The process is a concise, high impact method designed to harvest maximum executive or management collaborative input in the shortest possible time using a structured numeric method and tool-set.
The following is an overview of the components of the StratSnap process:
The one-on-one interviews with participants enable me to understand the business and enable me to connect with and form an initial relationship with delegates thereby ensuring that my facilitation is appropriately focused.
2. Setting the focus questions
If you ask the wrong question you will get the wrong answer – discussion to formulate the essential focus of the Critical Concerns process and subsequent processes is a vital part of the process.
3. Scene setting presentation
The initial presentation addresses some general concepts and principles and sets the scene for the workshop by creating context and summarizing my key findings from the interviews – this helps to stimulate creative thinking.
4. Critical Concerns
I always start the workshop with the "Critical Concerns Process", this gets issues of concern and frustration out on the table rather than having them vented later in the workshop and frequently results in outputs of strategic importance. In some cases I may recommend ONLY doing a Critical Concerns process.
Critical Concerns is also a simple way of teaching delegates the process without having to think about more complex questions.
The Critical Concerns process takes about three hours with a group of about 7 delegates, it gets longer the more delegates there are because of the collaborative approach applied.
Subsequent processes take between one and a half and two hours each again depending on the number of delegates and subject to a clear mandate to move forward at best possible speed
Delegates brainstorm all issues relating to the focus question without discussion and with “no wrong answers” or censorship. This ensures that all possible thoughts are aired and all delegates are heard in a structured environment.
6. Each person privately determines their Critical Factors
Structured facilitation to assist all delegates to privately lift out their Critical Factors – ensures that all delegates have equal opportunity to contribute and that ALL points of view are harvested in a structured non-threatening manner.
7. Group synthesis of a single set of Critical Factors
The group is facilitated collaboratively to combine ALL inputs to the Critical Factors lists to arrive at a single set of umbrella statements which are then reduced to bullet points of a few words as headings which are carried forward in the graphs and tables.
This approach ensures that ALL voices are heard equally and the resulting factors are the combined work of the entire delegate group, this is a powerful team building mechanism.
8. Privately weight the factors
The group are taken through a structured process to weight the individual Critical Factors on a relative weight basis allocating 100% of importance over the total list of factors. This again allows individual delegates to express their opinion without fear of being overridden or drowned out.
9. Group comment on the views of the Mountain
The weights are captured and view graphically and in tabular format highlighting the fact that there are ALWAYS different views around the table because people really DO see things differently.
This approach allows all points of view to be captured and made visible and provides a structured and non-threatening opportunity for delegates to express different views – it also makes it OK to have different views.
The weighting approach also allows the different viewpoints to be understood and taken into account in further planning – this also enables different parties to better understand the real and valid differences of priority around the boardroom table.
10. Executive override
It is real that there ARE different views of the mountain BUT it is highly inefficient for all parts of the organization to climb the mountain different ways – at the end of the weight discussion the sponsor of the workshop is given the opportunity to adopt either the numeric average weight OR to override with their own choice of weights.
The problem with the numeric average is that nobody owns it, accordingly I have concluded that it is preferable for the sponsor to take a view on priorities that the execution of the plan will be managed to – the sponsor MUST take ownership of the final weights.
Scores are determined from 0 = could not be worse anywhere in the world to 10 = could not be better anywhere in the world.
Scores are determined for historic, current, forecast and objective – typically for a three year planning period unless a different period is agreed.
12. Discuss scores and trends
The scores are discussed and again may evidence different points of view, the historic, current and forecast values give a score trend which may indicate that delegates consider that the situation is improving, deteriorating or stable – in some cases this can be a very important indicator of action or direction. Different knowledge and experience levels may be made visible in the scoring which can be a very valuable management tool.
13. Weighted gaps
Applying the weights to the scores yields weighted scores and examination of the forecast versus objective gives a measure of the need for improvement. Application of weights can result in some factors that seem important fading into the background against those factors where the need for change is greatest. This enables the group to prioritize actions flowing from the workshop.
14. StratGap Strategic Gap Analysis Process
The StratSnap process provides the inputs to the StratGap gap analysis process which is typically undertaken by a group of personnel one level down in the organizational hierarchy from those who undertake the initial ShapShots – this process allows the organization to translate the outputs of the SnapShot process into action plans with timelines and resource requirements determined. There are further extensions to this process.
15. Next steps – the team for the next stage
Before closing the workshop the team agree next steps and particularly who the team is that will undertake the gap analysis process and be responsible for the practical execution of the resulting plans.
I hope that this outline has given some idea of what the StratSnap process comprises – it is a vital component of arriving at a structured, logical, results orientated, impact focused action plan.
Please email us for more information -- James@James-A-Robertson-and-Associates.com