Validating Strategies 
www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781472427816 
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
Core messages 
• Why most strategies fail 
• Core functions (and hence strategies) of organisations 
• Developing and Vali...
Poll question 
Worldwide, what percentage of strategies 
have minimal impact? 
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
Do we need strategies? 
• If in doubt restructure because it gives the impression 
of progress 
– Variously attributed 
• ...
‘Tired of Strategic Planning?’ 
From a 2007 survey of 30 top international companies, McKinsey’s 
conclusions about strate...
The Old Strategy Paradigm 
(by OpenStrategies 2001) 
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 
005
Why most strategies make no difference #1 
Strategy language 
• Taxonomy (classification of strategy words) 
– Outputs, ou...
Why most strategies make no difference #2 
• 3 levels of strategies 
• Aspirational 
• Guidance 
• Operational 
• Human co...
Three broad levels of strategy 
• Aspirational (high level – not implementable) 
• Guidance 
• Operational (action plans –...
Human cognitive limits 
There are limits to how much information humans can 
use at any one time: 
– Humans can hold 5 +/-...
Our main OpenStrategies’ principle 
The smallest amount of information… 
that has the highest value… 
to the most people 
...
The core functions of organisations and 
their customers/citizens 
External factors 
Create assets (products, services, 
i...
Rising sea levels Global politics 
Global finance 
Legislation 
External information 
flowing in 
Create products/services...
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 
PRUB 
Organisations run Projects 
which produce Results (outputs/assets) 
which people ...
Planning (BURP) 
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 
PRUB / BURP 
Create assets Use assets 
Implementation (PRUB)
Projects Results Uses Benefits 
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 
Assess customer’s 
needs based on what 
they want to do...
Poll question 
Who actually ‘realises’ Benefits? 
• Project Managers? 
• Users? 
• Providers? 
• Others? 
Copyright OpenSt...
To enable Benefits, a strategy must: 
1. Define what ideally needs to be done 
2. Provide cause-and-effect Evidence that 
...
Validating strategies 
To be fully Validated a strategy must pass all 3 ‘tests’ 
below 
1. The SubStrategy test (is it log...
Step 1: SubStrategy – is it logical? 
• Create a SubStrategy which identifies what we 
would like to happen 
• Shows theor...
Step 2: Evidence – will it actually work? 
• A SubStrategy identifies what we would like to 
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd ...
Poll question 
What’s the difference between 
‘data’ and ‘evidence’? 
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2012
Evidence vs data 
• Many organisations say that their strategies are 
‘evidence-based’ 
• In reality they are ‘data-based’...
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 
Evidence sits on 
the Links 
between 
Projects, 
Results, Uses 
and Benefits 
The most ...
Performance Measurement Data c.f. Evidence 
• Performance data sits within the PRUB boxes and 
is simply a measure of the ...
Abandoned 
Orphan 
Result 
Adopted 
Orphan 
Result 
Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 
Orphan Results 
P R U B 
P R 
P1 
P...
Step 3: Value - is it worth it? 
• Determine a ‘Value’ for Benefits (Ʃ$B) 
• Identify costs of Projects (Ʃ$P) plus costs o...
Master Class (certificate from Cologne University of Applied Sciences) 
London 9 -11 & 13-15th Dec 2014 
White Paper: www....
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Validating strategies - a Webinar with Phil Driver

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Most strategies (90%) have minimal or no impact. Why? Because most so-called strategies:

1. Aren’t actually strategies
2. Cannot be understood by the majority of stakeholders

A major problem in most cases is the ‘linguistics’ of the strategies.

The OpenStrategies system addresses the taxonomy, syntax and semantics of strategies; in other words; what do the strategy words mean, how should they be logically strung together and what do strategic sentences actually mean?

The OpenStrategies system is built on the logical sequence of what organisations actually do i.e.: ‘Organisations run projects that produce results and enable people to use them to create benefits’ (PRUB).

Validating strategies is a subset of the overall OpenStrategies system for collaboratively developing, validating, implementing and performance managing (including ‘realising benefits’) of large-scale, multi-stakeholder, multi-topic strategies.

