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Strategy Realization Office

Your strategic realization office or SRO is the hub of all strategic activity.

Whether you refer to it as a business transformation office, an enterprise PMO, or some other function, the ability to consistently ensure that all of the work being done aligns with your strategic drivers is critical to success.  

SRO Role Summary

The Strategy Realization Office leverages strategic portfolio management as the central tool in their arsenal, focusing specifically on these imperatives:

  • The ability to drive all work from strategy
  • The ability to leverage roadmaps to support alignment
  • Effectively using an adaptive and continuous planning approach to absorb ongoing changes
  • Total visibility across all work, regardless of how it is delivered
  • Complete insight into impacts of potential decisions
  • Optimized outcome management to ensure the right value is delivered
  • Ensure effective lean governance is applied consistently across the enterprise

Focus on aligning execution with strategy

It’s fairly obvious to say achieving a strategy requires that the work being done is aligned with that strategy – yet in many case, that still doesn’t happen.  The Strategy Realization Office has to ensure that all strategies are decomposed into work from the top to ensure a direct connection between what is being done, and – more importantly – why.  That’s not a fixed relationship, your goals and objectives, your ability to deliver, even your overall strategy, is subject to change as a result of new threats and opportunities or emerging technology.

That means the Strategy Realization Office must also be able to leverage organizational roadmapping tools to maintain alignment, and make use of a top-down adaptive and continuous planning model.  Together these help the Strategy Realization Office ensure that the work being done is always optimally aligned with the needs of the business.  At the same time, they help the Strategy Realization Office communicate that alignment, and any changes to it, to any and all stakeholders.

Manage, analyze and adjust

The Strategy Realization Office must also have total visibility into all the work that is being done in the organization.  Strategic success comes from the effective integration of all work – capabilities, services and products; applications; infrastructure; and projects and epics.  It also comes from effective management of all that work regardless of how it is delivered.  The Strategy Realization Office only succeeds when it can manage all work delivered in all ways.

To do that effectively requires the analysis of different options every time circumstances shift or changes are required.  The Strategy Realization Office must have access to powerful scenario analysis tools capable of providing what-if analysis, supporting multiple scenarios and improving the quality of decision making.  These tools must be integrated across all business areas and consider all work in all portfolios.

It also only succeeds when that work actually delivers the right value.  Benefits realization tools help the Strategy Realization Office to manage outcomes and ensure that the expected value is being achieved as defined by the metrics that were approved for each piece of work.  That means managing not just financial measures, but all value metrics across all business areas and all work.

Adaptive governance is the key

Finally, the SRO must apply a logical and practical lean governance model.  This isn’t a standardization of approaches across all works that leaves no flexibility for individual business areas to adapt to circumstances.  Rather it is an adaptive and low bureaucracy governance approach that encourages flexibility within a framework that protects the organization from risk and allows for effective management of value, dependencies, resources, etc. across all business areas and all work types.

In order to achieve all of this, the Strategy Realization Office must work with other areas of the business.  Domain or business area PMOs are critical to help facilitate communication and oversight of the work that’s being done as well as contextualizing the strategic drivers of that work.  The strategic planning office is the SRO’s interface with all upstream functions from a planning perspective throughout the delivery windows.  And line of business executives and key department heads like the CIO are essential to help ensure that strategy is being delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible.