The development of a strategic approach to address any operational issue begins with understanding the big-picture of an organization. It is about tactical activities only when related to the achievement of overall goals. A strategic approach must reflect the goals of the organization, be created from broad based organizational input, be owned by the organization, and most importantly, be monitored for compliance so that maximum benefits will result from the effort. At a minimum, the strategic approach must contain a vision, goals, direction, assigned responsibilities, timelines, and tangible results. Oftentimes the approach becomes a “plan” that is a living document, and therefore, should be periodically updated.
The implementation of a strategic approach requires leadership and a change management plan to prepare staff on the required changes. The change management plan should focus on communications, training, and ownership.
When preparing a strategic approach the developer must be cognizant of an organization’s vision, goals and constraints – its Culture and Capacity. It must be based upon a realistic approach that accommodates inclusivity, sensitivity, and accountability. Inclusivity requires all stakeholders participate throughout the process so that the agreed upon design is implemented as planned. Sensitivity to laws, regulations and mandates is required for purposes of maintaining compliance. Accountability is required for stakeholders to meet their respective roles and responsibilities.
Approaching projects with a sensitivity to the organization’s culture, clarity about direction and vision and capacity and cost constraints.