long-term plan of action which reflects the goals and objectives of the owner group and
typically covers the full range of the planning horizon.The general roadmap on how to achieve the objectives. It sets the framework and context for the organization.
Types of Strategy
Strategy within the Hierarchical Context
The organization's strategy occupies one of the base layers of the aspirational-transactional hierarchy.
A. Aspirational Elements B. Tactical ElementsWithout an adequate strategy the organization will
encounter difficulties when developing some of the other layers of
Strategy vs Plans vs. Processes
There is often confusion between these three concepts.
has been defined as “the effect of uncertainty on the organization’s
objectives”. Strategies, plans and processes each provide the
organization with some tools to reduce “uncertainty” and thereby to
help the organization manage risk.
It is essential that the
organization understand the subtle differences between these three
concepts and the appropriate sequence in which they should be developed.
(the Roadmap) – This
is a high level map of the landscape to reveal where the organization is located
now (“A”) relative to where it wants to get to (“B”). A strategy does consider the different
potential routes between “A” and “B” but is primarily focused on the
destination rather than the journey. It
offers a roadmap to provide navigational context and some guidelines to
consider the multiple alternative routes but no details on which specific route
to use for getting to the destination -- that is where the plans and processes comes
into the story. For example, Amiable
Housing Society has captured its strategy in a short document that provides
a “lay of the land” and the milestones that will be encountered and serve to
confirm progress along the journey to the destination.
- Plans (the Route) – This is a documented series
of steps on how to move the organization from where its is now (“A”) to where
it wants to be (“B”). A plan tackles
questions like how, when, where, who, and what. As such it supports the
strategy by providing a way to reach (“B”) that provides an acceptable balance
of risk, cost and performance. A plan will inevitably need to make some
trade-offs – it will have to pick one route over another. Good plans recognize
that no route is perfect and that there are always contingencies along way. A
plan works out how to deal with roadblocks and traffic jams along the way from
“A” to “B”.
(the Vehicle & the Fuel)–
These are the clearly defined ways of doing specific tasks. A process is much
more rigid sequence than a plan. A process is typically applied to a very
specific task that is well defined with little chance of contingencies or need
for flexibility. Processes are the powerhouses that do all the heavy lifting.
They are the fuel that moves the organization forward along the route to the
One of the key difference between
strategies, plans and processes is the level of uncertainty that is involved.
The responsibilities for
developing strategy, plans and processes are therefore usually separated within
the organization. This is summarized in the following table.
Activities to reduce uncertainty
Staff assigned to the role
Why? What if?
Top management –
(Board of Directors,
Yearly or longer
Who? When? Where?
Middle management -
Monthly, quarterly yearly
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my organization have a strategy that helps to shape its plans and processes?
- Does my organization separate the functions of strategy, plans are processes? Or, are they all jumbled?
- How does your organization bridge its strategy into projects?
Strategy Development Tools/Maps
Communication tools that are used to tell a storyof how value is created for the organization.
- BCG Growth-Share Matrix
- Power-Dependency Matrix
Strategy Execution Techniques
- Advocacy -
- Education -
- Regulation -
- Investement/Upgrades - eg. fix roads
The Aspirational-Transactional Hierarchy with strategy represented as one of the aspirational layers.
The journey to asset management maturity (including the development of
appropriate strategy) may sometimes feel like a maze.
The journey to asset management maturity (Including the development of
appropriate strategy) may sometimes feel like a knot that needs to be
Fig. Workshops are a useful method to gather the organization's knowledge resources to help develop strategy.
I. Care is strategizing in order to efficiently and effectively
allocate the limited resources across a portfolio of buildings.
Fig. I. Care is
trying to select the most efficient course of action to achieve his