HealthCheck Strategy

Business Template

What is a HealthCheck?
The Strategy HealthCheck template provides a structured method for assessing the current status of the Strategy area of your business based on industry best practices.

When should you use it?
Make the use of HealthChecks part of your annual review of the critical areas of your business. However, ensure that your improvement actions are planned and monitored on a more regular (quarterly) basis. Note that for some teams, the HealthCheck will also form part of an external audit or compliance process driven by customers or industry regulators.

Why is it relevant?
As industries become more competitive survival is about doing more with less whilst still delivering against customer expectations at a level that exceeds the competition. To achieve this you need to: 1) understand what ‘best practice’ looks like, and 2) understand your current performance – ideally against the competition.

How should you implement it?
Plan the HealthCheck carefully and ensure that you get the right people involved early in the process. Gather information through face-to-face interviews where possible, although electronic checklists can enable you to involve a larger group. Gather evidence of performance as you go. Then consolidate the various views and look for areas of inconsistency across different stakeholders, and assess areas of concern. Finally, develop a clear action plan with ownership and timings for getting to green or for improving the score on an individual item.

Who needs to be involved?
The HealthCheck is completed by all those that are responsible for performance in this particular area of the business, but ensure you seek the views of all those involved – even if you do not agree with them. Stakeholders may mainly be internal to the business, but ensure that you get an external perspective involving the views of key customers and suppliers.

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

HealthCheck Strategy
This is a case example based on a fictitious company called TVT – all the data is displayed for demonstration purposes only. For a detailed explanation of what each cell is used for please refer to the Virtual Consultant on the following pages.

ID

Category

Evaluation criteria Score Strategy is a strategic priority within the business, and the senior management team shows active and visible commitment. A member of the Executive team has responsibility for the effective and efficient introduction of strategy across the business. Strategy KPIs are cascaded down through the organization so that all managers have strategy as part of their annual objectives. 2 Status Green

1
A

Leadership
Strategic Priority

B

Strategy Executive Manager cascade

3

Green

C

2

Amber

2
A

Strategic Focus
Clear extent & direction Customer Focus The organization understands how important strategy is, and the extent and direction of strategy has been defined and agreed. Strategy activities go beyond New Product Development (NPD), and embraces: new markets, process re-engineering, supply chain redesign and business transformation. The business has a sustainable approach to strategy across ALL functions (beyond marketing) and teams, driven by the future needs of customer musts and wants.

Score 4

Status Green

B

4

Green

C

Integrated approach

5

Green

3
A

Internal Challenge
Central database New ideas arising from operations are captured and fed into a central decision making forum for review (by the Strategy Board). There is sufficient time and budget allocated to the internal generation of new ideas within formal workshops and during day-to-day activities. Internal teams constantly seek ways of improving what they do and how they do it, and achieving a breakthrough change in performance levels.

Score 4

Status Amber

B

Time & budget

3

Amber

C

Breakthrough

4

Green

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

4
A

External Challenge
Market & Customer Trends Changes and discontinuities in the external environment and customer musts and wants are used to stimulate ideas for dramatic improvement in internal performance. Major customers and competitors are understood, and their relative strengths and weaknesses identified – providing a rich source of new ideas that improve competitive performance. There is a systematic approach to scanning the external and competitive environments and circulation of key insights, opportunities and threats internally across the business.

Score 4

Status Green

B

Competitor Analysis

4

Green

C

Scanning

5

Green

5
A

Strategic Choice
End-to-End process Aligned with goals Effective prioritisation The business has an effective an efficient ‘end to end’ strategy process (from idea to implementation) that is understood by all teams. Strategy projects are clearly aligned to strategic priorities in terms of high growth and high emphasis products and markets. There is an effective screening and prioritisation process for ideas and strategies based on more than gut feel or who shouts the loudest.

Score 1

Status Red

A

2

Amber

C

2

Amber

6
A

Implementation Process
Best practice Best practice strategy techniques have been defined and adopted across the business, and there is a Gating process where go / no go decisions are made and communicated. Sufficient resources and budget are allocated to strategy projects to maximise the probability of success – implementation activities are not thrown on top of the day-job. Issues and risks are proactively identified, assessed and mitigated before they become crises.