Validating Strategies:

 defines the causalities between projects, their subsequent results, their necessary uses and their consequent benefits, all linked together in the form of substrategies (i.e. “is the strategy logical?”)
 requires compelling cause-and-effect-evidence on the links in the substrategy to confirm that the strategy is genuinely doable (i.e. “will the strategy work?”)
 requires confirmation that the value of the benefits exceeds the combined costs of the projects and the uses (i.e. “is the strategy worth it?”)
So validating strategies is a simple yet profoundly powerful tool for guiding projects to produce results that will genuinely be used to create benefits. In effect, validating strategies is a succinct and powerful tool for driving benefits realisation via end-users and their uses.

In his webinar presentation to the APM, on 14th August, asked attendees to “Explain the difference between evidence and data.” The audience responses were excellent and can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/slidevalstrat

Phil Driver http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/phil-driver/2/2a9/367 has degrees in physics, applied science and mechanical engineering and has managed teams of engineering researchers running substantial projects in food processing, agricultural engineering and aquaculture before moving into the commercialisation of science and technology for companies and industry sectors.

This led to his facilitation of large scale, multi-stakeholder technology-investment strategies in complex environments which morphed into facilitating the development, validation and implementation of strategies in any environments and on any scale.

Published in: Education

Validating strategies - a Webinar with Phil Driver

  1. 1. Validating Strategies www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781472427816 Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  2. 2. Core messages • Why most strategies fail • Core functions (and hence strategies) of organisations • Developing and Validating Strategies • Performance management and enabling benefits Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  3. 3. Poll question Worldwide, what percentage of strategies have minimal impact? Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  4. 4. Do we need strategies? • If in doubt restructure because it gives the impression of progress – Variously attributed • Corollaries: – If in doubt create a strategy because it gives the impression of progress – If in doubt set up a pilot/trial (or committee or enquiry or…) because it gives the impression of progress • Too often, these are just ways of avoiding making decisions and taking action Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  5. 5. ‘Tired of Strategic Planning?’ From a 2007 survey of 30 top international companies, McKinsey’s conclusions about strategic planning were: • “…the extraordinary reality is that few executives think this time-consuming process pays off…” • “…there is a lot of banging of drums and waving of feathers and an almost mystical hope that something good will come out of it” Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  6. 6. The Old Strategy Paradigm (by OpenStrategies 2001) Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 005
  7. 7. Why most strategies make no difference #1 Strategy language • Taxonomy (classification of strategy words) – Outputs, outcomes, mission, goal, objectives, framework, vision, status, cross-cutting-themes, aspirations, strategies, plans, collaboration, cooperation, competition, values, structures, KPIS, tasks, accountabilities, responsibilities, principles, tactics, actions, directions, issues, factors, priorities, benefits, impacts, purpose, capacity, capabilities, forecasts, scenarios, drivers-for-change, data, information, knowledge, wisdom…. and sometimes ‘implementation’ • Syntax (rules for constructing strategy ‘sentences’) – Do goals create objectives or do objectives create goals?.... • Semantics (meaning of strategies) Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  8. 8. Why most strategies make no difference #2 • 3 levels of strategies • Aspirational • Guidance • Operational • Human cognitive limits • In the mind 5 +/- 2 • On paper 15 +/- 5? • Lack of focus on core organisational functions Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  9. 9. Three broad levels of strategy • Aspirational (high level – not implementable) • Guidance • Operational (action plans – implementable) It’s essential to be crystal clear about what level of strategy you are creating Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  10. 10. Human cognitive limits There are limits to how much information humans can use at any one time: – Humans can hold 5 +/- 2 ideas in their heads – We believe that most humans can comprehend just 15-20 inter-connected ideas when they are in a written or graphical format So Strategies need to be written in a simple format, with information ‘chunked’ into units of 15-20 pieces of information Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  11. 11. Our main OpenStrategies’ principle The smallest amount of information… that has the highest value… to the most people Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  12. 12. The core functions of organisations and their customers/citizens External factors Create assets (products, services, infrastructure) and enable Inputs Outcomes customers/citizens to Use them to create Benefits Internal factors Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  13. 13. Rising sea levels Global politics Global finance Legislation External information flowing in Create products/services Use products/services Human Resources Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 Business Climate change confidence Local weather Local politics Corporate Social Responsibility Outcomes Based Accountability Collaboration Purchasing Administration Finance Leadership Investment Logic Mapping PRUB concisely defines the core ‘process’ of organisations – ie running Projects to create Results such as infrastructure products and services which citizens, communities and customers Use to create Benefits for themselves Internal information
