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July 2014

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Industry Luminary Robert Kaplan Explains How to Close the Project Execution Gap

Formulating innovative business ideas is only the first step in capitalizing on new market opportunities. Leaders must also turn the best ideas into an effective business strategy, and it’s in this second step where many organizations fall short.

Now there’s help. A new on-demand webcast titled “Align Project Portfolio Management to Strategy Execution” lays out a six-stage management system for strategy execution that helps enterprises streamline, fund, and implement strategic initiatives through the use of enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM).

The webcast features presenter Robert Kaplan, professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School and codeveloper with David Norton of activity-based costing and the balanced scorecard. He and Norton are authors of The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage, the fifth in a series of books devoted to balanced scorecards.

To successfully execute a business strategy, organizations must align people, processes, and technology. According to Kaplan, EPPM ensures this by providing a platform for communicating strategic initiatives and tasks throughout the organization. EPPM also helps organizations allocate resources, show who is responsible for meeting strategic objectives, and produce key performance indicators that are in line with objectives.

Six Keys to Success
In the webcast Kaplan outlines the six steps of the strategy execution system.

  1. Develop the strategy by assessing the organization’s mission, values, and vision.
  2. Plan the strategy using strategy maps and balanced scorecards.
  3. Align the organization using strategy map objectives and balanced scorecard measures.
  4. Plan operations using tools for quality, process management, and process dashboards.
  5. Monitor and learn about problems, barriers, and challenges.
  6. Test and adapt the strategy using internal operational data and new external environmental and competitive data.

The balanced scorecard can measure more than project alignment with strategy, according to Kaplan. It also tracks companywide progress in financial objectives, as well as more intangible measures such as customer satisfaction. By linking project portfolio management to the balanced scorecard strategic measures, employees can see how the projects help achieve wider strategic goals.

Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack provides valuable information in each of the six stages of the strategy execution system, according to Kaplan. The solution also shows clear connections from one stage to the next and links operational dashboards all the way up through the feedback to executive teams on strategic initiatives and performance on balanced scorecard measures.

View the webcast "Align Project Portfolio Management to Strategy Execution" and access three white papers featuring Kaplan’s best practices for bridging gaps from strategy to execution.

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