An excellent strategy is of no value if it isn’t implemented effectively. Translating strategy into successful business results requires effective execution. The way you plan and execute the implementation of your strategies and develop the annual operational budgets ultimately become your de facto strategy. Do this badly or incorrectly and you won’t achieve your strategic objectives.
Finding ways to improve execution and translating strategies into the expected results is a key challenge and important task for all leaders. In many instances, the strategies businesses have in place do not achieve the required change. This can almost always be traced back to ineffective or non-existent operating business plans.
The operating plan takes up where the strategic plan leaves off, and considers how the company is going to operate to achieve the strategic goals. Operational business planning is the method through which you determine the objectives and identify and implement the detailed action steps for achieving the objectives.
New Light Strategies has extensive experience in developing and implementing operational business plans and operating budgets. Our experience in executive roles in professional services firms forms the basis of our practical and effective operating planning approach. We have a track record in successfully translating strategies into operational plans and budgets, resulting in strategic objectives being achieved.
Our operational business planning contains a best practice approach to ensure strategies are executed at the corporate, divisional, team and individual level. Initiatives required to achieve the strategic objectives are identified, together with clear and explicit objectives, milestones, action steps and responsibilities.
Your people are actively involved in this process and they have to take ownership and responsibility for the implementation. An inclusive and collaborative approach is therefore essential.
Operational business planning enables the organisation to coordinate the required initiatives, helping people to set priorities and meet deadlines and prevents or addresses delays and bottlenecks.
Monitoring, measuring and reporting the progress and successful implementation is a key element in ensuring that the goals and objectives are achieved.
In turn, the operational business plan is the basis for and justification of the annual operating budget. The two go hand in hand and must be aligned to the overall strategy and objectives.
Operational budgets have to be developed based on the detailed operational business plans which dictate the initiatives adopted by the business. The budgets allocate the funds and resources to achieving these initiatives and provide the financial measures that indicate whether the objectives are being achieved. It is therefore essential that the budgeting process and the key performance measures within the budgets are aligned with the operational business plans. Misalignment is guaranteed to produce an outcome different to what was required and expected by the strategic and operational plans.