Score 3

Status Amber

B

Resources & budgets

2

Amber

C

Issues & risk management

3

Amber

7
A

Support Systems
Full visibility & control Common tool set The Senior Management Team has full visibility and control of the Strategy Process anywhere, anytime. The system enables the consistent use of best practice techniques across

Score 1

Status Red

B

1

Red

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

the whole business including remote teams. C Learning culture IT systems enable a continuous learning culture and effective Knowledge Management. 2 Red

8
A

Strategy Champions
Formal Roles The role of the Strategy Champion (whether full or part time) has been defined and exists in all critical functions. The Strategy Process is owned at all levels (through Strategy Champions, Chief Strategy Officer, Project or Programme Manager). Staff and management involved in strategy have the right skills – e.g. creativity, process expertise, project and risk management experience.

Score 4

Status Green

B

Owned at all levels Right skills

5

Green

C

5

Green

9 A

Culture Supportive culture Acceptance of failure Performance System There is a culture and system that supports continuous strategy and improvement. Whilst successes are celebrated, failures are also accepted as a possible outcome of truly innovative activities. There is a reward and recognition system (not necessarily financially based) that encourages people to identify and put forward new ideas.

Score 4

Status Green

B

4

Green

C

5

Green

10 A

Performance Management Agreed Key Performance Indicators Clear review process Learning Each strategy project has clear and agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Return on Strategy Investment (RoI) targets.

Score 4

Status Green

B

A review process for monitoring progress exists where key stakeholders will meet to review the strategy portfolio as a whole. Insights and lessons learned are capture and fed into future teams in order to maximise strategy effectiveness and avoid repeat mistakes.

5

Green

C

3

Amber

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

Audit Summary
For each element of the checklist add up the scores of the 3 related questions and divide by 3 – this will give you an average score for that specific element. See example below.
Element Leadership Score 2.3 0 1 2 3 4 5 Improvement Actions Need to ensure an effective cascade of strategic KPIs down throughout all teams

Strategic Focus

4.3

Internal Challenge

3.7

Need to review the effectiveness of the new ideas database

External Challenge

4.3

Strategic Choice

1.7

Need to gain buy-in to the framework used for strategy option evaluation Need to redesign the end-to-end strategy process focusing on implementing change Need to invest in new web-technologies to support visibility of strategy

Implementation Process

2.7

Support Systems

1.3

Strategy Champions

4.7

Culture

4.3

Performance Management

3.9

Need to formalise the process for capturing and disseminating insights

In the TVT example above, the managers conducting the Audit have identified that the weakest link is that of the Support Systems used (average score 1.3). The plan would therefore be to focus attention on and improve this area within the business first until it was no longer the weakest link. Once the senior management team has increased confidence that the Platform (in this example) has improved, the next stage would be to focus on the Strategic Choice (1.7) and Leadership (2.3) areas.

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

Virtual ConsultantTM
The Virtual ConsultantTM provides a step-by-step guide to completing this business template. It is worded as a series of questions designed to make you stop and think about this topic in a challenging and creative way – as if a business coach or consultant was sitting next to you.

HealthCheck
Use the following checklist to assess the current state of your team: Consider each criterion in turn and use the following scoring system to identify current performance: 0 – Not done or defined within the business: unaware of its importance to strategy management 1 – Aware of area but little or no work done in the business 2 – Recognised as an area of importance. Some work done in this area 3 – Area clearly defined and work done in the area in terms of strategy management 4 – Consistent use of best practice tools and techniques in this area across the business 5 – Area is recognised as being ‘best in class’ and could be a reference area for best practice Then reflect on the lowest scores and identify those areas that are critical to success and flag then as status ‘Red’ requiring immediate attention. Then identify those areas that you are concerned about, and flag those as status ‘Amber’ implying areas of risk that need to be monitored closely. In your strategy framework the whole strategy process is only as good as each individual element. If one ‘link in the chain’ is weak then the strategy process within the company will not operate to optimum efficiency and there is an increased risk of failure. The action plan therefore should be to focus attention and resources on the elements of greatest weakness first, and then to move the whole framework to a level of excellence. This approach optimises the use of resources and sets up a process of continuous improvement.

