There hasn’t been enough debate on this blog in a while so I’m hoping that this post will stir things up a bit.
Over at the other guys, Frank has a post titled EPM and Strategy Management that I had to read four or five times to understand. Even now, I’m not completely sure what he’s getting at. My confusion starts with the very first sentence:
Enterprise Performance Management is usually seen as a tool for strategy management.
Huh? Most people would say that strategy management is a tool for enterprise performance management. EPM also includes planning/budgeting, financial consolidation, and profitability management. Choose your favorite analyst. (Examples: IDC, Gartner, Forrester)
He then goes on to say:
Strategy formulation and strategy management are seen as two separated disciplines.
In reading the rest of the blog, I think he’s trying to distinguish between developing the strategy and tracking the strategy. But the latter is an incomplete view of strategy management. True strategy management emphasizes strategy articulation and answers the question that most employees have: what does this strategy mean to me? Cascading blurs the line between strategy formulation, strategy articulation, and strategy execution. Strategy management can’t exist without cascading.
Since I’m so confused, I could be misinterpreting this sentence:
A more modern view on strategy formulation is to see this as a continuous process, based on “grow as you go.” […] unlike the old way of working the way how to go there is only sketched in broader terms.
Certainly strategy shouldn’t be static; real-life execution should incrementally impact our objectives. Isn’t that why we’ve been talking about closing the gap between strategy and execution for 5+ years? But I’m troubled by the second sentence. Organizations need clear decisions on which freeway they are going to drive on to get to their destination. They just need the flexibility to change their minds when they hit a traffic jam.
In the end, I think this one sentence sums up why Frank and I can agree to disagree:
A balanced scorecard strategy map becomes a living document.
Why would it ever be dead? A true strategy map is live, interactive and constantly changing. That’s the whole point as to why it’s not a document on the shelf.
Welcome to the 21st century.