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Linking Strategy to Operations

Blog: Jim Sinur

There is a constant balancing act between strategy and operations, and it gets even more challenging during periods of change or near impossible during significant chaotic events. COVID has brought this issue front and center with the increased speed of decisions and intelligent actions on several fronts. We aren’t through this threat scenario yet, but we can expect more threat and opportunity situations to emerge globally and locally. It puts a premium on superior insights, optimal decisions, and an excellent management overview. It means that the links between strategy and operations need to be optimal while allowing for emergent change. The days of the steady course are numbered at worst and only temporal at best. It means that an “Insight First” approach based on “Contextual Insights” to stakeholders is needed.

What Are the Links Between Operations Strategy and Business Strategy?

The business strategy is the overall business vision looking further ahead and anticipating the direction and business wants over a long period. The operations strategy is to provide a plan for the operational functions to make the best use of an organization’s resources. Therefore, operations strategy must be aligned with its business strategy to enable the company to achieve its long-term plan. In addition, it means that its operations must be agile enough to support strategy changes while feeding monitoring information that might indicate trends that imply a change to the current strategy.

Example Checklist for Methods Linking Strategy to Operations

The recipe for linking strategy to operations has some essential ingredients that much be put together to support optimal results in several changing contexts. First, it means that connecting “what to how” is critical to be kept optimal and ready for change. Ideally, each company should have an integrated method and supporting toolset. The methodology must link the what and the how in a well-woven way across organizational stovepipes and business boundaries.


Vision and Mission

Strategy / Scenarios

Critical Success Factors

Risks / Patterns / Events


Policy / Rules / Boundaries

Objectives / Goals

Projects / Initiatives / Milestones

Processes / Orchestrations

Organization / Partners

Example Checklist of Functionality in Tools Linking Strategy to Operations

Supporting a comprehensive methodology that links strategy and operations that delivers results should be a tool suite, generally a digital business platform that focuses on results, change opportunity, and change management. This platform/tools suite should link/integrate many functions and features that deliver business outcomes. This highly integrated platform has to work seamlessly with the method across functional silos and help focus participants on results. A management cockpit often visualizes the results that build a base for automated management functionality built on top of this integrated platform.

Strategy Planning Features

Strategy Performance Reporting

Balanced Scorecards

Operational Performance

Contextual Analytics

BI Dashboards / Fast boards

Collaboration Features Organized by Results

Real-Time Chat That is Visible to All

Audit Trails by Data Point

Action Plans Linked to Stakeholders

Integrated Risk Management

Integrated Process Management

Integrated Low Code Features

Integrated Process Mining

Net; Net:

There is a delicate balance between operations and strategy. At the same time, the obvious and traditional approach is to lay a plan and implement it optionally at the operational level. It works well in periods of stability, and the active monitoring points to more optimization. However, in a more emergent world with change, operations can point out emergent signals and patterns that may suggest a need for change. A solid methodology linked with an integrated platform will allow for both proactive and reactive strategy changes and monitor the effect of major and minor changes. Organizations should be pursuing this balance with the help of an integrated method supported by a corporate performance digital platform that embraces the management cockpit.

Please Help with A Survey On Management Cockpits by Clicking Here You will receive a summary of the results if you leave an email address in February. Please be patient with the initial screen and use your down arrow on the drop-down selections.

Additional Reading:

Frictionless Management

Real-Time Fast Boards

Management Cockpits

Real-Time Strategy

Management by Wire

AutoPilot Management

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