By Clifford Agugoesi, Editor-in-Chief
Telecommunications sector umpire, the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) says it will impeccably implement its Strategic Management Plan(SMP, 2020-2024), ostensibly to bring the benefits of the digital economy to the doorposts of Nigerians.
“When it comes to reaching an organization’s goals, designing a strategic plan is just the beginning.
However, crafting a beautiful strategic plan without forceful execution is a waste of time, resources
and investment employed in developing the plan. In their book, The Balanced Scorecard, David
Norton and Robert Kaplan note that 90 per cent of organizations fail to execute their strategies
successfully. Effective strategy execution involves identifying and minimising the risks that could
hinder execution and reinforcing those factors that are critical to success in the implementation of
the strategy,” the Commission notes.
Accordingly, the Commission commits to imbibing the following critical success factors that have been identified for the successful implementation of the SMP 2020 – 2024, namely Engaged Leadership, Effective Strategy Communication.
As per the Commission, “the most important critical success factor for effective strategy execution is the engagement and commitment of leadership to successful implementation of the strategy. With full ownership and support by the leadership, the tone is set that rings through the organization and the generality of staff to signal the importance of achieving the strategic objectives and outcomes set out in
the plan. Commitment by the leadership also means that enough resources will be allocated to
supporting the implementation of strategic initiatives and actions that drive the desired outcomes.
In the preparation of the SMP 2020 – 2024, leadership of the Commission has demonstrated
commitment by allocating resources for its development, taking active part as SMT members and in
the development of aligned operating plans at the departmental levels. The next level of leadership
commitment is ensuring implementation of the Plan is effectively monitored and performance at
various levels of the Commission is measured based on the defined key performance indicators
and set targets.
“Another major reason why strategy fails is lack of understanding of the strategy by staff due mainly
to poor communication. When staff do not understand the strategy, they are hampered in effectively
playing roles assigned to them in the execution of the strategy. The all-inclusive approach employed
in developing the SMP whereby all departments were represented in the SWG and engagement of
top management as members of the SMT, means that a good number of participating staff has
a greater chance of understanding the strategy and thus be able to explain it to the generality of
“ In addition, the Commission will be carrying out a formal launch of the strategy in a town
hall meeting during which the SMP will be explained to all staff. A simplified documentation of the
SMP has been done also with ease of communication as the main consideration. In addition, the
leadership must consistently seize any available opportunity to continuously communicate and
reinforce the understanding of the SMP.
Strategic Initiatives Implementation
Strategic objectives and desired outcomes are not magically achieved – specific and impactful
actions and initiatives must be carried out to drive the results. It is not just that the identified
initiatives are implemented, they must be implemented on time and in line with specifications in
order to impact the desired results and achieve targets set. Therefore, the success of the SMP
in delivering the strategic objectives and outcomes will be highly dependent on the efficiency of
implementation of the strategic initiatives that have been identified and documented in the SMP. A
strong project management discipline, already identified as a key issue in the SMP, is required for
“Perhaps the most important factor for ensuring that strategic initiatives are implemented is the
availability of funds through appropriate budgetary allocation. This means that specific budgetary
allocations are made to fund initiatives that have been identified in the SMP as a matter of priority
because they are meant to assist the Commission achieve the strategic objectives and desired
outcomes. Such budgetary allocations are referred to as “Strategic Budget” as different from
allocations for other capital and operating expenditures as depicted in the schematic below:
Organizational Setup for Effective Strategy Execution All organizations that are successful with strategy execution show a common trait – they have a strong internal organ that coordinates strategy execution organization-wide.”
While the various departments have their specific mandates all these are ordered to achieving the generic mandate of the Commission. However, at the NCC, as far as the SMP is concerned, it is the Corporate Planning Strategy and Risk Management Department (CPSRM) that has its job properly defined . “The Department should be strengthened to enable it to play the roles in coordinating the execution of the SMP, monitoring and reporting performance of the Enterprise and the departments,” the Commission notes.
The roles of the Department in this connection may be summarised below:
- Facilitate strategic planning and strategy execution
- Provide strategic analysis support
- Manage cross-functional strategy execution
- Coordinate the management of enterprise strategic initiatives portfolio
- Advise on strategic budget formulation
- Enterprise and department performance monitoring, reporting and analysis