In our KCS workshops, we say that the Strategic Framework is the deliverable that’s easiest to push aside…and yet one of the most valuable if done right.
The Strategic Framework is a simple way of showing the value of KCS to the company, customers, and employees. Executives set high-level objectives for the organization: “scale the business by enabling service partners,” or “provide self-service that customers prefer to use,” or “give engineers more time to be engineers.” The Strategic Framework lists off how KCS will help achieve these objectives, how we’ll measure its success, and how we’ll hold ourselves accountable.
The Strategic Framework is really useful in executive discussions—program teams can be proactive about showing how they’re supporting strategic initiatives. They’re especially valuable when executives turn over, or during organizational change—new leaders love being asked, “here’s how we were supporting our old objectives…how do we need to change this, if at all, to align with your vision?”
Generally, the Strategic Framework is captured in a three-slide deck, with one table for the company, customers, and team members. But Sage North America just blew me away with an innovative way to share the Strategic Framework with their whole team: a huge banner they’re hanging throughout their support organizations.
Sage has a very rich product portfolio, and naturally different teams in different locations have different cultures and priorities. For Sage, KCS has been a great “excuse” to pull together as a team and line up behind a common, organization-wide initiative. This banner is a way of reinforcing the common messages.
Sage started with an advantage: their leadership has been communicating effectively about the company’s core principles, and those values line up very nicely with the big ideas behind KCS. You’ll find the principles hanging in each conference room, and people seem to really pay attention to them, and to take them seriously. This made them a really natural hook for the Strategic Framework.
So, what would your KCS banner say?
(HT Ron Taylor, Melinda Gallagher, Carolyn Rose, and the whole Sage team for sharing this with the community!)