When it comes to high-level planning, strategy, and business transformation, it can be hard to identify which initiatives truly deliver, helping you to meet your goals and objectives.
High-level change is hard to achieve, and in some cases, even harder to monitor.
In order to translate strategy into action, we must be able to assess each element of the plan to see what's working, where it's working, when it's working, and how well the plan is working. Only when we map out the strategies and tactics used to accomplish our goals can we determine if they're causing an impact. Only when these strategies and tactics are broken down into their component parts can we see how the big picture is built.
In the past, Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) were the gold standard for monitoring progress and efficiency, but KPIs fall short when it comes to the big picture. KPIs are only able to focus on single aspects of a multi-faceted issue.
By using Measurable Business Results, we can translate high-level goals and objectives into strategy, strategy into tactics, tactics into action, and actions into verifiable performance. Through this framework, we can identify the interaction and dependencies of each element, identifying the prerequisites for accomplishing each. The Measurable Business Results process also helps set organizational transparency and strategic direction, allows for agility in transformation, and sets clear business expectations.
Measurable Business Results transcribe high-level objectives into actionable paths for success.
breaking down high-level objectives
Let's explore the Measurable Business Results approach:
- Measurable Business Results (or MBRs): Measurable Business Results begin with the high-level goals and objectives. Measurable Business Results force alignment of teams and business interests by clearly defining what each person — at every stage of development, engagement, support, and implementation — should be working toward.
- Strategies & Tactics: In order to achieve success, specific strategies and tactics must be in place to translate from strategy into action. Strategies & Tactics lay the plans to produce the identified objectives.
- Goals & Expectations: Goals & Expectations for each Strategy & Tactic should be outlined in advance to help evaluate success or failure. Having defined Goals & Expectations allows you to monitor progress and to re-allocate efforts/resources if one strategy is over or under-performing.
- Execution Plans: Execution Plans are the blueprints for launching the Strategies & Tactics. Execution Plans help define which people, processes, and requirements are needed to carry out the necessary next steps. Execution plans also help define timing and responsibilities for teams and individuals.
- Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs): Key Performance Indicators are the measures used to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of your Strategies & Tactics. KPIs help to clearly track development and movement towards the Goals & Expectations.
- Performance & Data Points: Performance & Data points are what Key Performance Indicators are built upon (for example, if one of the KPIs is an increase in sales, the Performance & Data Points that are used to calculate the increase would be — previous sales and current sales).
- Technical Details, Requirements, & Dependencies: By breaking down KPIs, you can start to identify specific requirements and dependencies. These elements show where technical information and data are sourced, housed, and managed. By outlining these requirements, you'll be able to see where your dependencies lie and whether you'll need additional resources to support them.
Succinctly, the elements of measurable business results can be stated as follows:
- Measurable Business Results: "This is what we want to achieve."
- Strategies & Tactics: "This is how we're going to achieve it."
- Goals & Expectations: "This is how we define success for each of our strategies and tactics."
- Execution Plans: "This is how we're going to execute our strategies and tactics."
- Key Performance Indicators: "This is how we're going to monitor progress and performance."
- Performance & Data Points: "These are what we need to measure progress and performance."
- Technical Details, Requirements, and Dependencies: "These are the requirements to support our game plan."
An example of the Measurable Business Results framework:
download the template
Download the Measurable Business Results Template (Microsoft Word Format)
tips & tricks for success
Below are some tips and tricks that can help lead to success when using Measurable Business Results:
- Measurable Business Results: Define goals that all team members can understand and support, regardless of their role; this helps ensure team members work together and that all objectives are stated with a clear, unified voice.
- Strategies & Tactics: Use the Strategies & Tactics as a way to define your approaches (such as utilizing specific channels, demographics, psychographics, target audiences, etc.). Use as many Strategies & Tactics as your budget, time frame, team structure, and organization can handle. Some Strategies & Tactics may appear stronger than others; it's important to test and optimize as you develop insights into the effect of each.
- Goals & Expectations: Use benchmarking data or performance expectations in order to identify an 'if/then' scenario, such as, "If one of our Strategies or Tactics doesn’t meet our expectations by a certain date, we can adjust or switch priorities and use another Strategy or Tactic that does."
- Execution Plans: Execution plans are the best opportunity to assign responsibilities and lay out blueprints for action. Assign owners, contributors, and approvers (both internal and external) in order to meet executional needs.
- Key Performance Indicators: It's best to have multiple KPIs to help monitor the effectiveness of Strategies & Tactics, but it's also important to prioritize KPIs by their importance to achieving results; some KPIs should have a higher weight in the equation compared to others.
- Performance & Data Points: Be as detailed as possible when outlining data needs; a clear definition of these points will help delineate what information is required, where it is available, and who is responsible for it. This element also helps identify gaps in technical details, requirements, and dependencies.
- Technical Details, Requirements, & Dependencies: These elements are critical; they identify where your information is coming from, who is responsible for it, and if there are any outstanding needs to fill in order to succeed. Be sure to clearly outline every requirement or dependency of the equation to ensure the foundation is built for success.
"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
- Sun Tzu