Open any of the major economic and financial media this year and you will immediately notice a number of stories concerning organizations that are being recognized for excellent execution of strategy and those that are not. While external and internal factors impact execution, there is one common thread throughout many success stories - Focus of resources.
In many organizations, despite the highest priority initiatives being defined and agreed to, the shift on focus of resources to achieve success in the same initiatives is lacking or missing the emphasis required. Here is a quick way to check this with your team(s):
1. Write out the 3 highest priority initiatives the company is currently working on
2. List beside the 3 initiatives which resources are being dedicated to their success including:
- People/Headcount/FTE (if you recognize high performers and bottlenecks you may want to split them out)
- Money (CapEx and OpEx)
- Particular departments, laboratories, testing, and machinery which are constraints for example
- Emphasis of time in your team(s) monthly agendas - they can also simply suggest how many hours per month are being spent on each of the 3 initiatives by each of them personally
- Discretionary resources being allocated to the project including external advisory, outsourcing, etc
3. Ask for a percentage estimate of total resource allocation based on the short list you have built in #2 for each of the 3 initiatives- and then during your team review ask them to:
- Confirm or adjust based on the question “How well does this picture and estimate of resource allocation align with our achievement to the fullest potential of the opportunities presented by each of the 3 initiatives?”
- Set a plan to monitor and calibrate the estimations more accurately on a systematic basis
Resource allocation is often a delegated function or an assumed constant, particularly in the senior levels of the organization. While this may be correct, a quick check to see what can be done to achieve the most out of the 3 highest priority initiatives your teams are working on pays big dividends in the board room and importantly to your shareholders and other stakeholders.