PROCESS AND EXECUTION CAPABILITY
Chan and Christopher Goh
In this turbulent economy, to be the
market leader firms need to adopt the best practice in excellent execution capability. This will require
organizational change. The most pragmatic way is by changing the process, not the people. Developing
execution capability comprises of People who has discipline in execution, Process which is the ability of
the people to execute, Tools/ Technologies to accelerate the speed of execution.
The business process of converting
strategy into superior performance is dependent on the degree of organizational maturity capability of a
firm. Worldwide, world-class organizations attribute their success to project management, therefore,
making project management indispensable for business results.
Winning companies thrive during a
crisis/ financial meltdown (July 2009 article on ‘Results-Driven and Crisis Turnaround Leadership for
Business Continuity’). WHY ?
These most admired companies in the
world advocated that execution capability is attained by developing leaders who can handle different
types of crisis situation (I, II, III) by adopting a Wholistic Solution approach through effective
and efficient business process of managing the 3P’s.
The Execution Capability Paradigm
The result of execution capability is
to achieve faster, better and/or cheaper products/ services for superior advantage through clarity in
planning. Strategy can be cascaded down through the organizational structure for its execution
Portfolio Management at
corporate level: Conduct portfolio management to
ensure that investments are prioritized so that they are strategically acceptable. Commitment by top
management is crucial.
Program management at
managerial level: These prioritized investments
must be transformed into a series of projects to be integrated for critical business mission of being
financially sensible. Projects are monitored for cost – benefit realization.
Project management at
operational level: Each and every project must
be optimized to ensure that it is tactically viable.
The business process for execution
capability model, S-I-O, ensures that the investment decisions, financial returns and project
deliverables are connected and monitored for sustainable business results.
In portfolio management, investment
strategy can be thus categorized:
Nice-to-Have: can be dropped if there is inadequate resources/
need to maintain as corporate initiative
Intellectual Property: medium
to longer-term projects which need to be developed, tested, inclusive of training to be provided during the
Support business unit/ functional department to realize
the targeted savings/ benefits
Projects that result in savings/ benefits/ profits/
Program management refers to the
integration of the many and varied projects in support of the preferred investment strategy. In reality,
there is a gap caused by inadequate integration between “the strategy” (Knowing) and “the project”
(Doing) which leads to non-performance or under-performance. Project management refers to the
optimization of Resources, Scope and Schedule for each project. In essence, business process and
execution capability starts with strategy, the visioning or “knowing”. The firm knows what to do. This
has to be translated into a series of projects, collectively called Program Management. All projects must
be potential winners. Often times, one project may excel at the expense of others to the detriment of the
firm. According to Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric (USA), all projects must be in the
winner’s league. Otherwise, you fix, sell or close the project. This makes business sense. Strategy is
not everything. Strategy must be transformed into winning projects for business results. All great
visions and ideas are worthless if they cannot be implemented effectively and efficiently. 90% of
strategy remains in the strategic realm because of disintegrated execution. Business process and
execution capability is a wholistic solutions approach to performance resulting in faster, better
and cheaper products/services for superior competitive advantage through knowing what to do and how to do
it within a systematic and rationally integrated framework.
Scope of Execution Capability
Based on the common language of
managing a project, the execution capability process can be encapsulated into nine knowledge areas. The
business process of managing a project (or investment) is known as the five key process groups, i.e.
Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, Closing. The stakeholders involved in
influencing the success or failure of a project must not be overlooked.