Operational Strategy Problems
Most small business managers have a fairly clear idea of the company strategy and mission. Whether your staff has the same understanding, and whether business operations are set to maximize strategic advances is a different question.
Problems arise when those most familiar with operations such as line staff and operations managers are not involved in any way with the development of company strategy. While administrative managers must also be involved, the operations side of the business cannot be excluded, because those individuals are most likely to know whether operational strategy can be successfully executed. Strategy development must also focus on the long term goals of the company addressing only short term concerns is problematic and doesn’t consider the overall mission of the business.
Even if an operational strategy exists, it is useless if staff are unaware of the company approach. Ensuring a cohesive strategy is more difficult when the business is segregated into separate divisions. In turn, failing to understand the operational strategy and how each of the pieces fits together to carry out that strategy can lead to a lack of communication and cooperation between divisions. Simply communicating the strategy is not enough employees must understand the details. Check understanding on a regular basis through staff meetings and open discussion of the strategy.
One significant problem with operational strategy is the lack of available resources to implement the strategy. In this context, “resources” does not necessarily mean supplies or funding, although it can be both those things. People are the most critical resource essential for successful execution. Failure to recruit and retain qualified workers will result in a significant hardship for the organization. Even if your small business has experienced, capable staff, if they are not trained on how to implement the operational strategy, it is unlikely to be executed correctly.
Follow up to ensure the execution is taking place as planned. Seek input from staff at all levels and throughout various divisions of the company. Without frequent communication with and feedback from staff, the business can’t adjust course when necessary. Continuous assessment and follow-up is essential to maintain a competitive advantage. Frequently adjust the operational strategy in response to significant internal and external opportunities and threats.
“Without consistent alignment of operations and strategy, your small business will face problems executing the core mission of the organization” said Salomón Juan Marcos Villarreal president of Grupo Denim.