Strategy implementation in operational management

Strategies formulated need to be implemented .Implementation of strategies is often more difficult than their formulation. Although implementation is the logical step to formulation, the two differ in the following ways:

Strategy formulation
– is positioning forces before action
– is managing forces during the action
– focuses on effectiveness
– focuses on efficiency.
– is primarily an intellectual process
– is primarily an operational process.
– requires good analytical skills.
– requires special motivation and leadership skills.
– requires co-ordination among a few individuals.
– requires co-ordination among many persons

Implementing strategies requires such actions as altering sales territories ,adding new departments, closing facilities, hiring new employees, changing an organization’s pricing strategy, developing financial budgets formulating new employee benefits, establishing cost control procedures ,changing advertising strategies ,building new facilities, training new employees ,transferring mangers among divisions and building better computer information system etc.

Strategy formulation concepts and tools do not differ vastly for small, large or non-profit organizations. However, strategy implementation varies simultaneously among different types and sizes of organization.

Strategy Evaluation

The strategic management process results in decision that can have significant and long-lasting consequences .Erroneous strategic decisions can inflict severe penalties and can be exceedingly difficult ,if not impossible, to reverse. Strategy evaluation, therefore, has great relevance .Strategy evaluation helps determine the extent to which the company’s strategies are successful in attaining its objectives.

Basic activities involved in strategy evaluation are:

1.Establishing performance targets, standards and tolerance limits for the objectives, strategies and implementation plans.
2.Measuring the performance in relation to the targets at a given time. If outcomes are outside the limits, inform managers to take action.
3.Analyze deviations from acceptable tolerance limits.
4.Execute modifications where necessary and/or feasible.

Strategy evaluation can be a complex and sensitive task .Too much emphasis on evaluating strategies may be expensive and even counter-productive .No manager wants to be evaluated too closely. Little or no evaluation can create even worse problems.

Importance of Strategic Management

Strategic management offers both financial as well as non-financial benefits to an organization.

The Benefits of Strategic Management are as follows:
1.It allows for identification, prioritization, and exploitation of opportunities.
2. It provides an objectives view of management problems.
3.It represents a framework for improved co-ordination and control of activities.
4.It minimizes the effects of adverse conditions and changes.
5.It allows major decisions to better support ,established objectives.
6.It allows more effective allocation of time and resources to identified opportunities.
7.It allows fewer and less time to be devoted to correcting erroneous or ad-hoc decisions.
8. It creates a framework for internal communication among personnel.
9.It helps to integrate the behaviors of individuals into a total effort.
10. It provides a basis for the clarification of individual responsibilities.
11.It gives encouragement to forward thinking.
12.It provides a co-operative, integrated and enthusiastic approach to tackling problems and opportunities.
13. It encourages a favorable attitude towards change.
14. It gives a degree of discipline and formality to the management of a business.