Strategy execution management (SEM) and Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM) utilizes technology to better execute critical business programs. Companies can boost business performance thanks to better real-time oversight of and visibility into strategic initiatives. The benefits range from reduced costs and improved revenue to enhanced market share.

Because technology is a core component of SEM, it’s vital that companies identify the best possible digital solutions for their needs. Effectively executing strategy requires that your company choose the best platform for its needs. Let this page be your guide for the many questions you may want to answer around strategy execution software.

An executive board meeting.Finding the right strategy execution software enables effective execution of major change efforts.

What is strategy execution software?

SEM and SPM software are purposefully designed to support broad programs focused on business transformation. These tools provide a single source of truth for stakeholders and decision-makers, helping to address everything from risk management to tracking the progress of individual projects and their place within the larger program. By partially or completely automating stakeholder reporting, strategy execution software also enhances performance management and saves time.

One of the best ways to understand strategy execution software is through comparison to other systems that share some similarities but are fundamentally different at their core. Project portfolio management (PPM) tools are one type of software to contrast with strategy execution solutions.

PPM focuses on actionable tasks and timelines and shares this, in concept at least, with strategy management and execution platforms. Both types of software emphasize real-time availability of information. However, there are some key differences.

PPM is generally concerned with completing tasks and activities without much regard for strategic insight or having a strategic plan. SEM solutions, on the other hand, are built to share information with relevant stakeholders across an organization. They also prioritize a value-focused view. SEM platforms facilitate a broader understanding of the usefulness and effectiveness of all projects within a broader transformation program. Companies that want to increase transparency, enhance communication and develop a better understanding of value within their change efforts need a solution that’s specifically designed for that task.

It’s important to recognize the beneficial relationship between PPM and SEM. With both systems in place, businesses can paint a more complete picture of change efforts that are relevant to front-line staff, executives and everyone in between. However, PPM by itself is simply not enough to achieve strategic objectives while maintaining effective oversight, management and analysis of organizational change efforts.

What’s the difference between strategic execution and strategic planning software?

Strategic planning software is a broad category, involving a variety of digital tools that range from scenario planning to predictive analysis. Strategic planning software can include many workflows and processes. In some cases, because the term is not strictly defined, SEM solutions may be grouped with strategic planning software in conversations, articles and other sources of information. Remembering the unique benefits already outlined for SEM, such as focusing on value, improving reporting and the specific context of business transformation, can help businesses select the best tool for the job.

Why is it important to use strategy management software?

SEM software addresses crucial needs related to execution as well as documenting and demonstrating the value of change programs. Businesses that only use PPM and similar tools lose critical oversight abilities that measure the impact of change efforts among each individual team and business unit. Without organization-wide visibility into the progress and completion of dependent tasks, it’s difficult to benchmark and exceed strategic priorities because KPIs are locked in silos.

The ability to faithfully measure a broader array of business metrics beyond standardized outcomes is critical. Business transformation efforts are broad, complex and unique. Customization of information flows, decision workflows and reporting types provides more accurate information and more relevant support for executives and other key decision-makers as they track the progress of transformation efforts.

How do you know if strategic management is working?

While every business will have different objectives, KPIs and formats when it comes to major transformational efforts, there are certain telltale signs of performance to look for in this context:

  • Are leaders confident in their ability to plan, track and manage a transformation program?
  • Do the tools used to facilitate the program enable accountability, alignment, transparency and visibility at every necessary level?
  • Are the tools used customizable to the extent that they can be tailored to an organization’s unique needs?

When all stakeholders can access the appropriate information and analysis at the right time and know that data is both current and correct, it’s a clear indication of SEM effectiveness.

Transformation programs are always complex, involving dozens or hundreds of individual projects and potentially many thousands of tasks making up those projects. They are also vital to a company’s continued prosperity and, often, basic existence. A keen level of insight into the project and its constituent parts is one of the best signs that an organization’s approach to strategic management is effective.

What should a strategic management plan include?

A strategic management plan, in the context of business transformation, is built on well-researched and carefully considered ideas for changing a business for the better. Company leaders and other valued stakeholders identify issues and opportunities for improvement. They then create goals and pathways toward those objectives that will position the organization for positive change.

People, company culture, resources and technology all come into play with strategic management and SEM. A business needs to have leadership agree to change, achieve a significant degree of understanding and buy-in from its staff and have the resources in place to effectively fuel a transformation effort. With these major steps addressed, companies can bring their attention to the final piece of the puzzle: The right solution for program oversight.

Platforms such as Shibumi fill the strategy execution gap in a way that other business management software simply can’t, providing the crucial bridge between the vision executives have fine-tuned and the many details of project management. The result is a platform that informs and empowers key stakeholders, giving them a full perspective of value customized to meet the specific needs of the organization.

To learn more about how Shibumi can help you manage your business transformation efforts at scale, schedule your company’s personalized demo today.

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