Aligning executive strategy with tactical operations and supply chain management


As you well know, this is where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

Your employees want to be a part of helping the company to succeed. They take great pride in their work and what they do. It’s important to make sure the work they perform is the work required to create customer value. Here is where the tactical plan dictates the focus of the operational areas. If there is a mismatch and the tactical components do not support “making the numbers”, or they pull people in too many disparate directions, then the operational areas will create work around which generate huge gaps between tactical plans and operational reality.

Great processes may not be focused to move the operational performance in ways the strategy dictates. People will put in a lot of time and energy, and often much expediting, to get products and services to customers but not necessarily in the most efficient and cost effective ways. There may be a lack of visibility as to why we are doing something in the first place. Processes need to be reviewed against the executive strategy and operational performance for relevance. Without this, operational metrics may measure the day-to-day performance without linking to longer term performance goals, thus driving performance contrary to what is desired.

Because the operational components bring in the cash, operations performance must be understood at the strategic and tactical levels so that task improvements actually show improvement in terms of customer value and the company’s ROI. Quality circles, supply chain improvement, and floor level improvement activity must be tied back to corporate performance. It can’t jump from operations to strategic. The performance review must go through the tactical management level as well to make sure all levels of the company are vertically aligned with no gaps and no guessing.

Well run operations produce:

If you are interested in improving your alignment between tactical and operational areas, contact Process & Strategy at

Key words and topics: tactical planning, operations, metrics, strategy, performance