When you let strategy and delivery make turns in opposite directions, your whole organization could be headed south as a result. The final content you deliver must match with the goals set out by company strategy. Otherwise, a good portion of the work being done might be getting done for no real reason. Richard Newton writes how we can put strategy and delivery back in alignment to make your company as efficient as it can be.
One criticism Newton has of why strategy and delivery fall out of alignment in the first place is because organizations adhere to old hierarchical means of dictating strategy, and by the time the necessary info falls into the hands of the people who actually start projects, it is sometimes a crapshoot whether or not the project will still fit properly with the strategy as it was first envisioned. Improving speed and clarity of strategic communication is a necessary first step in realignment.
Another way alignment fails is when strategy and the execution of strategy fall out of sync. Newton worries that not enough “C” level members pay close attention to execution and would rather be enamored with the prettiness of their strategies. He calls for the senior management to take a legitimate interest in the delivery management, but he does not stop there, stating:
However, improving the situation is not just about strategists and senior executives reaching out to those involved in delivery. Senior delivery managers can help as well. One important aspect is that they can learn to talk the language of the most senior leaders of the organisation. Rightly or wrongly we are all judged by how we present ourselves, communicate and what we talk about. To get a seat at the highest table it is essential to talk like a member of that table.
Newton further calls for a meeting of the minds in which those who create strategy are made aware of the constraints and opportunities of delivery functions. The recurring theme here is that communication is key across all levels to ensure that strategy and delivery follow the same compass. If one of them ends up in Albany and the other is in Hamburg, something has gone wrong.