The World of Work Project

Strategic Management Framework

The Strategic Management framework is a high level summary of a cyclical process of strategy creation. It splits strategy into a repeated formulation and implementation phases, each of which has its own sub-steps and activities.

Summary by The World of Work Project

Strategic Management Framework

The strategic management framework is a fairly detailed overview of the strategy process adopted by many organizations.

This framework separates the strategy process into three high level activities: defining vision and mission, formulating strategy and implementing strategy.

Stage 1: Vision and Purpose (or Mission)

As with the VMOSA framework, the first activity that needs to be completed when following the Strategic Management Framework is the creation of an organizational vision and mission.

The organization’s vision and mission then go on to be a constant point of reference throughout the remainder of the organization’s strategy process.

Stage 2: Strategy Formulation

The second stage of this framework takes an organization through the process of formulating a strategy. This is done in several sub-stages.

Analysis

The first part of strategy formulation is analysis of the current state. It’s impossible to decide on and create a strategy if you don’t understand the lay of the land, so analyzing a wide range of factors is the first stage of the strategic process.

At this stage organizations consider and analyze a range of factors including: the wider economy, their industry and their own specific capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. There are a wide range of strategic analysis tools that can help with this stage of thinking.

Analysis might mean a lot of time doing research…

Strategy Formation

Once an organization understands the current state and has a detailed analysis of their environment, their industry and themselves, they can start to look forward and consider the opportunities and threats that they may face.

With this combined understanding of the current state and some future analysis, it becomes time to start thinking about what specifically the organization will do. At this stage, the organization starts to focus on how it will compete in its chosen market place or environment.

In essence, these activities are the creation of the organization’s strategy.

Goal Setting

The last part of the strategy formulation stage of the Strategic Management Framework is to create goals and targets relating to the organizations defined strategy. It’s great to know what you’re going to do at a high level, but for your strategy to be useful it needs to include specific detail to manage towards.

Your goals are what you are aiming for.

Concepts like SMART objectives may be helpful at this stage.

Stage 3: Implementing your strategy

The third stage of this framework focuses on the implementation of strategy, which is considered to have two sub-stages.

Implementing a strategic structure

In this stage, the organization ensures it is effectively structured to deliver on its strategy. The thinking here is that before you go and do something, you need to have all your pieces in the right place.

At a practical level, this means that to be prepared to start delivering your strategy effectively, you need to have the right leaders and individuals in your organization, you need to have the right business units, you need to have the right legal structures, you need to have the right processes and policies and capital assets and you need the right strategic projects lined up to help you deliver effectively. Once these pieces are in place, you can press the big

Controlling your strategic delivery

The last part of this model considers the need to effectively control and deliver your objectives. Once you have all the right pieces in place and you press the “start” button on your strategy, you need to monitor and control your performance on a constant basis. Frequent fine-tuning is required to ensure success and feedback plays an important role in this.

Effective control requires regular oversight of progress.

The key message here is that control frameworks are essential for strategic success in most instances.

The World of Work Project View

This high level framework isn’t a formal “model”, but it is a good way to think about what’s involved in strategy.

In many organizations the approach to strategy is cyclical, iterating through formulation and implementation phases of roughly this process. Those cycles can be of different lengths, but a three year strategy cycle isn’t uncommon. Of course, organizations also need to look further into the future. They also need to manage their ongoing business and operations while still thinking strategically about the future.

This framework only provides a high level summary of the activities required. Anyone creating a strategy aligned to this framework should use further models to support their thinking.

As with all strategic planning, you need the right people involved in the process for it to be effective. You also need to ensure you iterate through the processes you use as things in the real world are constantly changing and evolving and in most cases while it’s possible to define a strategy at a high level, doing so doesn’t mean that you won’t need to change direction in response to changes in the real world.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

This post is not based on any specific books, but has been informed by a mix of work related experience and sources from around the internet.

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