  14. 14. Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 PRUB Organisations run Projects which produce Results (outputs/assets) which people Use to create Benefits (outcomes)
  15. 15. Planning (BURP) Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 PRUB / BURP Create assets Use assets Implementation (PRUB)
  16. 16. Projects Results Uses Benefits Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 Assess customer’s needs based on what they want to do and achieve with our company’s potential new product Information available on what customers want to do and achieve with our company’s potential new product Use this information to design, build and test market new products to enable customers to do and achieve what they want to do and achieve Accurate product and customer-use data is available relating to our company’s potential new product Happy customers because they have done and achieved what they wanted to do and achieve Sustainably manufacture, distribute and market our company’s new product Our company’s new product available to customers together with relevant product marketing information Customers and buy and use our company’s new product to do & achieve what they want Our company is sustainably profitable
  17. 17. Poll question Who actually ‘realises’ Benefits? • Project Managers? • Users? • Providers? • Others? Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2012
  18. 18. To enable Benefits, a strategy must: 1. Define what ideally needs to be done 2. Provide cause-and-effect Evidence that it will actually work 3. Demonstrate that it is worth it Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  19. 19. Validating strategies To be fully Validated a strategy must pass all 3 ‘tests’ below 1. The SubStrategy test (is it logical?) Can you represent the strategy as one or more SubStrategies? 2. The Evidence test (will it actually work?) Is there compelling Evidence for the key Links in the SubStrategy(s)? 3. The Value test (is it worth it?) Is Ʃ$B > Ʃ$P + Ʃ$U Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  20. 20. Step 1: SubStrategy – is it logical? • Create a SubStrategy which identifies what we would like to happen • Shows theoretically how Projects (inputs) Link through Results (outputs) and Uses to Benefits (outcomes) • Ideally 15-20 ‘PRUBs’ Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  21. 21. Step 2: Evidence – will it actually work? • A SubStrategy identifies what we would like to Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 happen • We need to add Evidence to be sure that it really will happen • Evidence is information which ‘Validates’ the Links between Projects, Results, Uses and Benefits • (Evidence is not the same as performance management data)
  22. 22. Poll question What’s the difference between ‘data’ and ‘evidence’? Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2012
  23. 23. Evidence vs data • Many organisations say that their strategies are ‘evidence-based’ • In reality they are ‘data-based’ • What’s the difference between ‘data’ and ‘evidence’? • Where do ‘data’ and ‘evidence’ sit in the PRUB sequence? Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  24. 24. Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 Evidence sits on the Links between Projects, Results, Uses and Benefits The most important cause-and- effect Evidence sits on the Links between Results and Uses Performance management Data sits within each Project, Result, Uses and Benefit and has no cause-and- effect information
  25. 25. Performance Measurement Data c.f. Evidence • Performance data sits within the PRUB boxes and is simply a measure of the state of a Project, a Result, a Use or a Benefit • Performance Evidence sits on the links between the PRUB boxes and defines the cause-and-effect information which confirms that Projects will actually lead to Result, Results to Uses and Uses to Benefits Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014
  26. 26. Abandoned Orphan Result Adopted Orphan Result Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 Orphan Results P R U B P R P1 P2 R1 R2 U B
  27. 27. Step 3: Value - is it worth it? • Determine a ‘Value’ for Benefits (Ʃ$B) • Identify costs of Projects (Ʃ$P) plus costs of Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 Uses (Ʃ$U) • To proceed with a Project…. Ʃ$B must be greater than Ʃ$P + Ʃ$U
  28. 28. Master Class (certificate from Cologne University of Applied Sciences) London 9 -11 & 13-15th Dec 2014 White Paper: www.openstrategies.com/prub Book: Validating Strategies Web: www.openstrategies.com Email: phil@openstrategies.com Linkedin: Phil Driver Copyright OpenStrategies Ltd 2014 Useful Links

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