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The work up to day 60 was about validating the hypothesis you have made. The next stint is about testing and refining them. And to pull it all together into your plan for strategy and execution.
Validate your hypothesis about direction
Establish a hypothesis you expect to refine. a process of locking down in steps. You want to test if it is sharp enough. You want to discuss directional ideas with customers before you start locking your plan.
Have respect for how much you have been able to take in. Network as mush as you can with important thinkers and influencers in the broader organization. You want to reach the people with concrete ideas. At this stage you are working to enhance your execution plan beyond the first 100 days.
Articulate your plan in a simple format
As your ideas become firm you want to put them in a structure for anchoring and presentation. Aim for a format that is crisp and short, with clear connections between strategy and execution plans. A topic addressed recently on this blog.
Avoid long decks with classical structures designed for static businesses. They provide limited value for fast moving businesses. Your need to get across with your plan in a short period of time. And a short crisp format also leave room for adjustments along your journey.
Select your digital tools
Digital tools will play an essential part of how well you manage to optimize your flows. Long term you aspire to digitalize as many transactions as possible in your core flows. Short term it is about digitalizing basics.
Cross unit collaborations and extensive learnings from customers requires digital tools to work. Your goal is to secure your business leverage available tools as far as possible from start. Don’t staff for manual transactions when you can digitalize and stay lean. Knowledge propagate faster in digital tools and expect an evolving tool landscape. Workplace by Facebook as an example is just at the beginning of the journey.
Define the broader steps in your execution plan
In fast moving markets you need a view on the long term goals and directions and what you will execute on the next quarter. At this stage you should start to see the broader steps in the execution plan. Areas to attack and their order of importance and priority.
You need to start laying out an execution framework covering several quarters. Not details on what to do but a clear articulation of steps to take and in which order to take them. A bit like how head masters help students by laying out a curriculum for the classes to secure the sequence gets right.
The largest trap is to define all as high/top/crucial priority and start execution broad and thin. Dare to stay focused on a handful of areas to secure solid delivery already in your second quarter in office.
Questions to ask yourself
- Does each hypothesis from the previous step work – don’t trust anything to be good enough without testing.
- Which templates can help you structure your plan – go for proven simple formats.
- Which digital tools can we build our business critical flows around – look inside and outside for best practices.
- What are the big steps in your long term execution plan – look for way to bridge between big plan and quarterly tactic. Focus on steps rather than details.
- How to implement hypothesis driven development [BLOGPOST] – by Thought Works
- 5 ways to simplify your business plan and almost anything else [ARTICLE] – by Entrepreneur
- Digital lean: the next step in operations optimization [BLOGPOST] – by AT Kearney
- 4 steps to successful execution of a strategy [ARTICLE] – by Entrepreneur