GCIO Focus: Advisory Services, Closing the Gap Between Strategy and Execution

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Leaders in government achieve great things every day: delivering services to citizens, enabling their workforce and keeping our country safe. Accomplishing these things requires tremendous effort beginning with strategy development at the organization level and the business unit/program level. A solid strategy establishes the core purpose of the organization, the path to achieving that purpose, how the organization will execute and the way the organization will monitor changes in its environment and adjust successfully.

Of course, any strategy must be implemented to deliver results, which sounds easy on the surface. Unfortunately, effectively implementing strategy is far from easy and requires many things, including consistency, constant communication at all level of the organization, changes in culture and processes, efficient execution and measuring results.

Making things harder, even if you do everything well, you are never “done” implementing strategy because you don’t have the benefit of implementing in a static world. The assumptions and decisions you made in formulating your strategywhat services citizens need, the delivery model, how an adversary will behave, etc.will always be in flux. This constant change results in there always being a gap between your strategy and where the organization is in actual execution of the strategy.

At GovernmentCIO, we focus on “closing the gap” between strategy and reality to execute effectively. We do this via advisory services that provide leaders with support in implementing strategyadjusting, understanding where you are in strategy implementation, augmenting strategy, helping drive change, optimizing, and most importantly, enabling you to execute on your strategy.

Advisory services help assess the gaps between your strategy and execution and deliver answers and best practices regarding closing those gaps so you can get as close as possible to realizing the benefits of your strategy, namely positive business results.

One example of this across government is the focus on improving citizen services and experience. Virtually every agency has improvement in this area as a core tenet of their strategy. However, in spending time with many government agencies, the reality is that organizations are swimming in data and while collecting more and more continue to struggle to make sense of that data to improve citizen experience.

Other agencies are executing on specific programs or initiatives to try and improve service to citizens but have difficulty connecting those efforts to the overall strategy and improving and measuring the impact on business results. These are the types of gaps advisory services are designed to address.

To overcome these types of challenges, it is necessary to spend more time and energy on closing the gap between strategy and day-to-day execution. Advisory services like those mentioned above can help accomplish this and are designed to provide guidance and support. You are never “done” with strategy and “on to implementation.” In fact, strategy implementation is really the ongoing work to keep the “gap” as small as possible, to get as close as possible to the desired state your strategy has defined.

When strategy implementation is working well, there is a relatively smaller gap between your strategy and the actual work being done, the execution. Leveraging advisory services to continually manage and shrink the gap between strategy and execution will make government more efficient and effective in delivering against its goals.