A strategy that influences the yo-yo effect – is that really a subject for a fitness pan? We think it is, and we start our new issue of this little blog series on this topic. First, let us look at what we mean by strategy. Traditionally, we use the word strategy to mean behaviors or behavioral change planned for the long term. A fitness plan that is to produce a basic change therefore in particular requires a strategic alignment.
Anything else will cause what we know as the yo-yo effect in the fitness environment. That is what happens when short-term success turns into its opposite due to idleness. We return to old behaviors, like to have a third helping, drink Coke instead of water, and the sofa will win out over the running shoe. In that case, we need more than just a few attainable goals. We need a clear instruction for what we want to achieve in the long run. What we need are GPS coordinates for what is waiting for us behind the horizon. Of course, this is subject to the provision that we are good and do our exercises and remain disciplined.
Projected to the support and use of SAP systems, that means: We need to be clear about what we want and what we need. Beyond our direct demands, which we refer to as “requirements”. That is where the problems start. What, if not only I have requirements, but others do, too? Whose wishes are the most important? It is known that resources and other options to fulfill wishes are a rather limited asset. The opinions on what is important and relevant are not always the same. Anyone who doesn’t believe this merely needs to join a coordination meeting between the IT department and the department representatives, and listen in for a while – or just read this blog article.
How can we find the right strategy, though, to give us permanent system fitness that all parties perceive as pleasant? Let’s ask 5 questions to find the answer to this:
The 5 typical questions for a proper fitness strategy
> What role do strategic objectives play in your IT projects?
IT projects occur in great diversity and with many different objectives. The decisive question, however, is how they fit into the overall image – in light of long-term developments and corporate decisions. Only planning from the point of view of global objectives can avoid target conflicts in the long run.
> How does communication between the stakeholders take place?
Whenever different teams and points of view clash, coordination problems are a logical consequence. This is particularly the case when dedicated terminologies and ways of thinking are added to the different perspectives. Discussions in such environments can only be sensibly resolved when a shared basis of objective and comprehensible contents is found.
> How comprehensive are the insights in the system?
It is rarely possible to make everyone happy with evaluations. While the decision-makers need clear information that are indicative and yet not too detailed, the employees on the implementation level require specific details. For the sake of a compromise, we need to find a view that fits from all the different angles. Nevertheless, it is decisive that the contents are logically linked, to avoid drawing different conclusions.
> How do you actually implement the measures?
The everyday life and experience of an analyst show: not all subjects brought to light are equally important. This should be the logical consequence of a strategic alignment. But let’s be honest: how many measures are actually implemented, and how? And, much more importantly – by whom? To keep the determined need for action from sliding into some individual measures to calm our conscience, we need to derive specific measures and resources.
> What system analyses are you running, and at what cycles?
Of course, our planning worked wonderful and shows solid results. So, what next? When is it time to start the next plans, the next coordination regarding the strategic alignment and the next examinations? The answer is provided by specific planning cycles for reviewing the targets achieved and for further development of our specifications. Ensure that comparability of the examination results is retained to prevent misunderstandings.
Result: Summary of operative information as decision-making aids
When using the above answers as a reference, we can see that the starting basis of strategic decisions and meeting them not only can be supported by detailed indices, but actually must be. Surely, an excess of detail is at times anything but helpful in recognizing the larger picture. With the help of a targeted summary, however, we can filter out the right statements without contradictions of the implementation measures on the detail level. In particular the interaction of the analysis of past, present and future data discloses options that independent individual observations cannot provide.
In this respect, we can see a clear parallel with the question on our physical fitness. The proper knowledge of the interrelations between our needs, health factors and long-term behavioral changes determine the long-term success after all. Without any yo-yo effect at all.