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

HealthCheck Strategy
Use the following blank template to address an issue or opportunity within your business or team

Form 1: Detailed Audit
ID 1 A Category Leadership Strategic Priority Strategy is a strategic priority within the business, and the senior management team shows active and visible commitment. A member of the Executive team has responsibility for the effective and efficient introduction of strategy across the business. Strategy KPIs are cascaded down through the organization so that all managers have strategy as part of their annual objectives. Score The organization understands how important strategy is, and the extent and direction of strategy has been defined and agreed. Strategy activities go beyond New Product Development (NPD), and embraces: new markets, process re-engineering, supply chain redesign and business transformation. The business has a sustainable approach to strategy across ALL functions (beyond marketing) and teams, driven by the future needs of customer musts and wants. Score New ideas arising from operations are captured and fed into a central decision making forum for review (by the Strategy Board). There is sufficient time and budget allocated to the internal generation of new ideas within formal workshops and during day-to-day activities. Internal teams constantly seek ways of improving what they do and how they do it, and achieving a breakthrough change in performance levels. Score Changes and discontinuities in the external environment and customer musts and wants are used to stimulate ideas for dramatic improvement in internal performance. Major customers and competitors are understood, and their relative strengths and weaknesses identified – providing a rich source of new ideas that improve competitive performance. Status Status Status Evaluation criteria Score Status

B

Strategy Executive Manager cascade Strategic Focus Clear extent & direction Customer Focus

C

2 A

B

C

Integrated approach

3 A

Internal Challenge Central database

B

Time & budget

C

Breakthrough

4 A

External Challenge Market & Customer Trends

B

Competitor Analysis

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

C

Scanning

There is a systematic approach to scanning the external and competitive environments and circulation of key insights, opportunities and threats internally across the business. Score The business has an effective an efficient ‘end to end’ strategy process (from idea to implementation) that is understood by all teams. Strategy projects are clearly aligned to strategic priorities in terms of high growth and high emphasis products and markets. There is an effective screening and prioritisation process for ideas and strategies based on more than gut feel or who shouts the loudest. Score Status Status

5 A

Strategic Choice End-to-End process Aligned with goals Effective prioritisation

A

C

6 A

Implementation Process Best practice Best practice strategy techniques have been defined and adopted across the business, and there is a Gating process where go / no go decisions are made and communicated. Sufficient resources and budget are allocated to strategy projects to maximise the probability of success – implementation activities are not thrown on top of the day-job. Issues and risks are proactively identified, assessed and mitigated before they become crises.

B

Resources & budgets

C

Issues & risk management Support Systems Full visibility & control Common tool set

7 A

Score The Senior Management Team has full visibility and control of the Strategy Process anywhere, anytime. The system enables the consistent use of best practice techniques across the whole business including remote teams. IT systems enable a continuous learning culture and effective Knowledge Management. Score

Status

B

C

Learning culture

8 A

Strategy Champions Formal Roles The role of the Strategy Champion (whether full or part time) has been defined and exists in all critical functions. The Strategy Process is owned at all levels (through Strategy Champions, Chief Strategy Officer, Project or Programme Manager). Staff and management involved in strategy have the right skills – e.g. creativity, process expertise, project and risk management experience.

Status

B

Owned at all levels Right skills

C

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

9 A

Culture Supportive culture Acceptance of failure Performance System There is a culture and system that supports continuous strategy and improvement. Whilst successes are celebrated, failures are also accepted as a possible outcome of truly innovative activities. There is a reward and recognition system (not necessarily financially based) that encourages people to identify and put forward new ideas.

Score

Status

B

C

10 A

Performance Management Agreed Key Performance Indicators Clear review process Learning Each strategy project has clear and agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Return on Strategy Investment (RoI) targets.

Score

Status

B

A review process for monitoring progress exists where key stakeholders will meet to review the strategy portfolio as a whole. Insights and lessons learned are capture and fed into future teams in order to maximise strategy effectiveness and avoid repeat mistakes.

C

Form 2: Audit Summary
Element Leadership Strategic Focus Internal Challenge External Challenge Strategic Choice Implementation Process Support Systems Strategy Champions Culture Performance Management Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 Improvement Actions

© SofTools, 2009. For more information on related products and services, visit www.Fast-Track-Me.com or contact us at: info@Fast-Track-Me.com

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