not defensible against competition Our system of delivery is optimized for productivity resulting in the inability to effectively respond to change
  10. 10. 10 WHAT IF… You were effective at sensing, predicting, and creating changes in market conditions You could rapidly identify solutions to problems you’re the customers you wanted were interested in buying from you Your system of delivery was able to validate assumptions, rapidly create learnings, and effectively respond to changing market and customer conditions within constraints E N V I R O N M E N T A L S C A N N I N G M A R K E T S A N D C U S T O M E R S S T R A T E G Y F O R M U L A T I O N C U S T O M E R P R O B L E M S O L U T I O N S T R A T E G Y E X E C U T I O N S O L U T I O N D E S I G N A N D I M P L E M E N T
  11. 11. 11 The only viable strategy is to become the kind of business that can operate with agility
  12. 12. STRATEGIC EXECUTION SUCCESS
  13. 13. 13 Explicitly manage the flow of decisions Align your organization around value Continuously measure and manage assumptions
  14. 14. A L I G N T H E O R G A N I Z A T I O N W I T H V A L U E
  15. 15. 15 M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N I M P L E M E N T
  16. 16. 16 M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N I M P L E M E N T S T R AT E G Y E X E C U T I O N
  17. 17. 17 M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N I M P L E M E N T S T R AT E G Y E X E C U T I O N I N I T I A T I V E I N I T I A T I V E I N I T I A T I V E P R O J E C T 1 P R O J E C T 2 P R O J E C T 2 P R O J E C T 3 P R O J E C T 1 P R O J E C T 3
  18. 18. 18 Value Propositions tied to customer segments M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N E X E C U T I O N S T R AT E G Y E X E C U T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N SHARED SERVICES
  19. 19. C O N T I N U O U S L Y M E A S U R E A N D M A N A G E A S S U M P T I O N S
  20. 20. 20 Measurable outcomes are created to explicitly govern learning M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N E X E C U T I O N S T R AT E G Y E X E C U T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N SHARED SERVICES O R D E R
  21. 21. 21 M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N E X E C U T I O N S T R AT E G Y E X E C U T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N SHARED SERVICES A S S U M P T I O N S L E A R N I N G S
  22. 22. E X P L I C I T L Y M A N A G E T H E F L O W O F V A L U E A N D L E A R N I N G
  23. 23. 23 DECISION DECISION DECISION M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N E X E C U T I O N S T R AT E G Y E X E C U T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N SHARED SERVICES A S S U M P T I O N S L E A R N I N G S DECISION
  24. 24. 24 DECISION DECISION DECISION M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N E X E C U T I O N S T R AT E G Y E X E C U T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N SHARED SERVICES A S S U M P T I O N S L E A R N I N G S DECISION T R A D E O F F D E C I S I O N S CONSTRAINTS
  25. 25. 25 M A R K E T S C U S T O M E R S P R O B L E M S S O L U T I O N S D E S I G N E X E C U T I O N S T R AT E G Y E X E C U T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y C A P A B I L I T Y V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N V A L U E P R O P O S I T I O N SHARED SERVICES A S S U M P T I O N S L E A R N I N G S T R A D E O F F D E C I S I O N S CONSTRAINTS S T R A T E G Y O K R O K R O K R A C P O R T F O L I O P R O G R A M D E L I V E R Y
  26. 26. 26 Download the deck from Today’s Talk TEXT AGILITY TO 33777
  27. 27. WHAT DO YOU DO?
  28. 28. 28 KEYS TO SUCCESS-GOVERNANCE 01 02 03 Applies lean approaches to the flow of value copy Creates opportunities for feedback, learning, and trade-offs Integrates compliance concerns with minimal impact on flow
  29. 29. 29 INTIAL END-STATE VISION Clearly define the rules of the game in a governance model – while focusing on making decisions flow Pick a slice of your organization (a product, value stream or capability). • Take a look at where and when decisions are made • Are the right people in the room with the right information at the right time Using the framework identify when certain decisions should be made and who should be involved • Identify where you are stuck with early assumptions • Lack of agency • Lack of adaptability Define how you will measure the success of your execution and how you will validate assumptions • Portfolio OKR’s • Product OKR’s • Delivery AC
  30. 30. 30 FINAL THOUGHTS W HAT ARE THE TO P TW O THI NG S S TANDI NG I N YO UR WAY TO LE V E RAG I NG AG I LE TO I MP RO V E S TRATE G I C E X E CUTI O N? W HO W O ULD YO U HAV E TO E NLI S T I N YO UR ORGANIZ ATI ON TO MAKE THIS W ORK? W HAT CAN YO U DO TO O V E RCO ME THO S E O BS TACLE S TO DAY?
  31. 31. 31 Download the deck from Today’s Talk TEXT AGILITY TO 33777

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