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Why execution rarely delivers on strategy's promise

"Research indicates that relatively few firms execute their strategies effectively, and, on average, companies deliver just 50% to 60% of the financial performance that their strategies promise." - Frank Cespedes, HBR October 2014.

When we complain about poor outcomes due to poor execution, we're obviously assuming that the strategy is good. Let's momentarily stick to that assumption. The problem then is, we're thinking that execution is largely about project (or program) management. What we're clearly missing is the crucial activity of strategy translation.

When it comes to investing in business software, strategy translation is about "embedding" targeted organizational strategic outcomes into an architecture that can then be implemented. If this activity is not done right, neither a great strategy nor effective execution can generate targeted outcomes.

For approaches to strategy, see The Strategy Palette


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